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Two US researchers recently sparked controversy with their work on the role of “luck” in cancer. Their latest article was published in the March issue of the prestigious journal Science. The researchers, Christian Tomasetti and Bert Vogelstein of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, showed that the disease is less dependent on hereditary (a genetic predisposition) and environmental risks (such as smoking, or asbestos exposure) than on random mutations (such as DNA replication errors) arising spontaneously in cells as they divide and reproduce over the course of our lifetimes.
Health coaching is one of the most powerful ways of changing people’s mindsets for the long term. Practitioners are rapidly taking their place alongside executive coaches, life coaches and personal trainers as another means of making us better people through one-to-one improvement sessions.
We live in a digitized era. Our professional and personal lives go by the dictum that data should drive our actions and reactions. In the course of doing business, companies receive and handle a significant volume of data, and in many instances, this data will include critical—and sensitive—personal data about individuals, be they customers or even employees. Data is increasingly seen as essential to be competitive and is, in its own way, a currency. However, being a data handler also comes with responsibilities and significant risk. In the Philippines, an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands and a population of over 100 million, legislators realized that legislation needed to catch up with this new digital reality.
In today’s landscape, employee benefits need to become the hot topic of conversation. There are many factors driving this since the demographics surrounding today’s workforce are constantly changing. With evolving employee demands and expectations, and new ways of working (think gig economy), employers need to play the employee benefits card to entice potential and current talent to stay put.
Global Benefits Vision: Hello Enrique. Tell us about the highlights of your career, but first, how did you come to enter the insurance field? Enrique Avecedo: Right after I graduated from university with my business degree, I started working in administration at my father’s insurance brokerage firm. I learned operations in a hands-on manner: record-keeping, taking policies to clients, collecting premiums—I’ve done everything.
The current epidemic in the US is thought to have begun with the over-prescription of opioids for pain relief: in 1991, 76m opioid prescriptions were dispensed by US retail pharmacies. By 2011, this figure was 219m. The overall rate of death from drug overdose more than trebled in the US between 1999 and 2016.
Updated blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association mean that many more Americans, notably older people, are now diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension. This may sound like bad news, but the new guidelines highlight some important lessons we cardiologists and heart health researchers have learned from the latest blood pressure studies. Specifically, we have learned that damage from high blood pressure starts at much lower blood pressures than previously thought and that it is more important than ever to start paying attention to your blood pressure before it starts causing problems.
Global Benefits Vision is celebrating its third year of publication, an auspicious milestone for a magazine that appeals to such a specialised audience. Owned and operated by global employee benefits industry executives, Global Benefits Vision’s mission is to contribute to the development of the market and to the development of global employee benefits and global mobility professionals, whilst keeping a neutral position among providers.
Generali Global Assistance (GGA) in September 2018 appointed Philippe Gervais as President of GGA’s Travel Insurance company. Gervais, located at the Travel Insurance headquarters in San Diego, California, reports to Chris Carnicelli, CEO of GGA North America, who oversees the travel insurance and assistance, identity theft protection, and medical risk management business lines. Prior to joining GGA, he was CEO of Europ Assistance Belgium. Generali operates its assistance businesses
U.S. insurance carrier Travelers in August 2018 acquired a reported 60% stake in Canadian insurtech broker Zensurance. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Zensurance offers online commercial lines broker services and will continue to work independently. Founded in 2016, Zensurance creates segmented insurance packages for each industry. It says it has more than 2,500 clients in Canada and works with over 40 insurers. Zensurance CEO Danish Yusuf and CTO Sultan Mehrabi keep
Global broking network Brokerslink in August 2018 announced it was considering a private share placement for third-party investors. The purpose of the expected capital increase is to support growth. Operating from Portugal and incorporated in Zug, Switzerland, Brokerslink features cross-shareholdings between the network and its partners, to create “a unity of purpose and vision”. Since an October 2016 private stock offering, Brokerslink has 55 independent shareholders in 40 countries;
U.S. insurance carrier Allstate in August 2018 acquired identity theft services company InfoArmor for $525 million. Allstate’s stated intent is to grow its employee benefits business. According to Tom Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO of Allstate, in 2017 “there were over 16 million victims of identity fraud [in the U.S.], which resulted in over $16 billion of losses.” InfoArmor is a private company with headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. Its
Allianz Partners in August 2018 announced the establishment of three new innovation centers focusing on travel, health and assistance. The automotive innovation center was launched in 2014. Allianz Partners is Allianz’s B2B2C provider of assistance, international health & life, automotive, and travel insurance products. They combine insurance, service and technology. They are distributed through partners or via direct and digital channels under four commercial brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Care,
