What you don't know can hurt you

Dave Ingram and Johann Meeke of Willis Re describe the sound practices needed to make emerging risk management work as a process for preparing for "unknown unknowns."


Eberhard Mueller's dual view of risk at Hannover Re

Being both CRO and chief actuary gives him a stronger grip on the firm's risk management than most of his peers. He describes his role and his approach to Jessica Baylis.


Analysing the CEIOPS consultation papers

CEIOPS produced a veritable library of material on 26 March: 12 papers covering internal models, governance systems, technical provisions, valuation of assets and many other issues. These papers form the first set of draft formal advice on Solvency II level 2 implementing measures for consultation. Watson Wyatt guides us through them.


How big a test will the ORSA be?

For firms preparing for Solvency II, there's no let-up. If they thought modelling issues were one of the most challenging aspects of the directive, they're now beginning to worry seriously about another part of Solvency II, the own risk and solvency assessment (ORSA). There has been little information and little guidance from the authorities on ORSA and that has only fuelled concern about how much of a burden it will create for firms complying with it.


Insurers face up to underwriting for profit

Without their usual solid investment returns to fall back on, insurers will have to work harder to make a profit in 2009. Helen Yates considers their options.


Constructing a term structure of unconditional interest rate volatility

Making assumptions about uncertainty far into the future, as insurance companies have to, is fraught with difficulty, especially as the data is limited beyond 10 years. Steffen Sorensen of Barrie & Hibbert explains how to tackle this problem.


"Financial crisis boosts opportunities for actuaries"

Actuaries invented many techniques for managing risk; now they should take on a wider role in finance, says Seamus Creedon. He also talks about proportionality, ORSA and other Solvency II issues.


Trying to find the sting in the tail

Tail risk is hard to understand and very difficult to mitigate. But the effects can be seen, disastrously, in the banking industry. Jessica Baylis talks to those looking for answers


To VaR or not to VaR?

Value-at-Risk (VaR) is appropriate and effective for its proper purpose "" but it addresses only one of the two key challenges of financial risk management, argues David Rowe


Prepare your models for the six tests now

Graham Fulcher reviews the Solvency II test criteria for internal models and offers practical advice on dealing with them in advance of further guidance from CEIOPS in June.


Maintaining insurability in a changing climate

Higher and more volatile weather risks could make increasing numbers of people and properties uninsurable. But there are ways to address this, says Celine Herweijer


ING battles to preserve its risk management reputation

The Dutch group's risk management system seemed one of the best, until the government had to rescue ING last year. What went wrong? Jessica Baylis reports.


Why we need to redefine the "e" in ERM

In this interview, leading risk consultant James Lam argues for much more effective risk management and a radical expansion of the ERM concept


Can capital pressures be run off?

As fourth-quarter results reveal depleted balance sheets for many insurers, exiting unprofitable lines of business could become more popular for managing capital. Helen Yates reports.


(Re)insurers face difficult choices on capital

The range of options for bolstering capital has decreased as the credit crunch has intensified. Risk retention vehicles may have a role to play, argue Adrian Richardson and John Reed


"Non-toxic" investments may hit European insurers' capital base

While some European firms are still reeling from investments in "toxic" paper, concern is mounting about potential losses in more mainstream holdings, as Sarfraz Thind reports


Germany maps out route to Solvency II

The MaRisk VA circular raises the country's preparations for 2012 to a new level. One result: risk management will become more of a board concern. Report by Jessica Baylis


Why we favour a statistical approach to hurricane forecasting

The results beat other methods and the forecasts are getting closer to reality, say Philip Klotzbach and William Gray


Europe races against time to resolve group support issue

Meetings have started in Brussels to thrash out Solvency II sticking points, especially the big one, group support. Can they prevent the directive being delayed? Jessica Baylis reports.


How insurers can use risk appetite to set risk limits

Producing a risk appetite statement is not easy; cascading it into a comprehensive limit structure even harder. But the rewards for achieving this are significant, explains Karl Chappell