Global reinsurers to lobby for distance from banks

September 7, 2009

deniskessler   MONACO, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Eleven of the world’s biggest reinsurers will work to find common positions on tax, solvency, accounting and other rules and avoid being tarred with the same regulatory brush as banks, the group said late on Sunday.
   “The questions we face are global. This is new. We need a global voice to address global issues,” Scor <SCOR.PA> Chief Executive Denis Kessler, sitting alongside nine other reinsurance chief executives, told a briefing for journalists.
   Kessler said the group, called the Global Reinsurance Forum, believed strongly in markets and would continue to compete fiercely in all other areas.
   “This forum will never deal with business issues,” he said at the briefing, held on the margins of annual meetings here between reinsurers and their insurance company clients.
   A near-term focus of the group would be to maintain a level playing field for reinsurers relative to banks as regulatory changes heat up in the wake of the financial crisis, said Partner Re <PRE.N> Chief Executive Patrick Thiele.
   “We want to make sure that politicians and regulators understand that there are different business models between banking and reinsurance and they should, in the normal world, keep us out of that kind of debate,” Thiele said.
   Peter Levene, chairman of the Lloyd’s [LOL.UL] insurance market in London, agreed.
   “Banks have got real problems but our industry is in good shape and we are very keen to make sure that people understand these are two different businesses,” he said.
   The forum’s member companies must be global, have reinsurance as their core business and must not be state-owned, Kessler said, adding that he hoped more reinsurers would join the group, whose CEOs would meet once or twice a year.
    Chief executives at the table with Kessler, Thiele and Levene were Swiss Re’s <RUKN.VX> Stefan Lippe, Toa Re’s Hiroshi Fukushima, Munich Re’s <MUVGn.DE> Nikolaus von Bomhard, Transatlantic Re’s <TRH.N> Robert F. Orlich, Hannover Re’s <HNRGn.DE> Ulrich Wallin, General Re’s <BRKa.N> Franklin Montross and XL Re’s <XL.N> Mike McGavick.
   RGA’s <RGA.N> chief was unable to attend. (Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Jason Rhodes; Editing by David Holmes) ((Reuters Messaging:; +49 69 7565 1242))
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 Monday, 07 September 2009 07:18:01RTRS [nL6190192] {EN}ENDS

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