Welcome to our final EMEA Quarterly Newsletter for 2019. First of all, I want to personally thank all our clients and partners for your ongoing trust and support and all the things we have accomplished together. During 2019 all RGA EMEA offices spent a lot of effort to deliver the best possible services to help our clients and partners succeed, considering the NMG Consulting All Respondent Business Capability Index (BCI) for 2019, that has recently been compiled, it is great to see that our initiatives pay off and our client recognition continues to remain high, indicating excellent levels of client satisfaction. Besides #1 rankings of our offices in Italy, the Netherlands and United Kingdom, RGA South Africa extended its long-standing market leadership, ranking #1 for the 10th consecutive year. An amazing achievement which makes me really proud!

First, the outcomes of your original objectives for 2019 are pretty well known by now. Have your plans succeeded, or have they fallen short, perhaps despite having a good strategy going into the year? In Losing Focus Means Losing Speed, I share some thoughts from my personal experiences as an endurance race driver and as a leader on why, even when you think you’re doing everything properly, you can still fall behind the pace.  

Focus is essential to clarity, and clarity has been achieved for many of those focusing on microinsurance, thanks to the release of long-awaited regulations for this emerging market. In Unpacking the Microinsurance Standards in South Africa, Ola Oyekan, Microinsurance Specialist for RGA South Africa describes the opportunities this has created for new entrants, informal players and consumers.

Opportunity was the key word when RGA opened its Netherlands and Nordics office ten years ago. In an interview, 10 Years On: RGA and the Nordics, the office’s Pricing Actuary, Mischa Wessel-Bakker describes how the life market in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark has evolved since we opened our doors there.

Meanwhile in the Middle East, catastrophe cover is becoming an important offering as every life block in the region faces unknown accumulations of risk, especially in the group market. This hidden exposure is like a sleeping giant, as explained by Tamer Saher, Director of Business Development for RGA Middle East, in his timely article, CAT Cover: A Defense Against the Sleeping Giant

Naturally, understanding everything possible about the risks we face is important to all of us, and Richard Russell, Lead Health Data Scientist for RGA UK, dives into RGA’s observations from genetic research and data analytics in his article, Polygenic Risk Scores: Quantifying the Inheritability of Common Diseases.

Thirty years ago, we knew next to nothing about how emerging AIDS epidemic would impact lives and our industry – let alone whether it could ever be controlled or cured. Much progress has been made, and much hope restored, since then. Hilary Henly, Head of Underwriting for RGA International in Ireland, has the latest information on the victories that have been achieved and challenges that remain in The HIV/AIDS Epidemic – What’s New.

Regulation is so often in the middle of changes and developing trends in our industry, and here are two good examples. First, RGA South Africa has been a heavily involved in the Hospital Cash market there. New regulations two and a half years ago changed the market quite a bit and led to some new trends that Jared Godwin, Business Development Actuary, has been following, and he reports on these in The Health Cash Shake-up.

More recently, the Pan-European Personal Pension (PEPP) regulation opened the door to new opportunities in Defined Contribution pensions for participants, employers and pension funds. Heiko Hoogendijk, Director, Business Development for RGA EMEA has been following these developments and summarizes what is happening in PEPPs – New Opportunities on the Horizon?

Sharing knowledge and innovative ideas is part of RGA’s DNA, so it was a natural step for us to sign on earlier this year as the exclusive sponsor of the actuview multimedia resource, designed to foster professional development and information sharing. Will Boland from RGA Global Marketing describes the videos and other resources now available in RGA Sponsorship of Multimedia Knowledge Portal

As always, we are grateful for your support and your business in 2019. I send you very warm wishes for a happy holiday season, and a successful New Year. I look forward to seeing you in 2020!

Olav Cuiper

Executive Vice President
Head of RGA EMEA

December 2019