Celebrating International Women's Day with Dame Inga Beale

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What glass ceiling?

Ahead of the curve once again, AirSP celebrated International Women’s Day, with a cut glass seminar celebrating the diversity and inclusivity which lies at the heart of The City.

We were delighted to host Dame Inge Beale, the first female head of Lloyd’s of London, who’s message of “be true to yourself” has such relevance today beyond gender or other barriers.

The audience was truly captivated by Inga’s enthusiasm and drive for recognition of excellence wherever it lay - her own career is testimony to perseverance in the face of male dominance. But her overriding observation was that effort, expertise and application will always be recognised.

Robert Harrison

Charity Quiz Night - November 2017

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AirSP has a history of great Quiz Nights. We did it again on 14 November.

Our charity this year was Tom’s Trust. Tom’s Trust was set up by parents who lost their son due to a brain tumour, on three weeks’ notice – without any psychological support or counselling for their child, their other children or themselves. It raises awareness of the need for such support, and funds to help provide it.

People from all across the market came together in The Habit, as last year, for fun and friendship while pitting their wits against each other and the quiz-mistresses. Besides a raffle – first prize a picnic basket of gin, and others ranging from a John Lewis voucher through an enormous Christmas pudding to a bottle of champagne (and other bottles!) – participants enjoyed a superbly compered ‘Heads and Tails’ contest; splitting the money raised between the winner and the charity. They then went on to answer questions ranging from pies, though confectionary to films identified from photographs, while enjoying food and drink.

Congratulations to our winning team this year, “Who is No. 1”, captained by Neville Hunt. We hope they enjoyed the prizes – a bottle of wine and a mini Christmas Pudding for each team member!

£700 was raised for Tom's Trust and we are all delighted to have helped such a good cause.

Bill Perry - Chairman

Thank you so much for supporting us and raising such an amazing amount of money for the charity and supporting children with brain tumours! Just to put the money that your raised into perspective, it will buy 10 sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy for four children, something that would not have been available to them, so please do pass on our thanks to all those involved in what sounded like a wonderful evening.

Again, a huge thank you from everyone at Team Tom for supporting our work.

Deborah Whiteley - Founder

www.tomstrust.org.uk

Monte Carlo Annual Dinner - Monday 11 September 2017

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"Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures" is variously attributed, but they must have had in mind restaurant Quai Des Artistes in Monte Carlo! It was there on Monday 11th September that the AirSP Annual Rendezvous Dinner took place. A fabulous evening was had by members and guests as the wine flowed with magnificent food. Our largest number to date – 34 – met for a few sharpeners beforehand and then sat at the longest table your correspondent has seen! Shop talk of the Rendezvous, insurance and reinsurance and the effects of the hurricane season no doubt gradually gave way to the weather we were enjoying – soon to be replaced by the cold and wet back in Blighty; your correspondent also suspects the conversation became even more "relaxed" as the good humour spread.

The organising of such a number was triumphantly managed by our own Secretary, Tracy Bailey, and the restaurant staff were up to the task of corralling us all to choose from a beautiful menu selection. Part way through our feast, Chairman Bill managed a welcome speech and the testimony to the generous mood amongst the table was that he spoke not just in English, but French too!

So, to break bread - with wine – in the company of colleagues and friends, in such surroundings certainly makes for a memorable time and surely a pointer to how rewarding can be the generating of doing business together. Cheers to AirSP.

Salut mes Braves!

Robert Harrison

Monte Carlo Dinner - Monday 11 September 2017

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

"Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures" is variously attributed, but they must have had in mind restaurant Quai Des Artistes in Monte Carlo! It was there on Monday 11th September that the AirSP Annual Rendezvous Dinner took place. A fabulous evening was had by members and guests as the wine flowed with magnificent food. Our largest number to date – 34 – met for a few sharpeners beforehand and then sat at the longest table your correspondent has seen! Shop talk of the Rendezvous, insurance and reinsurance and the effects of the hurricane season no doubt gradually gave way to the weather we were enjoying – soon to be replaced by the cold and wet back in Blighty; your correspondent also suspects the conversation became even more "relaxed" as the good humour spread.

The organising of such a number was triumphantly managed by our own Secretary, Tracy Bailey, and the restaurant staff were up to the task of corralling us all to choose from a beautiful menu selection. Part way through our feast, Chairman Bill managed a welcome speech and the testimony to the generous mood amongst the table was that he spoke not just in English, but French too!

So, to break bread - with wine – in the company of colleagues and friends, in such surroundings certainly makes for a memorable time and surely a pointer to how rewarding can be the generating of doing business together. Cheers to AirSP.

Salut mes Braves!

Robert Harrison

Members' Drinks - 9 August 2017

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August is the season for holiday and relaxation. Not so for the Board of AirSP which met for a lot of serious business on 9 August at The Broker’s. But even they followed it with drinks with members (in the same place) at one of AirSP’s two annual drinks parties for members (wait for our next in December at The Lloyd’s Club). People lingered for some time over good food (and lots of it), pleasant drink and always enjoyable company.

