Closing date for European Risk Management Awards draws near

The deadline for entries into this year’s European Risk Management Awards, hosted by FERMA and Commercial Risk Europe, is fast approaching. Nominations, which must come from FERMA member associations, are due by 28 July.

The 2017 awards follow the successful launch event last year and will once again reward excellence in risk and insurance management, as well as best-in-class performance from key service providers. They will conclude in an awards ceremony and gala dinner in London on 6 November.


  • European Risk Manager of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Innovative Insurance Programme
  • Rising Star

For more information contact

Véronique De Hertogh: veronique.dehertogh@ferma.eu or see HERE

Cyber risk governance event: registration now open


Registration is now open for the high level event organised by FERMA at the European Parliament on 29 June for the publication of At the Junction of Corporate Governance and Cybersecurity.  This report, developed jointly with the European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditing (ECIIA), contains proposals for a new European model of cyber risk governance.

Hosted by Lithuanian MEP Antanas Guoga, the conference will include speakers from the World Economic Forum, the Malta EU Presidency,the European Commission and, of course, risk and audit practitioners from European businesses. It is open to all interested risk professionals.

This report is the conclusion of six months of work by an expert group between FERMA and ECIIA, representing risk managers and internal auditors from eight EU countries and six economic sectors. Together they have developed innovative ways for organisations to internally organise the management of cyber risks.

The WannaCry attacks in May heightened awareness of the necessity of risk management readiness for cyber risks within a suitable governance framework. As the report will show, proactive work between the risk manager and the key functions of the company will allow a company to stress test its vulnerability to cyber risks and devise mitigation strategies.

For more details and registration, click HERE

Event details

29 June at 16.15-18.15 CET

European Parliament Room JAN 6Q1

FERMA Forum Keynote speakers

A stellar line up of KEYNOTE SPEAKERS to put the risk manager in pole position

Three eminent keynote speakers will fulfil the theme of the 2017 FERMA Forum: Risk manager in pole position: steering risks in turbulent times.

They are Swedish’s former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt; NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Jamie Shea; and Formula One’s Mark Gallagher.


Carl Bildt’s keynote address will be part of the Forum’s focus on Europe at the Crossroads, which is also the subject of a high level panel discussion. Sweden’s Prime Minister

from 1991 to 1994 and Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2014, Carl Bildt is today associated with a number of international organisations. He serves on the advisory boards of the Centre for European Reform (London), the Aspen Institute Italia (Rome) and RAND Europe.

He is currently the Chair of the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG), an initiative that will produce a comprehensive standard on internet governance. Noted internationally for his activities in resolving the Balkan conflict, Carl Bildt came of age as a thinker at a time when politicians and intellectuals sought refuge from war in the power of international organisations.







Jamie Shea, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, will provide the closing keynote speech on risk communication. He has been working with NATO since 1980, including in communications roles. The division that he heads today handles a growing range of non-traditional risks and challenges including terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber defence and energy security.

Outside NATO, Jamie Shea is involved with several prominent academic institutions, including the Collège d’Europe, Bruges; University of Sussex, England and the American University, Washington DC.




Mark Gallagher will present a different perspective as he explains how Formula 1 moved risk management to front and centre of its activities following two fatal crashes one weekend in 1994. His introductory address is highly relevant to the venue of the Forum in Monaco, the home of one of Formula One’s prestigious events, the Monaco Grand Prix.

Today CEO of Performance Insights, Mark Gallagher began his career with Formula One in 1983. He spent seven years working in the media and as a consultant to Philip Morris International before joining Eddie Jordan’s fledgling Grand Prix team in 1990. He was a member of the team’s management board. He became part of the newly created Red Bull Racing management team in 2004, and was invited to lead Cosworth’s return to Formula One as an engine and technology supplier in 2010.


Last chance for Forum early registration offers

Discounts of up to €250 are still available for the 2017 FERMA Forum, and registered risk managers can bring a colleague for free – but only until 30 June.

