Welcome to Monte Carlo Today

The Rendez-Vous de Septembre in Monte Carlo has again been cancelled in a physical form, due to COVID-19. But this year the industry was prepared. Even more so than last year, the industry has done what it does best—it has rallied together to reproduce the essence of that event, in a virtual form.

In 2021, companies have had more time to prepare. This year, press conferences, launches, roundtables, interviews and other events have all been arranged and will go ahead on various virtual platforms.

The Rendez-Vous’s Organising Committee and the wider industry have both done a fantastic job of recreating the buzz of the event—all online.

As a result, we are doing the same. In the following pages of Monte Carlo Today, we will be reporting on these events as well as providing in-depth analysis of industry news and opinion, based on our speaking to the most senior leaders in the industry—asking the challenging questions and delivering the answers.

For the first time, this year the publication is truly multimedia. Almost all of our exclusive interviews and panel discussions are available in these pages for you to watch and listen to—in addition to reading our reporting on them.

We hope you find the content in these pages useful and informative—it may even give you an edge on the competition.

Wyn Jenkins, managing editor, Intelligent Insurer

A sneak preview: more exclusive content and interviews inside

Execs willing to meet will gain edge in ‘fraught’ negotiations: Convex CEO

A big gap exists between the expectations of buyers and sellers, says Convex’s Paul Brand, who believes companies willing to meet in person will gain a competitive advantage over those who are reticent.

Negotiations around the year-end renewal will be “slow, difficult and slightly fraught” given the size of the gap between the expectations of buyers and sellers, according to Paul Brand, chief executive officer, Convex, who described how Convex has been ironing out some of the “kinks” in its system after two years of rapid growth.

Speaking to Monte Carlo Today via video interview hosted by Intelligent Insurer’s Re/insurance Lounge, Brand said that despite some positives around rates hardening, startups entering the industry and new capital being raised, this has been diminished by far more negative news that reinsurers must grapple with.

“From cat losses to COVID-19 to inflation to questions about the adequacy of reserves—you can go on and on. After the industry experienced some positive results, some people thought the industry might move the other way on pricing.

“But after recent losses and the concerns they have raised around loss inflation and climate change, I think the opposite will now be true. All that will drive prices firmer,” Brand said.

A sneak preview: more exclusive content and interviews inside

As 2022 looms, are insurance-linked securities maturing?

There’s a lot of positives in the air for the sector, says Aon Securities’ Paul Schultz.

Bermuda: ‘the Silicon Valley of the insurance world’

BSX head Greg Wojciechowski discusses the importance of the Island as a centre for the global re/insurance industry.

A sneak preview: more exclusive content and interviews inside

Postlewhite predicts divergence of P&C renewal rate rises

QBE Re managing director of global reinsurance Steve Postlewhite reckons that the increases will not be equal across all lines of business in the market—and may not be sufficient for the risk on books.

In all the conversations and negotiations currently underway around the virtual vista of the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous, the talk on all sides is that prices are going one way: up.

After a year ravaged by the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple high-profile, and unexpected, natural catastrophe losses, the reinsurance industry is experiencing a definitive hardening market.

However, there remains a significant degree of uncertainty about the nature and size of those increases and which sectors are most likely to benefit from the rises, even as a broad consensus about the overall direction of rates emerges.

QBE Re managing director of global reinsurance Steve Postlewhite came to Intelligent Insurer’s 1.1 Club to discuss how the market is changing and what carriers and clients can expect from the forthcoming renewals.