Insurance Fraud Forensics - 18 July 2017

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We were very fortunate to have Guillermo Lopez and colleagues from Rimkus Consulting for our July meeting. Guillermo has a range of experience in the insurance and engineering cycle from cradle to grave and gave a keenly interested audience a fascinating discussion about the claims process and how (Re) Insurers and other Experts can guard and protect themselves from fraudulent claims as well as claims which might be genuine in themselves but have circumstances that can give rise to argument over coverage or quantum.

Guillermo illustrated his presentation with some great video and other media, which gave us all a strong insight on the activities of Rimkus and other consulting Experts. They give the Market a remarkable service in claims management and adjustment, as well as being a valuable resource for loss control and pre-risk analysis.

The meeting concluded with an opportunity for Members to meet with Guillermo and his colleagues as well as other AIRSP Members and guests over a very convivial drinks session after his presentation. A great evening and enjoyed by all!

David Brackenbury

Wine Tasting Evening - Tuesday 20 June 2017

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It was a pleasant evening outside the Wine Library on Tuesday 20th June. It was an even more pleasant one inside, where members and their guests sampled six French wines carefully selected for them (with accompanying paté and cheese) at a tutored wine tasting.

The wines ranged from a white Picpoul de Pinet to a fine claret. They had all been carefully chosen as good value representatives of their type, usually from lesser-known appellations which could nevertheless well represent that class of wine. From members of the insurance market, close scrutiny and expert knowledge could be expected. Expectations were not disappointed! It seems safe to say, though, that everyone learnt something, and both mental and physical notes were taken for future use.

We are confident that all our members not only now know more about good French wine, but will also be able to source better value as well as good quality wines as a result of a most enjoyable and convivial evening.

AGM Dinner - 9 May 2017

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Following the AGM on 12 May, we held AirSP’s annual dinner. We were fortunate to have with us as our guest Adam Kembrooke, Group Chief Legal Officer and Group Chief Risk Officer of Nexus Underwriting. Adam spoke to us about the philosophy behind his group's understanding of managing agencies, with particular reference to the operation of the claims function as part of a profit-making enterprise.

Adam has a broad and interesting background, being a lawyer qualified in both New York and England, who has worked in-house as both a legal officer and a risk officer for some years. He had many useful insights into what companies like his want from their service providers and how those who provide services to such companies can provide best value to their clients and adapt to new paradigms as the market develops.

Willingness to think outside the box, partner with clients, cooperate in marketing, develop new services and operations together are just as important in the new world as the old-fashioned requirements of high quality service, flexibility, responsiveness and value for money. None of which is to say that any of them have been downgraded!

Adam’s talk gave rise to a vigorous discussion around the table with many comments, queries and suggestions. It was exactly the invigorating and interesting event we had all hoped for and we are most grateful to Adam coming along and giving us the benefit of his experience and forward-looking approach.

Bill Perry

Chairman

International Women's Day - 8 March 2017

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SCOR’s premium income is nearly €14billion pa; its balance sheet stands at €43 billion; it has 2,700 or so staff and a staff ratio of 48% female/52% male. Karen Graves has been its COO in London since 2010. She has also been to AirSP before. So it was very apt, and we were very pleased, that she accepted our invitation to be our speaker at our meeting in March which, this year like last, celebrated International Women’s Day.

Karen talked with quiet fervour about how women can develop their careers in the London market, the problems to be overcome and strategies for leadership and management. She is convinced that the market is open to advancing women to the most senior positions. While no-one denies some difficulties, the market has changed out of recognition from its profile and attitudes of thirty years ago.

She believes that it is important to get away from stereotypes. The market wants talent, pure and simple, and by demonstrating their skills, hard work and commitment a level playing field can be found and used by women who want to reach the top. So her message to women is simple: onwards and upwards! And to men and women that this is inclusive: it is about good people, the market (and the world) has ample room for all people of talent and that diversity helps arrive at the best solutions to problems.

The important message to take away is that the London market is about people. People are different from each other, and the difference between male and female is just one of all sorts of differences; and we are better together. The important thing is that we work together, whoever and whatever we are, to build the organisations we work for and the market, for the best future for all. We need to build attitudes and structures that make the best use of all talent. Ever increasingly, we are doing. We must just never let up!

Avoiding Embarrassing Data Loss Presentation - 15 February 2017

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A group of around 15 members and guests listened attentively to Andrew Beckett and Will Scott-Gall from Kroll talking about data theft and data loss. Everyone attending probably became more and more reflective during the talk.

  • How often have I logged into a wifi network without a password or one where I still had the password from my last connection? Not good!
  • Did I check the credentials of the network I used?
  • How often did I leave my laptop in a hotel room?

Practical examples of our daily life when using phones and laptops made it clear that data stored on these gadgets can easily be accessed by people who are a bit more technically skilled than the average user.

Companies' Risk Management has improved and a quick check with the audience showed that all companies represented that evening have guidelines in place in case of an emergency (e.g fire). We have been drilled what to do and what steps will be taken following an incident, including who will communicate what to customers, authorities and the media. None of the companies represented had had any such incident in the recent past.

Most hands went up when asked whether there were recent threats regarding data security or actual attacks such as phishing, smishing, unsolicited emails etc. Would any of the companies have a plan in place to react to such real and potentially fatal incidents? Today, a company's Risk Management and Communication Programme should include IT and Cyber risks as well. Management needs to be prepared to react promptly and effectively to protect stakeholder values.

Res Bachofner