Paul Shelley, policy manager for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries reports from the 2012 Life Conference in Brussels
Yet again the annual Life Conference proved to be a popular and busy event. Between sessions it was good to see that all available spaces were filled with delegates networking.
It is hard to pick out the best moments from a great event, but, following the plenary session given by BBC Newsnight's economics editor Paul Mason, highlights certainly included the understated humour of Carlos Montalvo Rebuelta, executive director of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, as he explained EIOPA's role within the European regulatory and economic environment and, of course, Solvency II.
Of the many interesting workshops, I particularly enjoyed the one on with-profits, which highlighted how the FSA's thoughts (outlined in CP12/13) on how to transpose Solvency II for with-profits might affect companies. Indeed, Solvency II was a topic that seemed never far from anyone's lips. It was picked up again in a session chaired by John Jenkins, insurance partner at KPMG, that compared how preparations for Solvency II are progressing in four European countries.
A final mention must go to Otto Thoresen, director-general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). His three points on why the industry is important and relevant resonated with his audience and are worth remembering.
1) The insurance industry provides a vital service for consumers, providing products that protect them and their families and enable them to save to secure their futures.
2) By directing the savings of individuals through the investment markets, the insurance industry contributes to economic growth and helps make funds available for the infrastructure investments that are needed to deliver a well functioning economy.
3) The insurance industry is one of Europe's biggest employers and global exporters.
Those who attended will have had a chance to sample a well-earned taste of either the local brews, chocolate or both before leaving and will no doubt be booking their places at next year's conference.