Edwin V. Meyer

The FERMA Risk Management Forum in 2015 should put its weight behind FERMA’s core activities, representing the views of its members with European institutions and acting as the voice of risk managers at European level. This view comes from the chairman of the programme committee for the event, FERMA board member Edwin V. Meyer.

“At the Forum, I would like to see attention to European issues, such as cyber risks and insurance law, which FERMA on behalf of its member associations is working on. The result should lead to the creation of a FERMA manifesto,” says Edwin. His aim is to have discussions and workshops during the event focus on selected European topics with a vote on the final day to establish agreed positions.

“We want to create an outcome that will strengthen FERMA’s position with regulators and add value for its members,” he explains. “Member associations can and do organise their own conferences. However, lobbying at European level is difficult for them to do, so FERMA needs to act as an aggregator of their opinions, and their collective views will carry more weight.”

The 2015 Forum will continue the overall theme of Living and Working in a Riskier World, in the terms of profession, innovation and diversity. On profession, it will focus on the wider stakeholders in the industry and their associations and, of course, the FERMA Risk Manager Certification. Innovation will address not only developments in insurance and risk management, but also disruptive technologies that will influence the future risk landscape. Diversity will encompass gender, age and culture. The key words for the work streams will be inspire, educate and influence.

“We plan to make the Forum content wider and more encompassing while largely maintaining the same format,” explains Edwin. With the framework agreed, the programme committee now has to fill out the programme with speakers and events.
“What are the promises we are making when we invite our members and our colleagues to take time out of their schedules and attend the FERMA Forum?” he asks.

“I want my spirit to be lifted, to be inspired and to take away tangible solutions rather than pure information. I also want to network and attend workshops together with industry colleagues to exchange views and to gain knowledge. Finally, I also want to feel that I have and can influence together with my colleagues European affairs by voting on common issues, creating one voice so that we can express our opinions and change minds,” he says.

For the first time, FERMA is introducing a diamond sponsorship that will be available to a leading company in the host country of the Forum. There are also other many and varied sponsorship opportunities at platinum, gold and silver levels. The sponsorship brochure and more information are available from Véronique De Hertogh in the FERMA office at .

Forum exhibition applications opening
Applications for exhibition stands at the FERMA Forum 2015 will open on 5 December.

There will be 600sqm of space available on two floor plans in the Casino. The FERMAgora will offer other opportunities for companies to interact and network with conference delegates.

ferma-forum-veniceVenice and risk
Bringing the FERMA Risk Management Forum to Venice is a return to the cradle of risk financing. We know that early types of insurance and associated instruments had already been developed in Imperial Rome. But it was really with the development of trade, shipbuilding and banking in the maritime republics of Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi, that we see the birth of modern insurance. The earliest known marine insurance policy dates from 1343 in Genoa.

By the 15th century, the fortunes of Venice had triumphed and with its trade, the city had become a major centre for marine insurance. The area between San Marco and the Rialto was a centre of commerce and marine insurance to the extent that one of the narrow lanes leading into the Rialto is called Calle della Sicurtà – or insurance street.

Apparently brokers in this street provided forms for shipowners to complete with their name, the name of the vessel and cargo, and the insured value. The brokers would then take the slip to other business people who would subscribe shares in the insurance of the venture. Co-insurance, therefore, has been a successful way of supporting trade for 500 years!

As the President of FERMA, Julia Graham, says, “The history and situation of Venice make the city a wonderfully appropriate venue for a risk management event. Venice has for centuries been associated with trade and the management of risk through the development of marine insurance.

“Today, Venice is also a symbol for risk management as it works to mitigate the effects of global warming and rising sea levels on its heritage. The reputation of the city is such that we expect a high very participation from risk managers, insurers and brokers from all over Europe. ANRA will ensure that we receive a warm welcome.”

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