Leslie-Ann Giovnilli reports on the upcoming Association of Run-off Companies Commutation Congress.

They say that imitation is the best form of flattery and it is true to say that the renowned success of one of our member company's Commutation Rendez-vous has encouraged the Association of Run-off Companies (ARC) to include a new date in the London market calendar year. Our initial Congress will take place in the London Underwriting Centre on 21 March 2000 and will last for one day.

The association, which provides a forum for discussion and works to represent the common view of companies and interested parties involved in London market run-off, intends to complement the Norwich Rendez-vous and Philadelphia Symposium by providing both a date and a venue that can be easily attended by our European colleagues, and those that may not wish to travel so far, or be away for so long, at either of the other gatherings. It is also hoped that by holding the Congress in London more attendees can be encouraged to have meetings on the day, and begin informal but productive talks on commutations.

ARC member companies, for whom this initiative was taken, will be in attendance on the day and available for talks with all comers. While the members will be arranging their own day for meetings, with the central nature of the venue other interested parties are welcome to attend and begin discussions of their own. A list of known attendees will be produced and updated by ARC.

The Commutation Manual, first published in June 1999, will be available in its updated format at the Congress and (non-members) attendees can purchase copies of the same and/or have themselves included in the database of contacts for future negotiation possibilities. The database is regularly updated and can be obtained from ARC direct and will be available on the website.

As the initial day of what is to be an annual event sponsors are being sought to provide a high level of facilities for the attendees. As a volunteer association, ARC support in this area will allow us to engender greater interest in this type of event. It will also allow us to better plan in next year's fees the cost of any extra days and the potential costs of the Congress 2001.

Members are provided with a booth as part of their membership fee and those attending meetings with a member will of course be allowed in for free. Others who may wish to arrange for a booth or other meeting areas will need to contact the secretary for availability and costs.

Due to the nature of the day ARC is not proposing to have any presentations, apart from one breakfast meeting suggested for a number of members, as this will detract from the time available to discuss the real meat of the Congress. However the final sponsors will have surgery's at the Congress where anyone may drop in to talk with them on current or potential issues.

Enquires, including the names and contacts of the Commutation sub-committee, should be addressed in the first instance to Congress Co-ordinator Jenny Fair on 01903 277 131, or myself on 0370 890948.

Leslie-Ann Giovnilli is a director of Account Management Solutions Ltd, a consultancy providing reinsurance and claims control. She is also secretary of the Association of Run-off Companies, the trade association for discontinued underwriting operations in the London insurance market.