Welcome to our first EMEA Quarterly newsletter of 2019. Our industry is currently in a very dynamic time, driven by new technology, regulatory pressure and changing consumer behaviour. In response, there are exciting and innovative initiatives taking place in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it is a pleasure to call some of these to your attention in this newsletter.

For example, after two years of hearing hundreds of incredible ideas from dreamers, thinkers and doers in the UK on how to enhance and transform the experience of life, health and retirement industry professionals and consumers, RGAX has extended its third annual Big Ideas contest to Continental Europe. In What’s the Big Idea for 2019?, Emmanuel Djengue, Innovation Director for RGAX, writes about how the contest works, and how you can follow its progress in March and April via Social Media.

Another form of transformation is consolidation of insurers, as we have seen on a large scale in Europe. Paul Sauvé, Senior Vice President, GFS EMEA, provides an overview of consolidations we have seen, and describes a still largely untapped opportunity in his article, European Life Insurance Consolidation Summary: from Local Heroes to a Final Frontier.

While our industry is unquestionably competitive, it is also becoming more collaborative, especially regarding issues that impact us all, such as the staggering suicide rate in the UK. Recently the RGAX EMEA team, in conjunction with Cookhouse Lab, a portfolio company of RGAX, conducted a three-day design thinking sprint around suicide prevention. It brought together a diverse group of reinsurers, insurers and consultants, many with operational experience in the areas of actuarial, claims, or underwriting, to address the issue and they came up with three solutions that can save lives. Mitch Ocampo, Co-CEO of Cookhouse Lab, takes you through the process in his article, How Can the Insurance Industry Contribute to Suicide Prevention?

One of the reasons we see so much change in our business is because our customers are changing, especially in the way (and where) they work. Disability carriers in particular are seeing new challenges in how to classify and rate new occupations, industries and part-time arrangements in the so-called “gig economy”. Dipa Dass, Business Development Actuary for RGA South Africa, offers insight into some methodologies for addressing this evolving environment in her article, The Changing World of Work.  

Tamer Saher, Director of Business Development for RGA Middle East was recently interviewed in Middle East Insurance Review regarding developments in this market, and we are happy to feature Middle East Outlook – 2019 and Beyond here as well. In the interview, Tamer offers his thoughts on the key trends and challenges for life insurers, the emergence of technology, the role of governments, and the trust gap between consumers and insurers.

The exponential growth of data and the massive increases in computer processing power are also changing how we do business. Yunus Piperdy, Head of Underwriting Innovation Strategy for RGA UK, and Scott Rushing, Head of Global Research and Data Analytics, describe the impact these developments are having on understanding and quantifying mortality risk in their report, Past, Present and Future of Risk Factors.

Amidst all this change, there is likely no area experiencing as much global upheaval as healthcare. In The Digital Future of Health Insurance, Alan Watts, RGA’s Senior Vice President of Global Health offers a call to action and a path forward in addressing the fundamental challenges facing health insurers as they work to make healthcare more accessible, affordable, equitable and high-quality.

As always, we are grateful for your continued support and business. Our EMEA region is on track for another successful year, and we know this is possible because of the trust you place in us. We are eager to continue to earn that trust and to do our part in helping you to succeed.

Olav Cuiper

Executive Vice President, Head of EMEA
RGA International Reinsurance Company dac

March 2019