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Issue 049

There are excellent opportunities to improve the financing of insurable Employee Benefits (EB) globally and tangible initiatives to support local subsidiaries and their employees with the execution of a global EB strategy. In this article you will find an updated comparative analysis of the most common global EB solutions (traditional EB Pooling, alternative risk financing with EB Captive solutions and the innovative concept of Global Underwriting (GUW) for EB insurance), a more detailed view on GUW and EB Captive as well as two case studies to show how global EB solutions can support the execution of global EB strategies in practice. This article assumes some familiarity with financing EB globally and therefore does not focus on traditional EB Pooling but is concentrating on the more advanced solutions EB Captive and GUW instead.

With vast technological advances over the last few years, and now the dramatic changes brought on by COVID-19, it has never been so clear that digital transformation is essential to organisational success.

Coronavirus deaths shocked us with how rapidly they rose from a base of none at the start of the year, to many thousands within the space of mere weeks. At the peak for England and Wales on April 8, more than 1,300 people died in a single day (as revealed later when all death registrations were reported).

British cancer doctor Prof Karol Sikora recently claimed that the current COVID-19 pandemic would “burn itself out”. His thinking is that if there are more infections than we realise, and that those milder, unrecorded infections result in robust immunity, then this would quickly lead to “herd immunity”, leaving the virus nowhere to go but extinct. Extend this to the world’s population and the virus eradicates itself.

In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, the haughty supercomputer Deep Thought is asked whether he can find the answer to the ultimate question concerning life, the universe and everything. He replies that, yes, he can do it, but it’s tricky and he’ll have to think about it. When asked how long it will take him he replies, “Seven-and-a-half million years. I told you I’d have to think about it.”

Many people will be familiar with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a historical treatment for “mental illness”, in which an electrical current is passed through the brain to trigger seizures, with the aim of somehow treating the illness. In fact, ECT is still being administered to about a million people each year to treat severe depression, including about 2,500 in England, under anaesthetic. The majority are women, and over 60 years of age.

In March 2020, Google searches for phrases like “can’t taste food” or “why can’t I smell” spiked around the world, particularly in areas where COVID-19 hit hardest. Still, many of us have experienced a temporary change in the flavor of our food with a common cold or the flu (influenza). So, is COVID-19 – the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus – somehow special in the way it affects smell and taste?

Her symptoms started quickly: neck pain, extreme fatigue and intermittent fever and chills. The woman had been healthy until then, and since she enjoyed gardening and landscaping at her rural Maryland home, she wondered if a tick bite might have given her Lyme disease although she had not noticed the telltale bull’s-eye skin lesion.

In late February, I fell ill with a fever and a cough. As a biochemist who teaches a class on viruses, I’d been tracking the outbreak of COVID-19 in China. Inevitably I wondered: Did I have COVID-19, or did I have the flu?

John McLaughlin Aon’s Assessment Solutions Commercial Director John is the Commercial Director for Aon’s Aon Assessment Solutions and has worked across Europe, APAC, South America, and North America. John’s passion for designing innovative workforce strategies has seen him help organisations across the globe understand what digital means in their specific context and to design talent strategies to help achieve their digital transformation goals and meet the future world of

Danny Dorling University of Oxford Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography Danny Dorling joined the School of Geography and the Environment in September 2013 to take up the Halford Mackinder Professorship in Geography. He was previously a professor of Geography at the University of Sheffield. He has also worked in Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and New Zealand, went to university in Newcastle upon Tyne, and to school in Oxford. Much of

Connor Bamford Queen’s University Belfast Research Fellow, Virology Connor is a virologist with over a decade of experience in studying how the immune system defends humans and other animals against disease-causing microbes like viruses, such as the hepatitis C virus, influenza virus and Zika virus. Connor recently moved to Queen’s University Belfast as a ‘Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Early Career Research Fellow’ to continue his research into the

Jeremy Smith University of Tennessee Governor’s Chair, Biophysics Prof. Jeremy C. Smith has led research groups in France, Germany and the United States. After education at Leeds and London University in 1985 he became a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer with Nobel Laureate Martin Karplus at Harvard University. In 1989 he established a biomolecular simulation group at the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique in Saclay, near Paris. In 1998 he became

John Read University of East London Professor of Clinical Psychology I am Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. I worked for nearly 20 years as a Clinical Psychologist and manager of mental health services in the UK and the USA, before joining the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 1994, where I worked until 2013. I have been Director of the Clinical Psychology professional graduate

Valentina Parma Temple University Research Assistant Professor Psychophysics of taste and flavor perception; role of genetic variation on food preferences.

John E Hayes Pennsylvania State University Associate Professor of Food Science Psychophysics of taste and flavor perception; role of genetic variation on food preferences.

John Nathaniel Aucott Johns Hopkins University Director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center, Associate Professor of Medicine Dr. John Aucott is an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. An internist and Lyme disease expert in the Division of Rheumatology, he is the director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center. With more than 15 years of research experience on

Eugene Wu University of Richmond Professor of Biology and Biochemistry I study life at its borders. At the edge of our definition of life lies viruses, obligate parasites that invade cellular organisms to replicate. When a virus encounters a cell, it must recognize that cell through biomolecular interactions and then commandeer the cell to create copies of the virus’s proteins. Research in my laboratory focuses on those biomolecular interactions between

Moritz Löschner Zurich Global Employee Benefits Solutions (ZGEBS) Lead Customer Relationship Manager Moritz is leading the Customer Relationship Management team for Zurich Global Employee Benefits Solutions (ZGEBS) in continental Europe and is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Before joining the global Employee Benefits world, he worked as an Underwriter for International Programs on the Non-life side of insurance. Moritz has extensive experience in international insurance programs from both core segments of insurance: