Richard WilliamsDirigeant Agréé, General Manager – CONVEX S.A.
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Since 2013, ACA Insurance Days has become “the highlight of the year for the (re)insurance industry in Luxembourg”. Over the years, the audience has grown and we are now delighted to welcome more than 1,000 professionals from the financial sector to exchange on hot topics, which are diverse in nature, allowing us to promote the expertise of insurers.
These last 3 years have allowed us to redesign the event to broaden the audience through our online conference session. This year, the event celebrates its 10th edition: 10 editions of exchanges to ensure a better world!
What makes the ACA Insurance Days successful for the 10th time is the (re)insurance community, its vitality and its dynamism. This event brings together an ecosystem that goes far beyond the borders of Luxembourg.Marc HENGEN, Managing Director at ACA
Back on the highlights of this new edition:
On November 24, as is customary at the ACAdemic session, ACA President Marc Lauer and
Minister of Finance of Luxembourg, H.E. Yuriko Backes, addressed the major issues that concern the
the sector in Luxembourg.
For this edition, the Guest speaker of the academic session, Alexis Conran, a BBC presenter who specializes in the psychologies of scams, offered a lecture entitled “Scam Proof Your Life”.
This ACademic session was an opportunity for Marc Lauer, President of the ACA, and Valérie Tollet, Director of ACA, to review the role of insurance and its importance for the economy and society, both in terms of protection and providence.
On this occasion, the President of the association outlined 4 main challenges facing the sector:
Inflation is a disaster for everyone, but especially for insurers. They have to price today to pay claims in the more or less distant future. With inflation, interest rates rise. Insurers, acting as a good parent, invest a large part of their assets in bonds. The sudden increase in interest rates that we have experienced in the last few months has therefore had a significant impact on the profitability of companies.
Competitiveness is a set of factors that promote or slow down the development of companies. Let’s take taxation as an example: on an international level, Luxembourg is less and less attractive. Let’s take another example: indexation. Even if in other countries the pressure on salaries is also felt, the automatic nature of salary increases in Luxembourg undoubtedly hinders the competitiveness of companies in the sector at international level and feeds inflation at local level. Nevertheless, companies seem to be surprisingly resilient and agile in the face of these constraints. Company revenues in the local market, as well as for international activities, are holding up and even evolving positively. But even the greatest resilience has its limits, and we are approaching them. The problem is that to cope with this evolution and to succeed in the digital transformation, the sector needs talent and employees. But today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit them.
The shortage of employees and the war for talent affects all sectors of the economy.
The pandemic has changed that. Many employees have learned to appreciate telecommuting instead of long commutes in endless traffic jams. The transportation situation has become even worse in recent years. Some employees who a few years ago took 45 minutes to get to work now take twice as long for the same journey. Coming from France, for example, not only have the freeways been narrowed down, the direct train lines slowed down or abolished, but also all the detour routes have been blocked by construction sites. This is simply catastrophic! In the interest of the industry and the financial center, a balanced and harmonized framework for teleworking in a cross-border context must be found quickly. This is a major challenge for the financial center.
There are more and more obvious attempts to fragment the single market. However, 95% of the premiums of Luxembourg insurers are written outside Luxembourg. The single market is in fact our domestic market.
Luxembourg’s success, particularly in life insurance, is causing concern in some countries. The distribution model that has been oriented towards Europe for more than 30 years, the experience of our regulator, the specificities of Luxembourg life insurance, all this is unique in Europe, and is very much in demand by a wealthy clientele. Of course, some states take umbrage with this. But the sector is doing nothing more than playing by the rules of the single market.
The problem is that these tensions have consequences: under the pretext of increased protection for policyholders, the European Commission and certain national authorities are constantly devising new rules that do not meet any general interest except to protect local market players.
The interest and the satisfaction of the customers in the respect of the local rules of general interest. But sometimes consumer protection is just a pretext for protecting one’s local market. If a cross-border activity is considered more risky, or even suspicious, just because it is cross-border, we can close the party and close the door! The European Commission, as guardian of the treaties, should work against such forms of protectionism. In fact, it all too often lets them pass.
For three years now, ACA has offered a webinar format to promote the insurance and reinsurance industry and related topics. This year, we offered 1.5 hours of fast-paced exchanges with industry experts with a panel, the Expert Talk entitled: “The future of crossborder insurance: bright or at stake? Luxembourg, a case study”. Then, an interview, the In Discussion With… , which addressed the subject of climate challenges for (re)insurance.
One of the goals of the European Union is to establish a single market within its borders. In this context, the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment offers consumers a greater variety of products at more accessible prices. Due to the proximity to its neighbouring countries, Luxembourg is a pioneer in the free provision of services – and (re)insurance is one of its flagship initiatives – where most of the services developed and offered are aimed at European consumers. The historical links to international finance and the nature of its activities represents the DNA of Luxembourg; the overwhelming majority of life insurance premium collection, and most non-life and reinsurance activities carried out by Luxembourg-based companies are outside its borders. Given the current trend towards nationalist behaviours and an increasing tendency towards protectionism observed in most countries, it is crucial that Luxembourg takes a stand in favour of a European regulatory framework that takes into account the international and cross-border nature of financial services. Today more than ever, a harmonised approach at EU level is a key element for a successful industry, for a competitive and integrated insurance market.
Richard WilliamsDirigeant Agréé, General Manager – CONVEX S.A.
Valérie TolletMembre du Comité de Direction de l’ACA
Petra HielkemaChairperson of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
Florent AlbertManaging Director Europe & Group CFO at Lombard International Group
Claude WirionDirecteur du Commissariat aux assurances de 2015 à 2020
The climatic challenges that our societies will have to face can no longer be ignored! The climate emergency is unfortunately a reality. Heat waves, fires, floods… The summer of 2022 has not spared us anything and the climate crisis is affecting more and more individuals, companies and communities, in Europe as in the rest of the world. The latest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), show that the disruption is intensifying in all regions, at unprecedented levels. Climate change is now one of the greatest risks facing our society and the global economy. What challenges will insurers and reinsurers face in responding to this climate emergency? What solutions are being considered? These questions are an integral part of the discussion with Ivo Hux, General Manager Luxembourg of Swiss RE.
For its 10th edition, ACA proposed a new format in order to affirm the attractiveness of the sector thanks to the testimony of various personalities of the insurance and reinsurance sector.
Comfortably seated in the ACA View, with a screen as their only counterpart, various personalities who make up the insurance community answer the questions put to them. An offbeat and friendly interview, which does not take itself seriously and allows you to discover the sector from a new angle!
Each week, ACA has broadcasted through its LinkedIn page 1 video with different guests! A friendly moment, that we suggest you to (re)discover now :
For the third consecutive year, ACA, in partnership with the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT), is organizing the ACA Insurance Innovation Award to recognize the startup that has made the best contribution to the insurance industry this year.
9 startups were selected by ACA and LHoFT.
After pitching in front of a jury of insurance industry professionals, ACA offered Internet users the opportunity to participate by giving their vote to select the winner of the 2022 edition. The award was presented in the presence of Yuriko BACKES during the ACAdemic session on November 24, 2022 to the startup EmailTree AI :
EmailTree AI is an innovative solution based on artificial intelligence (AI) techniques used to analyze the content of an email and generate a response. NLP (Natural Language Processing), NLU (Natural Language Understanding), ML (Machine Learning) technologies are combined to offer a significant productivity gain for customer email management.
ACA would like to once again thank its entire community for making this event a continued success!
See you next year on November 23, 2023 for the new edition of ACA Insurance Days! In the meantime, if you don’t want to miss anything about ACA news, join us on LinkedIn.