Middle East countries are making fast-paced regulatory reforms to the health insurance industry for half a decade, and healthcare sectors and insurance industries have seen a surge in mergers and acquisitions activity.

GBV: Let’s start our discussion with the highlights of your career, and your focus on global pensions. Thierry Verkest: Aon is the leading global professional services firm providing risk, retirement, and health solutions. I am based in Brussels; I’ve always worked in Belgium, and for more than 25 years I’ve helped international organizations manage the design and financing of their pension funds. We have offices all over the world

Three months after the December 2017 announcement that CVS Health had purchased Aetna, their respective shareholders on March 13, 2018 voted to approve the proposed $69 billion merger of the companies at special meetings. As discussed in an earlier post, the acquisition sets the stage for a new type of company that will include a health insurer, a retail pharmacy, and a pharmacy benefits manager that negotiates prescription drug

Global consulting and actuarial firm Milliman in March 2018 announced that Samie Moore is joining the company’s Health & Welfare group as a life, absence, and disability (LAD) consultant in the U.S. Moore, formerly of Mercer and Hewitt, is a nationally recognized expert in LAD with 14 years’ industry experience consulting to Fortune 500 companies, with deep subject matter expertise in Family Medical Leave (FML), vacation, Paid Time Off

A pioneering study from Source Global Research and published in March 2018 by Odgers Connect, shows evidence of a growing ‘professional gig economy’ of highly-skilled, independent workers that is flourishing in both the U.K. and Europe. This growth is driven by companies that have cut back on core staff and which increasingly rely on outsourced professionals. Brexit and new regulations are the two factors that favor independent consultants because

According to the OECD’s Interim Economic Outlook released in March 2018, the pace of expansion over the 2018-19 period is expected to be faster than in 2017, as robust investment growth, an associated rebound in trade and higher employment drive an increasingly broad-based recovery. At the same time, tensions are appearing that could threaten strong and sustainable medium-term growth. The OECD projects that the global economy will grow by 3.9

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Thierry Verkest from Aon on Pan-European Pensions GBV Interview Attracting Top Performers is Key to Employee Benefits in the Middle East Susan Panicker What the Flu Does to Your Body Laura Haynes The Search for a Universal Influenza Vaccine Ian Setliff, Amyn Murji Duty of Care to an International Workforce – A Primary Responsibility David Healy CBBA-Europe Conference Report Worldwide Broker Network – WBN Chairman Jim Watt GBV Interview

In a paper published in March 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s anti-trust authority, has raised concerns about the level and nature of information provided by consultants and fiduciary managers, indicating that investment consultants and fiduciary managers are not clear enough about fees and performance, which suggests a lack of effective competition. The findings echoed those of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which initially referred the

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s (MassMutual) international insurance holding company MassMutual International in March 2018 sold 85% of its wholly owned subsidiary MassMutual Japan to Nippon Life. MassMutual Japan, formerly known as Heiwa Life, was acquired by MassMutual in 2001. MassMutual will receive approximately USD 935 million in cash (JPY 104 billion) and retain approximately 15 percent ownership in MassMutual Japan. The transaction is expected to close in the first

Global insurance brokerage Hub International in March 2018 announced that it has acquired the shares of GMS Insurance. Based in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada), GMS Insurance is an independent benefit consulting firm that services clients in Southwestern Ontario and the greater Toronto area. GMS’s consultants address companies ranging from small start-ups to large national or international corporations. GMS Insurance will join Hub Ontario and Jonathan Shantz, President of GMS Insurance,

Generali Global Assistance in February 2018 published a white paper titled The Impact of Cybersecurity Incidents on Financial Institutions, which provides financial organizations with information on today’s cyber and identity threat landscape, the potential impact on those threats, and existing solutions that can mitigate risks and fallout from these threats. Financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and credit card companies were among the most impacted in 2017, which was

The Pacific Research Institute in February 2018 released a study, Breaking Down Barriers, that examines the economic impact of duplicative licensing regulations for independent claims adjusters and underscores the need for increased licensing reciprocity among U.S. states. According to the study, the average claims adjuster holds between ten and twelve different state licenses, which can cost as much as $1,000 each. These burdensome requirements make it more difficult for

A new ESIS whitepaper published in February 2018, Why Employers Should Consider Integrated Medical Programs to Manage Workers Compensation Costs explores how companies may reduce their workers compensation medical costs by implementing a centralized approach to claims management while ensuring optimal claims outcomes. ESIS, a wholly owned subsidiary of property and casualty (P&C) insurer Chubb, provides claim and risk management services to commercial clients. According to ESIS, with medical

Men and women of all age groups have been visiting YouCanPlanForThis.org, a free website launched in September 2017 by independent nonprofit FAIR Health that enables New York State residents to plan their healthcare costs. The site offers cost lookup tools, powered by FAIR Health’s billions of private healthcare claims records, that allow consumers to estimate in-network and out of-network costs for thousands of medical procedures in their geographic areas,

Defined benefit (DB) pension plans’ inevitable demise is a long-held truth. Or is it? RBC Investor & Treasury Services in February 2018 revealed that Canadian defined benefit pension plans ended 2017 in positive territory, posting an annual return of 9.7 percent. In addition, a recent RBC Investor & Treasury Services poll of Canadian defined benefit pension plan sponsors showed their median funded status stands at 96 percent. The poll,

Insurer – Country of Destination – Date Announced – Source MS Amlin – Brussels – 28 June 2017 – Press release Lloyd’s of London – Brussels – QBE – Brussels – CNA Hardy – Luxembourg – RSA – Luxembourg – AIG – Luxembourg – FM Global – Luxembourg – Hiscox – Luxembourg – Liberty Mutual, Special Markets – Luxembourg – Admiral – Dublin – Beazley – Dublin – Chesnara –

Conference Organizers, please send information about your events by email to the Editor. Publication is free at this time and remains at the discretion of the publisher. Organized by Event Begins Location Click here Lockton Lockton Global Benefits Forum, Chicago, 8-9 May 2018 08/05/2018 Chicago, IL Link IBIS “Your Future, Your Workforce” – IBIS Academy, Berlin, 7-11 May 2018 07/05/2018 Berlin, Germany Link Lockton Lockton Global Benefits Forum, London,

75 percent of U.S. employees believe their health plan has never alerted them to a health risk, according to the HealthMine 2018 Rising Risk Survey that underscores the challenges health care plans face when educating members about potential health risks and when motivating them to take action to prevent becoming ill. Bryce Williams, President and CEO of HealthMine, pointed out that 86 percent of the US$2.7 trillion annual health

Global insurance brokerage Hub International in February 2018 announced that it has acquired the shares of Pointbreak Consulting Group. Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia – Canada, Pointbreak provides employee benefits and pension consulting services. Kevin Jeffrey, Principal and CEO of Pointbreak, will join Hub TOS and report to Dave Terry, President of Hub TOS. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.