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Interview

Global Benefits Vision: What is IEBA’s mission in the global employee-benefits industry historically and what is it today? Norman Dreger: IEBA is the world’s leading association providing education, information and professional development opportunities in the constantly evolving world of International Employee Benefits, with more than 800 members worldwide. In addition to the development of the International Diploma and the Certified Practitioner Accreditation, our objectives include facilitating the exchange of information between

8th  WPC Forum, Brussels 23 & 24 May 2019: Pension and Insurance in the ‘Age of Geoeconomics’ Nicolas J. Firzli is Director-General of the World Pensions Council (WPC), a Paris, France-based international association of public and private pension institutions, and an Advisory Board Member for the World Bank Group Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF). GBV: Nicolas, you are one of the original coiners of terms such as ‘The New Silk

Bruno Gabellieri is Secretary General of AIEP, the European Association of Paritarian Institutions. Global Benefits Vision: Thank you, Bruno, for being with us again, three and a half years after our first interview. Can you recap AEIP’s mission today and how it relates to our industry?

Global Benefits Vision: What is your role in your company and what is your background? Chris Burns: I am a Partner at EBCG LLC. We are a national and global employee benefits consulting firm. For over 25 years, our team of consultants has helped companies unlock hidden value in their programs. With 5 offices across the U.S., we work with both large and mid-sized companies. We are also a member of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), which allows us to assist our clients in over 100 countries around the world.

Global Benefits Vision: What is your role in your company and what is your background? Chris Burns: I am a Partner at EBCG LLC. We are a national and global employee benefits consulting firm. For over 25 years, our team of consultants has helped companies unlock hidden value in their programs. With 5 offices across the U.S., we work with both large and mid-sized companies. We are also a member of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), which allows us to assist our clients in over 100 countries around the world.

Global Benefits Vision: Now that Brexit seems to be upon us, let’s talk about how you see it impacting Lockton and the insurance world in general. Ian Cooper: It has been quite fascinating. Insurance providers, as we know, within the single market, can passport regulatory permissions and trade across Europe.

Global Benefits Vision: Thanks for joining us today, Marco – it’s good to have you back. What is your definition of insurtech? Marco Giacomelli: Insurtech is a specialized evolution or byproduct of fintech, which is a combination of the words “finance” and “technology.” As a practical definition, we can say that insurtech is sets of strategic initiatives, specific tools, and processes designed to achieve savings and efficiencies in all insurance processes.

Global Benefits Vision: Hello Wendy – please tell us about your background and your career to date. Wendy Liu: I am an actuary by background, and I started my career in consulting before joining Zurich. The majority of my career has been related to global employee benefits. I began on the U.S. domestic side, expanded to international benefits and now am based in Europe covering global benefits.

GBV: Thank you all for agreeing to this interview. Can we start with a history of captives in general and of the use of captives for employee benefits over the past 25 years?

Researchers Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hougaard stopped in Brussels on 19 September 2018 to present the findings of their new book, The Mind of the Leader, Harvard Business Press. During an interesting evening, co-hosted by Generali Employee Benefits, Harvard Business Review and McKinsey GBV sat down with the authors to delve deeper into some aspects of their findings.

Global Benefits Vision: Reto, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Has elipsLife adopted InsurTech? What is your strategy going forward and what are your achievements regarding InsurTech? Reto Toscan: InsurTech is a hot buzzword that gets thrown around a lot, but at elipsLife we’ve embraced it by building one of the most digital and integrated platforms in the business.

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.

Gallagher President, Chairman, and CEO J. Patrick “Pat” Gallagher, Jr., and Vice President – International, Gallagher Benefits & HR Consulting, Leslie Lemenager, sat down with GBV during the 2018 IBIS Academy. They discussed Gallagher’s history and values as well as client needs and market trends in global employee benefits and global mobility. Gallagher’s long history and family connections result in unique, long-term, and people-oriented perspectives. Read on.

GBV: Please tell us about your appointment as Chairman of WBN, what does this entail? Jim Watt: I am going to be assuming the chairmanship of Worldwide Broker Network in April of this year (2018) and I’m excited about the opportunity because I really believe in the network and in the global aspects of business commerce.

