FERMA was sad to learn of the death of Ralf Oelssner, Vice President of FERMA from 2003 to 2005 and a long serving chairman of DVS. He was 70. He was vice president of corporate insurance at German airline Lufthansa until his retirement in 2007 and had headed its large insurance and reinsurance captives.

Ralf Oelssner

Ralf Oelssner

As a representative of Lufthansa, Ralf was elected to the committee of DVS in 1993 and to the board in 1989. He became its vice-chairman in 1995 and chairman of the board in 1999. Ralf was instrumental in the DVS becoming a member of FERMA. He remained closely connected with the association after his retirement from the committees in 2008 and because of his great services for the association, he was appointed honorary member of DVS.

FERMA Secretary General Pierre Sonigo comments, “I got to know Ralf when he became Vice President of FERMA and always appreciated his wisdom and deep knowledge of risk management. He was a true gentleman and a real European.”

Just before his retirement from Lufthansa, Ralf received a lifetime achievement award from Business Insurance Europe. He told the publication: “In 1979, when I started in this role, nobody knew how to spell risk management. It existed, but it was just not called risk management. Of course we had safety rules, legislation and the like that was linked to risk management, but nobody actually called it that. It was just done. If you look at the bottom line, risk management is nothing else but the application of common sense” .