FERMA Active in EC Drive to Expand Risk Management Techniques

The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has been taking an increasingly active role in supporting the efforts of the European Commission to expand the use of risk management techniques in the European Union and other countries.

FERMA’s Executive Manager Florence Bindelle addressed a conference of the Turkish insurance community in Istanbul on Friday, June 24, as part of the EC’s program. It’s the second time that the Commission has called on expertise from FERMA in its Technical Assistance Exchange Instrument (TAIEX) program for the expanding community. This “reflects a widening regard for FERMA as a source of knowledge about risk management and a means of communication with European risk managers,” said the association’s announcement.

“The aim of these particular seminars is to help new and potential new EU members understand current insurance directives and the standards of risk management increasingly in demand by trading partners in the Community,” it continued. Bindelle talked to the audience of 100 Turkish insurers, brokers, regulators and risk managers about the evolution of risk management in Europe, business expectations and best practice in risk management. FERMA is supporting risk managers in Turkey in the development of a national association that could be launched as early as October 2005.

Europe still has a long way to go in adopting risk management techniques. While over 80 percent of U.S. companies regularly employ risk managers, European companies range from a high of over 30 percent in the U.K., to around 6 percent in Italy. FERMA, which groups national risk management associations, has been taking an increasingly active role in promoting European risk management.

As an example the bulletin noted that Pierre Sonigo, Secretary General of FERMA, “took part in the first ever European forum for insurance intermediaries organized in May (2005) by BIPAR, the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries. He is also a member of the working party set up by the ComitĂ© EuropĂ©en des Assurances (CEA) to look at the insurance implications of the European environmental directive.”

FERMA’s president Thierry van Santen commented: “FERMA’s visibility has increased. We have developed contacts with the European Commission and other European associations. We are also in touch with other risk management associations who are considering membership applications and have received various requests from individuals in European countries where there is no risk management association and elsewhere who are interested in becoming members of FERMA. This shows clearly that risk management is becoming truly international and that FERMA is the place to be for professional risk managers.”