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

It’s a globalized world, and corporations are increasingly multinational, with multiple locations and evermore mobile employees. As pension burdens increasingly weigh on public finances, retirement is not only the responsibility of the state, but also of employers. The time has come for a more global HR policy on pensions. Due to their diversity and complexity, pension schemes often have been set up locally, without neither a common bene­fits policy at the group level nor efficient monitoring and cost control by the parent company. This approach, while practical, is not without risks: counterparty risk in case of default by a service provider; reputational risk if the pensions paid out are insufficient; and above all, financial risk if the company must compensate for the inadequacies of local schemes. The transfer of Defined Benefits to Defined Contributions reduces the financial commit­ment burden on companies. Unmonitored DC plans in countries where regulations provide for guaranteed returns (such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany) can transform DC schemes into a new form of DB, as guaranteed rates often remain the responsibility of the sponsor company.

James Reid in January 2018 was appointed Executive Vice President, Global Employee Benefits at MetLife, reporting to Michel Khalaf, president U.S. business and EMEA and a member of Met’s executive committee. In an exclusive interview, James discusses his plans with Global Benefits Vision. GBV: Should we start with the highlights of your career, focusing on employee benefits and international, that is global employee benefits including global mobility? James Reid:

The step forward came in 2007 when Lockton acquired Alexander Forbes GBV: What are the highlights of your careers in relation to global employee benefits and global mobility?

Global Benefits Vision: Could you start by giving us an overview of your career? Paige Schaffer: I have been with the Europ Assistance group since 2007. I was brought in as Vice President of Operations and Chief Service Officer, responsible for the operation of our identity protection group and our emergent travel assistance group, two separate call centers.

Global Benefits Vision: Could you share with us the highlights of your career, with emphasis on global employee benefits or on related fields? Frank Schmid: I entered the insurance industry in 2004 from the Federal Reserve, serving as a Senior Economist at the National Council on Compensation Insurance in Boca Raton, FL.

Global Benefits Vision: LeAnne, can you share some of your career highlights with us, focusing on global employee benefits and global mobility? LeAnne Stefl: I’ve been in the industry close to 30 years. I started my career on the private client services side, with Barney and Barney (now part of MMA) in San Diego, California, in the mid-1980s. In 1999, I joined Marsh San Diego as a benefit analyst, focused on U.S. clients.

Global Benefits Vision: Looking at the concept of multinational pooling, which has been around for about five decades, what has changed over the decades, and what has changed recently, in terms of insurance markets and the way multinationals manage benefits and ultimately utilize the concept of pooling?

Marco Giacomelli Global Benefits Vision: Let’s start by recalling the highlights of your career, with an emphasis on iPMI and global employee benefits. Marco Giacomelli: I’ve worked with Generali for the past 23 years on a number of assignments in the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Europe—now London. I have mainly focused on life, health, employee benefits, and now iPMI, with a few forays into bancassurance and other

This interview is also available as a downloadable PDF file by clicking here. Frederic de Courtois Global Benefits Vision: Frédéric, can you give us some highlights of your career, with emphasis on iPMI, global employee benefits, or related fields? Frédéric de Courtois: I trained as an engineer and an actuary, and spent 23 years with AXA; I started in finance there and later moved on to business side. I

Global Benefits Vision: Good morning, Peter. Perhaps you’d like to start off with the highlights of your career. Peter de Vries: I joined IGP in 1988, when I was just a “slip of a lad”, to head up the European region, which, at the time and still today is the largest region for IGP in terms of premium. While most of our clients, about 55 percent, are North American multinationals, most of the premium is paid in the European region.

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is the founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It has committed more than US$3 billion in HIV grants to organizations around the world and more than US$1.6 billion to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Gates answers questions from several African academics about HIV/AIDS on the continent.

Global Benefits Vision: Could you please tell GBV a little about yourself, how you chose your career path and your journey to Zurich? Hanno Mijer: I am a trained actuary, but I have never actually worked in an actuarial position. For the first fourteen years of my career I worked with AEGON Insurance, where I held a number of marketing, sales and executive roles in the Netherlands, Eastern Europe and Asia.