Interview: Yogesh Lohiya, GIC Re
All eyes on Europe
Intelligent Insurer speaks with Yogesh Lohiya, chairman and managing director of GIC Re, about the opportunities which the company has in its sights.
Q For how many years has GIC Re what do you see as the main advantages?
been attending Baden-Baden and A We have been present in Baden-Baden since 2001. Forums such as Baden-
Baden and Monte Carlo offer a unique oppor- tunity to meet large numbers of business associ- ates in one place. The informal atmosphere and the spirit of camaraderie that prevails in these forums allows free discussions on matters of mutual interest. We are concentrating on achieving a 50:50 split in our domestic and international business by 2013. Also, we have quite a substantial pres- ence in European markets, so it is important that we keep abreast of what is happening in markets in which we operate.
Q What do you see as the main meeting?
talking points at this year’s A Today, the reinsurance market continues to be over-capitalised. The total global
reinsurer capital reached $445 billion by the end of June, 2011. Major catastrophe losses in the first two
quarters of the current year have not really been able to shake up the markets into hard- ening.
One reason that the global reinsurance ca- pacity is abundant today is that for the last cou- ple of years other financial markets have failed to give decent returns to the investors, hence they are flocking here. Insurance and reinsur- ance is still a safe haven. To ensure
that this newfound interest
doesn’t die down too soon and the investors are adequately rewarded is our responsibility. Another issue is that if the investment mar- kets are bad they are bad, for everyone, us included. We, the members of the reinsurance frater-
nity, will have to remember that the traditional capital markets are the source of our returns and as that source is bringing diminishing re- turns, it is imperative that we concentrate on our core forte: underwriting expertise. Adaptation
to the changing scenario is
the key strategy for survival. We
will need to identify
new areas of investment and will have to exploit emerging markets. We always look at catas-
trophe events post-event. We should, rather, focus on cli- mate change which is perhaps the genesis of these mega cat events that are happening with an increasing frequency across the globe. With this, the in- dustry also needs a fresh look at the recent changes in cat modelling. Solvency II
would be another area that needs discussion in the mar- kets, especially with regard to companies based in non-EU markets but operating in EU markets.
Q You’ve been growing GIC’s business in
Europe. What lines of business do you see the best prospects in?
A In Europe we look at short-tail business rine classes are right now our focus.
Q GIC Re recently launched its eThru electronic placement
system. Why did you develop the system and what are your plans for it? The present process of exchanging business transactions depends on email as the medium of communication and attachments as the supporting information. This process involves duplication of effort in terms of data entry by the sender of the email message as well as the recipient of the message in their own respective systems. Hence, there is scope to: • • •
Increase process efficiency
Achieve transactional cost savings Enhance customer service quality
18 | INTELLIGENT INSURER —BADEN-BADEN TODAY | Monday October 24 2011 lines. Aviation, property, energy and ma- • •
Raise transparency levels by provid- ing customers with a transaction status tracking mechanism
Enable faster reconciliation and settle- ment of balances.
eThru is an initiative aimed at building a new channel for conducting business by leverag- ing investment in an organisation’s technology platforms. This will provide the capability to handle a greater volume of business with faster turn-around and response times, leading to en- hanced customer satisfaction.
Q Does GIC expect rates to harden A No. Local and regional markets may re-
in 2012? act to catastrophe events happening in
their neighbourhood by negligible hardening of prices locally. Globally, however, in view of abundant capacity, a hard market is a remote possibility.
Yogesh Lohiya, chairman and managing director of GIC Re
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