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Arefyev says that Russia also needs to minimise corruption—in some

areas, the corruption component could be up to 50 percent of final product price.

“Our government is trying to achieve this, but this work needs to be supported by the public as well,” he says. “Unfortunately, people are still used to solving their problems by using bribes. Thirdly, we need to implement IFRS as the accounting standard for all companies—this will help to make accounting more transparent and understandable by foreign investors.”

Harry Hatfield, managing director at Guy Carpenter, says that Russian

reinsurers can become more attractive to the local market by tailoring their services to their clients in a way that

their larger international

peers cannot. “Domestically, reinsurers can maintain their position by giving a level of

service and attention, especially to medium and smaller clients, that the larger international reinsurers find difficult to provide,” he says.

Another issue is the Russian reinsurance market’s need to cultivate more

underwriting talent, argues Arefyev. “Russian reinsurance has a deficit of professional underwriters and

other experts,” he says. “This deficit, together with a lack of statistics, makes underwriting more magic than science. Such a situation could be resolved by the co-operation between market players and educational centres.

“Together, they could create and develop special education programmes

for future underwriters, accountants and claims-handling experts. Reinsurance experts should share their experience and knowledge with students to develop a new generation for the market.”

However, steps are being taken to cultivate young talent in both the Russian insurance and reinsurance markets, according to Artamonov.

“Annually, the specialised organisations hold insurance and reinsurance conferences in Russia,” he says. “It is pleasant to see not only familiar old business partners, but also new faces, the rising generation who can adopt experience from the colleagues on such events.

“Besides this, different roundtables and seminars for specialists take

place, on which experts of high level not only from Russia, but also Western colleagues participate, where it is possible to discuss flowing problems in the market, to exchange opinions, to consult.

“All these actions positively influence the development of talents in branch. I think the increase in the number of specialties on insurance and reinsurance in high schools would give a big push to the occurrence and development of capable human recourses,” he says.

It would appear then that while the reinsurers in Russia face a number

of significant challenges, they have taken the first step to deal with them, which is acknowledging them. Paired with improved training for the next generation of underwriters, the market looks set to begin overcoming the obstacles that currently stand in its way.

October 2011 | INTELLIGENT INSURER | 47

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