Registration provides access to the entire FERMA Risk Management Forum, including the welcome reception, general sessions and opening keynote, exhibition hall (access to 50 exhibiting companies, three lunches and coffee breaks, two cocktails in the hall) and all workshops.http://archives.ferma.eu/ferma-forum-2017/

Leadership in lights

See the first Forum video:http://archives.ferma.eu/ferma-forum-2017/discover-the-forum-video/

Expert view: Brexit trade deal to serve insurance buyers By Dave Matcham, CEO, International Underwriting Association

Brexit trade deal to serve insurance buyers

By Dave Matcham, CEO, International Underwriting Association

Ever since the UK voted last June to leave the European Union, both the UK Government and EU negotiators have expressed a desire to sign an ambitious free trade agreement that minimises tariffs and regulatory barriers to cross-border business, including for insurance and reinsurance.

The London Market Group, which represents companies in the International Underwriting Association (IUA), Lloyd’s and brokers, is pushing strongly a right for UK-based insurers and reinsurers to accept business introduced to them by brokers from the EU. At the same time, a reciprocal right must be offered for EU carriers to do business in the London Market, unimpeded by additional capital requirements.

A free trade deal will not be easy. If no settlement is reached, the default position would be for the UK to fall back on its membership of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The prospect of trading advantages for insurance, and financial services generally, under the WTO General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS)- annex, is far from certain. A “prudential carve-out” allows regulators to take any prudential measures they deem necessary to protect policy holders and ensure financial stability.

A new trade agreement between the UK and EU, therefore, is by far the best outcome to the Brexit negotiations. This would enable the London Market to continue providing uninterrupted cover to clients across the continent. Specifically, the London Market Group’s Brexit Roadmap calls for regulatory equivalence under Solvency II to be agreed with prudential regulatory regimes, so that companies can continue to be supervised by their home state.

 Contingency plans

An early agreement on an implementation period to move to a new deal is also to minimise business disruption. Uncertainty over whether insurance policies will be enforceable is already affecting the decisions of insurance clients, and current market access rights should be maintained in any interim period.

Many clients require policies with terms of three years and longer, which means that they now need certainty beyond March 2019, the scheduled deadline for Brexit. Even renewals for single year policies are only a matter of months away. This pressure of time is driving the decision-making of the industry. Insurance brokers, UK insurers and EU insurers in London are now considering the future structure of their organisations and making contingency plans that will need to be implemented in case no deal trade is struck.

Such plans include the creation of separate subsidiary companies in various EU member states. No single destination has emerged as a dominant choice with organisations generally opting for locations that put them close to their customer base and fit best with their existing global structures.

So far, the Brexit debate has, of course, raged most fiercely in the UK. Yet European companies will undoubtedly be significantly impacted by a change in the UK’s relationship with EU. Of the IUA’s 47 member companies, only five have headquarters in the UK. One-quarter of the IUA’s membership is accounted for by firms with head offices in other EU member states, including eight from Germany.

Clearly, a comprehensive trade deal, establishing mutual recognition between insurance regulators, is in all our interests. The London Market is a vital European and global insurance hub, providing risk managers with access to a concentration of expertise and capital that is not available in local markets. As negotiations begin in the coming months, it will be important for politicians on both sides of the table to keep this firmly in mind.




President Column

By the time you read this newsletter, the UK may already have its new government. Whichever party wins, it must continue the process of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union, widely known as Brexit.

The deadline for Britain’s departure is March 2019. Between now and then will be a period of continuing uncertainty for all continental European companies who do business with the UK, or those from other parts of the world who use the UK as a gateway into the rest of the EU.

Overall, the role of the risk manager will be to support the implementation of appropriate measures and ensure, for example, that the usual risk management criteria apply to new contracts, even if they are with a different subsidiary of the same company.


For risk managers who are responsible for their company’s insurance programmes, there will be a closer involvement. The London Market is an important source of capacity, especially for specialised risks, for many European businesses. As the CEO of the International Underwriting Association, Dave Matcham explains in our Expert View, (read Expert View here) a new trade agreement between the UK and EU will be by far the best outcome to the Brexit negotiations for the London Market to continue providing uninterrupted cover to clients across the continent.

Considerable uncertainty remains over such a trade deal, however. In the meantime, FERMA members are happy to see that insurers want to continue to serve them and are anticipating possible scenarios, for example by setting up offices in other EU jurisdictions.

FERMA is closely monitoring the developments at European level and Brexit negotiations. We consider it a priority to keep our members informed.

Jo Willaert

FERMA statement on WannaCry

Jo Willaert

Statement from Jo Willaert, President of FERMA

The latest cyber attack illustrates clearly that the management of cyber risks should be an enterprise-wide project directed from board level within a sound governance framework. It also shows us that private sector organisations, suppliers of critical IT infrastructure, governments and security agencies must collaborate to build resilience to ever-shifting cyber threats.

