Tel Aviv Re 2008
Mr. Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv – Jaffa
Mr. Graham White, Chief Executive Officer of Chaucer Syndicates and Vice Chairman of Lloyd’s
Mr. Yadin Antebi, Commissioner of the capital markets and insurance at the Finance Ministry of Israel
Mr. Gideon Hamburger, Chairman of the Israel Insurance Companies Association
Mr. Zeev Even Chen, Managing Director of Israel Insurance Companies Association & Life Insurance Companies Association Ltd.
This is the second year that Israel’s insurance industry is convening its Tel Aviv Re convention and the response of reinsurers worldwide attests, I believe, to the economic interest of leading global insurance companies in the Israeli insurance market and the relationship that has developed over the many years of cooperation.
The State of Israel has enjoyed economic growth in recent years and the global financial crisis has not quite been able to traverse the Mediterranean Sea. However, we are part of the global village, and it is apparent that what will come to pass in the world will transpire locally as well.
Israelhas recorded a growth of 5.4% in this quarter. In recent days the Israeli currency has become a convertible currency in world markets, one of only seventeen currencies. The strength of the Israeli currency as opposed to major currencies worldwide is reason for us to consider anchoring agreements based on the shekel. The foreign currency insurance mechanism creates sub insurances for clients and imbalanced between the Israeli markets and reinsurers as we experienced in the mid 80's. All these should lead to investments of reinsurers in the Israeli capital markets to eliminate currency risks exposure.
The local arena has been undergoing a huge transformation in recent years whereby Israeli insurance companies are becoming financial institutions, with major role in the capital market, the credit market and management of short-term investment assets. I believe the reinsurers may constitute an important and significant business partner in this regard, as well as in the insurance risk coverage.
The global insurance market was in the last 2 years a soft market, a market that invites new players to join in. The Israeli insurance market is saturated and very competitive, and the soft market transport in significant reducing of prices locally.
However, it is a cyclical market and insurance risks exist and it will continue to conduct itself according to statistic dispersal over time. I believe the relations and trust between local and global market players will bear out in difficult times as well. The inflating regulation makes it hard on all of us at different periods of time, however the upcoming transition to Solvency II, along with economic capital management, guarantee an additional rationalization in the market that will procure improvement in pricing risks and allocating resources.
The Tel Aviv Re convention benefits from the fact that it takes place during a period of time that is not part of the main processes in terms of renewal, annual agreements and analyzing results. This allows for fruitful and straightforward discussions that are not subject to the pressure of work plans. I wish us all an interesting and enjoyable convention that will form another link in all of our relationships, business ties that in many instances have resulted in personal relationships.