FERMA has accomplished an enormous amount during the two years that I have been its president. Our starting point has been the question from the board – how can we continue to strengthen the voice of risk managers in Europe?
We approached this challenge two principal ways. One is increased support for our member associations, and the other is more links with other organisations at European level. Both give us a firm platform for our goals.
At board level, we have expanded the work that we are able to do by decentralising. The high level working groups on benchmarking and certification are outstanding examples of this policy. Strategic direction comes from the board, but not every member of the board has to be involved in the detail of every project. It has been my target not to have my footprint in everything!
This year, we have increased the support we can offer our members by strengthening the FERMA staff and empowering them. I am sure you have noticed the difference that they are making.
We have become a welcome participant in discussions with the European Commission and other European institutions. I was very proud to meet with the European Parliament on behalf of FERMA.
We are a strong partner for other associations, including those representing internal auditors, directors, insurers and insurance intermediaries. FERMA has now met the important European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and David Cowan, EIOPA’s principal expert for consumer protection, addressed our general assembly in June. He spoke about EIOPA’s role as a european supervisory authority, its position on the recast Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD2) and its current work in the area of consumer protection.
On 3 June, we held our first event with the insurance law association AIDA Europe. The risk managers and the lawyers who attended the seminar in Paris responded very positively, and we intend to work closely with AIDA Europe in the future.
Insurance law is an important topic for all risk managers – even if they are not directly involved in the insurance programme. However, most risk managers do deal with insurable risk and insurance at some level, and we are grateful to the insurance industry for the support that it gives to FERMA. Look at the list of Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors for the Forum and you will see how valuable that is to us.
In terms of European laws and regulations, we are building steadily on our understanding and commenting regularly and knowledgeably on European issues. Having a resource in-house has made this easier and more cost-effective.
Since the 2012 general assembly, we have issued three position papers on EU proposals and there will be a fourth very soon. They cover IMD2, coinsurance, the proposal for a European pollution fund and non-financial risk reporting in the development of corporate governance.
This year for the first time we teamed up with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, insurer Zurich and the public sector risk management association, PRIMO, in a series of three research projects.
We have a stable infrastructure for managing our events and administration, and we have also strengthened our communications. Our website visits and social media followers have more than doubled since the start of 2012. We have also built up the content in our newsletter and we are getting favourable feedback. Journalists regularly ask FERMA for comments and contributed articles.
Seminar and benchmarking
In the autumn, we completed the sixth edition of our risk management benchmarking survey. It remains the broadest view of risk management across Europe. Our partners AXA Corporate Solutions and Ernst & Young are keen to continue with the survey in 2014 and so are we.
In 2012 for the first time, we opened the seminar to other sponsors, and it was self-supporting. This is important so that it can remain free for risk managers to attend. It was also the first time we took a FERMA event to France, and were warmly welcomed by AMRAE. We had great participation with a record attendance of about 350 people.
Our exciting project to develop European certification for risk management competence is underway. This is an ambitious scheme, and the working group is looking at several possible approaches. FERMA is also supporting IFRIMA in examining the possibility of international certification.
We hope that our members will now make use of our resources to bring their own issues to the Commission and other European bodies. Something which affects one association is likely to find others with the same concerns and we can bring them together.
We would also like to invite individual association members to get involved on projects that they are passionate about. You don’t need to be an office holder. Please let us know