T&D Holdings, a Japanese listed life insurance holding company, and Swiss digital health platform company dacadoo in July 2018 announced that they will cooperate in the development of digital life insurance products for Japan. Dacadoo develops and operates a digital Health Engagement Platform to motivate users to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Additionally, dacadoo offers a risk engine for underwriting. T&D Holdings owns three life insurers: Taiyo Life
Gallagher has released its 2018 Human Capital Insights Report, Identify the Trends, a 40-page document that looks at the changing landscape of human capital Framework for the Future initiative, which addresses the challenges to employers in a rapidly-changing workplace. The report identifies four areas impacting the change in workplace environments: The transformation of the global business marketplace may mean a more affordable cost structure for talent management The shifting
Swiss Re in August 2018 appointed Russell Higginbotham as CEO Reinsurance EMEA and Regional President EMEA; he joins the Group Executive Committee. He succeeds Jean-Jacques Henchoz, who leaves for Hannover Re. Russell Higginbotham most recently led Swiss Re’s global Life & Health (L&H) Products Division. Previously, he was CEO of Swiss Re UK & Ireland, CEO of Swiss Re Australia and New Zealand and led the company’s L&H businesses
The UK’s Home Office in August 2018 unveiled a package of briefing packs, posters and leaflets, the “EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit” to help staff from the EU to register for a new immigration status that will be legally required after Brexit. An estimated 3.5 million to 3.8 million EU citizens live and work in the UK. Among the employers and groups present at the launch were the British
German HR consulting firm Lurse in August 2018 announced the acquisition of the business interest of one of the partners of pension software provider Deutsche Pensions Group (DPG) who is retiring, while majority shareholders Ulrich Mix and Dr. Otmar Stüpp stay with the company. DPG will continue to be managed independently and be headed by Mr. Mix. A member of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), Lurse is an HR
The European Commission in August 2018 announced the names of the ten members of its recently established “High Level Group on [supplementary] pensions”. The mission of the group is “to provide policy advice to the Commission on matters related to ways of improving the provision, safety through prudential rules, inter-generational balance, adequacy and sustainability of supplementary (occupational and personal) pensions in light of the challenges in the Union and
Marsh & McLennan (MMC)’s health, wealth and career consulting arm Mercer in August 2018 acquired the investment consulting, alternatives consulting and wealth management operations of Pavilion Financial. Pavilion is a global investment services firm with about 300 employees, headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. It has offices across North America, in London, U.K., and in Singapore. In the U.S., Pavilion focuses on the defined contribution (D.C.), endowment and foundation, healthcare and
Current Swiss Life Group Chief Risk Officer Matthias Aellig in March 2019 will take over as Group CFO. He then will also become a member of Swiss Life’s Corporate Executive Board, succeeding current CFO Thomas Buess who is taking on non-executive duties. Matthias Aellig studied physics at the University of Bern, Switzerland. After receiving his doctorate in the field of solar wind and completing a research visit at the
Employers with operations in the U.S. should not underestimate current difficulties in hiring workers. Gad Levanon, chief economist for North America at The Conference Board, in August 2018 commented on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report. “The [U.S.] labor market is tightening with the unemployment rate declining by 0.1 percentage points and the broader U-6 measure dropping by 0.3 percentage points.” The U.S. unemployment rate fell
Issiah Sakhabuth in August 2018 joined Mercer as a Principal in the Multinational Client Group based in London. Issiah worked previously for Aon as a Principal Consultant in the International Retirement Practice and for KPMG as a Senior Manager in the Tax & Pensions Practice, after beginning her career as an actuarial trainee for Lloyds Banking Group. She has extensive experience in advising companies on their international retirement and
AIG in August 2018 announced the appointment of Thomas Lillelund as CEO of AIG Europe, based in Luxembourg and reporting to Chris Townsend, CEO, International General Insurance. He will be responsible for Continental Europe and Ireland. Anthony Baldwin, now CEO of AIG Europe Limited, will become CEO of AIG’s new UK entity, American International Group UK Limited, and will continue to report to Townsend. Headquartered in Luxembourg, AIG Europe
Zurich Canada in August 2018 appointed John Thain as Vice President, Travel, Accident & Sickness. He is based in Toronto and reports to Greg Irvine, head of Specialty Products for Canada. He will be responsible for launching personal leisure travel, business travel accident and supporting accident and sickness products in Canada. Zurich Canada expects to begin selling personal travel products by the start of 2019. According to Zurich, the
Zurich Insurance in August 2018 appointed Saad Mered as chief executive officer and chief agent of Zurich Canada, based in Toronto, Ontario. He will report to Zurich North America CEO Kathleen Savio. Zurich North America focuses on workers’ compensation, liability, property, specialty and F&I (finance and insurance); as well as life insurance and disability (in the United States only). It employs approximately 9,000 people out of the Zurich group