FERMA is currently completing an important cyber security initiative in cooperation with the European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditing (ECIIA). On 29 June at the European Parliament, we will publish our recommendations for organisations for creating a robust cyber risk governance.

At the FERMA Forum 2017 from 15-18 October in Monaco, Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for the Emerging Security Challenges Division of NATO will be our closing keynote speaker. http://archives.ferma.eu/ferma-forum-2017/speaker/jamie-shea/ 




FERMA President Jo Willaert elected President of IFRIMA

Jo Willaert, the President of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has been elected President of the International Federation of Risk Management Associations (IFRIMA) for a term of two years. The election took place at the IFRIMA meeting during the annual RIMS conference in Philadelphia last week.

Jo says, “During my Presidency at IFRIMA, I want to focus on strengthening and reinforcing the dialogue and cooperation among risk management associations worldwide – so ensuring coherence in the actions and development of risk management globally. To do this, I will build on my experience as President of FERMA since 2015 representing a network of 22 associations in 21 European countries.”

IFRIMA has also announced the admission of a new member, the German risk management association GVNW. This brings IFRIMA membership to a total of a total of 21 risk management associations worldwide.

More information on IFRIMA website: http://www.ifrima.org/

Environmental Liability Directive: FERMA’s views on the Multi-Annual Work Programme (MAWP) for 2017-2020

Click above to read the full statement

On 11 April, the Secretary General of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) Gilbert Canaméras presented FERMA’s views on the future of the European Environmental Liability (ELD) to a public hearing held at the European Parliament.

He was one of the speakers representing stakeholders who participated in the hearing: Implementation of the European Liability Directive: the way forward

For FERMA The Commission’s MAWP has the potential to consolidate and strengthen best practices for the existing ELD. FERMA calls on the Commission to foster the dialogue between Member States and operators in the most sensitive industries using the MAWP as a framework to improve implementation of the ELD.

FERMA recommends that this dialogue includes the promotion of risk management practices to reduce the environmental risk for sensitive sectors.

FERMA Secretary General Gilbert Canaméras at the European Parliament on 11 April 2017





FERMA continues to advocate against the introduction of an EU-wide mandatory financial security scheme. We believe capital resources are scarce and that current insurance voluntary systems are working well.

A register of ELD incidents is an interesting idea to increase reliable and comparable data about ELD incidents, but it should be designed carefully, notably as regards its availability and level of detail.

Video replay of the hearing  can be seen here (FERMA starting from 43’45”)













Pauline Davoust, Winner Rising Star of the Year, FERMA Awards for Risk Excellence 2016, tells why risk management is such an appealing career.

Pauline Davoust is the Risk Manager, gategroup, Switzerland and SIRM board member. 

FERMA: How did you get into risk management?

I started my career in underwriting and client management in reinsurance and then insurance for various lines of business and discovered the role of risk manager during the risk surveys of my clients.

What drew you to risk management as a career?

I wanted to be closer to all the types of risks that a company is facing, to be able to change their nature and to find the best ways to mitigate them. The interesting part of risk management is dealing with the continuous changes of the environment which affect a company and find solutions. Receiving the first “Risk Manager Rising Star of the Year” award from FERMA confirmed for me that it was the right career choice, and it means a lot to me.

What is your education background?

I studied business administration in France, Sweden and Germany and specialised in insurance during my last year of study.

What do you think can make risk management an attractive choice of career for someone leaving university?

I believe that risk management is equally important to all the other key managerial roles in a company. In addition, it offers very good insight of the “health” of a company and provides interaction with all levels and departments. For these reasons, it makes it a very good career choice.

What do you think are the most useful skills for someone starting in the profession?

In my opinion, someone has good analytical skills, a fast understanding of risks and the ability to think outside the box, and who is solution-oriented can step into a risk management role and learn on the job. In addition you need to be able to communicate at all levels of a company, in various languages sometimes, and also to external stakeholders.

What are your career goals over the next five years?

In my vision, the role of a risk manager will be as fully integrated a process in the company’s strategy as the other key functions, and I will be dealing primarily with emerging risks. An obvious example is cyber risk which has become part of our daily risk landscape; however, the industry still has a long way to go towards full understanding.

Newsletter 76 – all articles