In the April 2020 issue How We Work During COVID-19 – Eric Muller-Borle Coronavirus: Ten Reasons Not to Panic – Ignacio López-Goñi How to Model A Pandemic – Christian Yates Coronavirus Might Make Buildings Sick – Caitlin R. Proctor, Andrew J. Whelton, William Rhoads Life After COVID-19: Dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? – Manuel Géa, François Iris, Athanasios Beopoulos

Life After COVID-19: Dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? – How We Work During COVID-19 – Coronavirus: Ten Reasons Not to Panic – How to Model A Pandemic – Coronavirus Might Make Buildings Sick

Save-the-Date Gallagher in June 2020 announced that the 2021 edition of the IBIS Academy would be held from May 24 to 28, 2021 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. For more information, a contact form is provided at https://www.ajg.com/us/events/ibis-academy/contact-us  

MAXIS Global Benefits Network (MAXIS GBN) in May 2020 announced that AXA COLPATRIA had joined the London-based global employee benefits network. AXA COLPATRIA provides medical coverage in Colombia as prepaid and health insurance. It is headed by Bernardo Rafael Serrano López, General Director and CEO. The company claims to be the sixth largest carrier in the Colombian PHI sector (pre-hospital and insurance) with a 6% market share and 220,000

The 50th edition of the IBIS Conference will be held online on Wednesday 13 May 2020 at 10am ET (1400 GMT/UTC, 1500 London time, 1600 CEST). It is the second one-hour roundtable of the 2020 IBIS event that covers the evolution of key global employee benefits and global mobility topics. The IBIS Conference will deal with the evolution of the COVID-19 crisis: Lessons learned; Unexpected consequences; and Innovative industry

The USA-based Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in May 2020 announced the cancellation of the 2020 Annual Conference & Exposition, citing “new directives from the San Diego Convention Center, the City of San Diego and the state of California”. The event previously was scheduled for late June in San Diego, CA. The cancellation is not really a surprise, as many U.S. states and foreign countries have prohibited large

The 50th edition of the IBIS Academy starts on Tuesday 12 May 2020 with the first of two one-hour roundtables that cover the evolution of key global employee benefits and global mobility topics. The IBIS Mobility Congress is devoted to refining global mobility strategies. On May 13, the IBIS Conference will deal with the evolution of the COVID-19 crisis: Lessons learned; Unexpected consequences; and Innovative industry response and solutions.

The tax division of global consultancy Deloitte in May 2020 published an analysis of permanent establishment and corporate residency issues in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. In a nutshell, employees stranded in a foreign country and performing remote work from there could unwittingly create a “permanent establishment” and/or a de-facto “corporate presence” in that country, which in turn would trigger tax consequences, potentially making their employer liable for

The 50th edition of the IBIS conference starts on Tuesday 12 May 2020. The longest-running international HR conference is available in a virtual format due (or is it thanks?) to the COVID-19 crisis. Two one-hour roundtables cover the evolution of key global employee benefits and global mobility topics: The IBIS Mobility Congress on May 12th at 10am ET is devoted to refining global mobility strategies. The IBIS Conference on

Multinational employee benefits network MAXIS Global Benefits Network (MAXIS GBN) in May 2020 announced the appointment of Mattieu Rouot as its new CEO. Based in London, UK, Rouot succeeds Mauro Dugulin who oversaw the move from France to London five years ago and the implementation of a strategy focusing on large corporates. Rouot is far from being a newcomer to MAXIS, having played a key role in shaping the

The 50th edition of the IBIS conference will be held on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 May 2020. The longest-running international HR conference was moved online due to the COVID-19 crisis. Two one-hour roundtables cover the evolution of key global employee benefits and global mobility topics: The IBIS Mobility Congress on May 12th is devoted to refining global mobility strategies. The IBIS Conference on May 13th, titled “Crossfire –

Zurich, Switzerland-based ASN, Advisory Services Network AG, in April 2020 announced the appointment of Dr. Guglielmo Callipari as its Practice Leader for Corporate Health. Guglielmo is in charge of the expansion of corporate business outside of Switzerland. Dr. Callipari is a recognized expert in global benefits and multinational pooling. As Regional Managing Director, he developed and opened Generali Employee Benefits (GEB)’s offices across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, as well as

The non-profit association behind the Rendez-Vous de Septembre (RVS) international reinsurance industry conference in April 2020 announced it had canceled the 2020 edition. The organizers cited uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 crisis as the reason behind their decision. RVS brings together around 3 000 leaders from the global insurance, reinsurance, and brokerage industry and marks the beginning of the annual cycle of renewals of corporate insurance contracts and reinsurance treaties.

