APRIL 2015

Welcome to the IRUA!

I am excited to commence serving as IRUA's President as we countdown to our 50th Anniversary in less than 2 years and we are very fortunate to have Arlene Kern (Munich Re) as Vice President, Kevin Rentko (Renaissance Re US) as Treasurer, and Andrew Downing (JLT Re) as Secretary.  Special thanks go to Jim Brost (Holborn) who has led the organization through much change during the past 4 years.  Jim will continue to serve on the Executive Committee as the Immediate Past President. 

At the Annual Meeting held during the very successful and well attended 2015 Spring Conference in Savannah, Georgia, I am pleased that we voted affirmatively to increase the number of Board Members to 36, which will allow us to have Board Representation from every Member Company wishing to do so.  This is a member benefit and we encourage all Companies to participate.

As part of the hard work undertaken by your Board in the past 12 months, we have conducted a strategic review of all facets of the organization, including all committees and member benefits.  As a result, we have determined that IRUA should focus on the following areas:

  • Education – This is part of the foundation and history of our organization.  We anticipate continuing to provide around 4 -5 programs annually plus 3-4 lunchtime meetings of the Reinsurance Networking Group.

  • Scholars - We have a history of providing Intern opportunities to college juniors and several now hold responsible positions within the industry. However, times have changed and many of our member companies now have their own intern programs and the IRUA now wishes to support and assist in these efforts.  We will do this by offering all Interns from member companies the opportunity to submit an Essay on an industry related subject to qualify for one of three IRUA Academic Scholarships and the opportunity to be published in the Journal of Reinsurance.  In the near future, we will be providing additional information to Member Companies.  We will also promote the Reinsurance Industry through communication with interested Universities and Colleges that offer Insurance related or Business programs.  This is something that we will start with our Board Members, but hope to reach out to the general membership to support.

  • Spring Conference –  This is a unique opportunity to listen and learn from industry experts and leaders on current topics and trends and to engage in network opportunities.  We experienced great attendance and feedback from our 2015 event held in Savannah, Georgia and we will continue to strive for high quality and timely issues.

  • Journal of Reinsurance – This e-publication, unique in the industry will continue as a member benefit and on a subscription basis to non-members. Expansion of our Editorial Board to include prominent attorneys, academics and consultants has greatly benefitted the goal of addressing important and changing topics that are also used in some of the Industry’s Professional Examinations.
The IRUA has a network of volunteers from its Member Companies. Their contributions are invaluable and critical to the success of IRUA.  The leadership and personal development skills they gain through exposure to corporate and management issues also benefits their own companies as well. The IRUA is a platform by which young and seasoned professionals can all benefit by participating. 

We have started the planning for our 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2017 and look forward to continuing to provide valuable and worthwhile services to the reinsurance industry for many years to come!

Sincerely,

Mike Sowa (Aspen Re)
President, IRU, Inc.