|the international society of CATASTROPHE managers|
Successful September ISCM conference in Zurich/Switzerland - "Are we over-engineering nat cat models?"
Do you sometimes struggle with the vast number of options in today's natural catastrophe models? Do you feel that that they are getting ever more complex? If so, you're not alone, as our second ISCM conference in Zurich "Are we over-engineering nat cat models?" showed.
This year, the event was hosted by Partner Re at their premises on Zurich's lake shore. A crowd of close to 100 re/insurance professionals from the greater Zurich area attended in anticipation of controversial discussions between all relevant stakeholders: insurers, reinsurers (including non-traditional capital markets players), brokers, modelling companies and associated organisations all shared their views on this hot topic.
Erik Ruettener and Manuel Prechtl from conference host Partner Re launched the afternoon event with their welcome address and opening remarks. Then the heat turned up perceptibly, as Beach Associate's Rick Thomas– not known for holding back with clear statements – took the stage to present his view on why cat models (or at least parts of them) were indeed over-engineered. He was followed by an equally adept presentation from RMS's Robert Muir-Wood, outlining thoughts on where cat models do have leeway for further improvements.
These opening statements successfully laid the grounds for the subsequent panel discussion. The ISCM Zurich event organising committee had secured a diverse set of senior leaders with a total cat risk experience of well over a 100 years: Milan Simic from AIR, Joerg Steffensen from Hannover Re, Matthew Eagle from Guy Carpenter, Sibylle Steimen from Allianz and Eduard Held from PERILS. Paul Della-Marta brilliantly mastered the tough job of keeping the discussion on track, as well as ensuring lively participation from the audience. And what was the overall sentiment on the question of over-engineered nat cat models at the end of this afternoon? Well, it was a tie… the spontaneous poll taken after the panel finished showed an almost equal split into a pro and a con camp. Closing remarks by Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace of Scor and Peter Zimmerli of Swiss Re rounded off an interesting exchange amongst nat cat professionals.
As well as enjoying the content of the conference, participants appreciated the opportunity to network. The coffee break in the middle of the afternoon was eagerly utilised by all to refresh old connections and build new ones. And even after the event closed and evening started to set in, a large bunch of cat experts continued to mingle on the premises of Partner Re. And a dare-devil remainder of the group went on to test food & wine quality in a near-by restaurant, but this will have to remain a story for another day!
The organisation of such an event, as always, would not be possible without the help of a number of people contributing with great dedication. The core organising committee consisting of Peter Zimmerli, Manuel Prechtl and Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace, is grateful for the dedication shown by Lysiane Mayoraz and Stefan Rimkus from Scor, Paul Della-Marta, Anne-Sophie Scheidegger and Irene Staedeli from Partner Re, Dominik Renggli from Swiss Re and Maria Frontoso from RMS. A great thank you also goes to all speakers that accepted our invitation and especially those who had to travel some distance to Zurich.
Last but not least: After Scor in 2016 and Partner Re in 2017, calendars can already be marked for 2018 – Swiss Re committed to host next year's ISCM Zurich event in its newly inaugurated building across the lake on the 20th of September 2018. Stay tuned for more on this!
The Zurich ISCM events have always relied on the infrastructure provided by a hosting company – this year it was Partner Re. Key faces behind the flawless organisation within Partner Re were (from left to right) Paul Della-Marta, Erik Ruettener and Manuel Prechtl.