MAXIS Global Benefits Network (MAXIS GBN) in April 2020 announced the appointment of David Watts as its new Director of Member Management, leading the network management team. The team includes four professionals. Based in London, UK, Watts reports to Jérôme Picon, Head of Finance & Operations. David previously was Senior Business Development Executive at MAXIS GBN. In 2002 he joined AIG Global Benefits Network (Alico) working as an Account

Due to global travel restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the 2020 Transatlantic Conference in April 2020 announced its postponement to 2021. The conference was originally planned to take place in Brussels on 27 – 29 May 2020 and is now postponed to 2, 3, and 4 June 2021 in Brussels. The venue is the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Le Palace Brussels, Rue Gineste

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Composite Leading Indicators (CLI) in April 2020 went into negative territory as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The CLI was on the path to recovery after a low point in September 2019 when the trajectory abruptly changed for the worse. In March 2020, the CLI level is at 98.77 vs the Feb 2020 level of 99.57, up from Jan

The 2020 edition of the IBIS conference will be held online on 12 and 13 May 2020. The 50th edition of the IBIS conference initially was organized in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 11 through 15, 2020. The longest-running international HR conference had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis and now has been moved online. Two one-hour roundtables will cover the evolution of key global employee benefits and

The 2020 edition of the IBIS conference will be held online on 12 and 13 May 2020. The 50th edition of the IBIS conference initially was organized in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 11 through 15, 2020. The longest-running international HR conference had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis and now has been moved online. Two one-hour roundtables will cover the evolution of key global employee benefits and

Publishing and running a fully digital magazine has its benefits as well as downsides. We, here at GBV, are generally used to working remotely. In fact, we have a diverse group of people who oil the wheels, based across the world, covering topics of interest for our readers. Countries where our staff are based include Luxembourg, New Zealand, France, Hungary, and the U.S. So, how has our work changed during COVID? Not a great deal, is the short answer. We have been ahead of the curve with video conferencing, our publisher, Eric Muller-Borle has been running the show online for the last 5 years now. We have a fully integrated online process to manage each monthly edition of the magazine across editors, writers, contributors, and graphic design. Each segment of the process has sub-processes and online meetings to discuss breaking trends in the sector: we are in touch with leading insurers and EB providers, who are now also facing work from home regimes, and implementing processes which necessitate social and business distancing. Some of the products we have been using to facilitate the flow of information across our organisation include Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, Microsoft Exchange, Bitlocker, and Microsoft Office 365 (and a working internet connection, of course). These and others are becoming more widespread and Zoom’s valuation has increased exponentially as people realise value and necessity during these times. We see how our correspondents in the industry are now working from home, using remote working tools despite confidentiality issues and overloaded telecommunications. It can be done, is the simple answer. Businesses can be run, savings can be leveraged (expensive office space can be dispensed), and functionality over form, at least in terms of processes, can be implemented. In fact, we are under the impression that most of our counterparts work harder than ever, with travel, commuting, and coffee machine chats all gone. At GBV, we have had weekly slots for each segment of the business for quite some time – coordinated by our publisher, who manages the hub of GBV completely online and remotely. Content calendar meetings, content strategy, magazine design, marketing, and publishing all require detailed task management and guidance, especially in a fast-paced world where uncertainty is becoming more common. When we launched GBV five years ago, we decided to try and dispense with physical offices. As it turns out, we never looked back. Working from home offices all around the world, using loaned meeting rooms when necessary, our only permanent physical location is a 12-square meter room with a desk, three chairs, a cabinet, and, most importantly, a high-performance file server which strangely enough, is only used for backup purposes. For daily operations, we use a combination of off-the-shelf cloud solutions, i.e. DropBox, OneDrive, and Creative Cloud. As soon as the law catches up with the reality of modern digital work, we will dispense with even that room, digitize whatever is now in the filing cabinet (accounting records and the like, I am told), and move the file server to the basement. 4 Tips for successful remote work and cooperation In essence, we have found that working remotely works well – as does flexibility (technology is still catching up with what and how we want to achieve things – which applies to large as well as small and medium organisations). And given that we have 5 years of total remote work experience, or running everything through the medium of technology, here are some tips from us: Patience: technology does have to catch up with us. We have to work with glitches that happen for no reason apart from conflicting software or overloaded telecoms. Be patient. Be organised. Flexibility: meetings are often delayed, overrun. This seems to be happening less and less as social distancing and home isolation gives us time to sit in one place and do things. Need to change: we have realised – looking from the outside as early implementers of the fully remote work environment – that acceptance of change is important. We do not waste time on meetings about meetings, but rather have learnt to be concise, utilise necessary tools and ditch the long meeting structure of corporates. The trick is: trust team members to do the right thing. Direction: organisation is the key to have remote working parts of any organisation work smoothly. Task division and allocation become more and more important (this means not general tasks, but detailed task and goal identification. And, again, trust in all team members). While these are all things that organisations are implementing now, we feel greater implementation and leveraging technology will prove to be more important as time progresses. This necessity, we have seen, is filtering into large organisations and technology providers who are innovating at breakneck speed to come up with solutions to working remotely (which is a positive step all round). Process, product, and client re-engineering is something which still needs work. Data and technology are pervasive in business, now more than ever. GBV sees this as a positive outcome of these unfortunate times. Large EB providers are publishing guidelines and advice at breakneck speed – answering calls from clients, regions and industry sectors. We feel this is all a positive step in the corporate psychology and development and encourage working more efficiently. And while it has taken a pandemic for this to happen, we do feel that complacency has given way to more cooperation among divisions of companies, and at the (very important) social level. This can only be beneficial to most industry sectors in the long run.

As we are reaching near global consensus that business needs to resume, and countries ease lockdown, Global Benefits Vision explores the possibility of a link between COVID-19 and CFS/ME, highlighted by BM Systems of France led by Francois Iris and Manuel Gea, and how employers and insurers can prepare for such an outcome from an employee wellbeing perspective.

While millions of people are under orders to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic, water is sitting in the pipes of empty office buildings and gyms, getting old and potentially dangerous.

Disease has afflicted humans ever since there have been humans. Malaria and tuberculosis are thought to have ravaged Ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago. From AD 541 to 542 the global pandemic known as “the Plague of Justinian” is estimated to have killed 15–25% of the world’s 200-million population. Following the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the native population dropped from around 30 million in 1519 to just three million 50 years later. Today we are battling to control the spread of COVID-19, which has the potential to cause the most deadly pandemic in human history.

Regardless of whether we classify the new coronavirus as a pandemic, it is a serious issue. In less than two months, it has spread over several continents. Pandemic means sustained and continuous transmission of thedisease, simultaneously in more than three different geographical regions. Pandemic does not refer to the lethality of a virus but to its transmissibility and geographical extension.

Willis Towers Watson’s International Pension Plan Survey Report 2019 was released at the end of January, 2020. The annual report summarises the results of their survey, which includes 932 international pension and savings plans (IPPs and ISPs) sponsored by 877 companies. In particular, the survey revealed that Assets Under Management (AUM) rose to €14.6bn (USD 15.8bn) from €13.6bn (USD 14.7bn), with the largest concentration sponsoring IPPs/ISPs from the banking

EIOPA, the EU’s insurance and pensions regulatory body, is urging insurance companies to halt dividends, buybacks and bonuses in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. A statement released on 17 March 2020 stated: “Against this background of uncertainty, EIOPA urges that at the current juncture (re)insurers temporarily suspend all discretionary dividend distributions and share buy backs aimed at remunerating shareholders. This suspension should be reviewed as the financial and

Employee Benefits Propositions (EVP) are gaining in importance now that employers are more focused on offering a bespoke employee experience, and the Aon UK Benefits and Trends 2020 Survey shows that although the number of employers who have or are working towards an Employee Value Proposition remain similar (76%), there has been a significant increase in the number of employers who now communicate that EVP to staff. The survey shows

In the interest of fostering a more stable work environment for trans and non-binary workers, Lloyd’s of London in December 2019 published a guide for the insurance sector that helps managers understand how to make trans and non-binary employees feel included in the workplace. The proportion of colleagues who identify as trans or non-binary could rise from about 4% to as high as 20%, as younger people, many of