GR TV will be around and about at this year's Rendez-Vous de Septembre, screening to delegates the highpoints of the 2004 gathering

At the beginning of September, the 'great and the good' of the reinsurance industry will gather in Monte Carlo for the start of the 2004/2005 renewals season. The previous two Rendez-Vous gatherings have been characterised by post-September 11 hard market conditions, though the spectre of industry-wide downgrades has continued to hang over the sector. Many re/insurers have taken charges over the past couple of years, adding to depleted reserves particularly for developing liability exposures. Despite the many billions of dollars that have been used to shore up reserves, concerns remain that certain players are still under-reserved. Nevertheless, the rating agencies, those de facto regulators, are sounding fairly bullish about the industry's prospects, and it is possible that we could see the industry being put on a more even outlook.

Market analysis

Talk at this year's Rendez-Vous inevitably will turn to the market conditions.

Few will contest that the downturn is upon us, and the prospects for profitable business will be explored on GR TV this year, to be shown in the main conference hotels on a dedicated channel, as well as at selected locations around Monaco for the duration of the meeting. Sponsored again by XL Re, this year's programmes will feature interviews with a number of the industry leaders, as well as news of what is happening at Monte Carlo during the event. In addition, GR TV will bring its viewers industry-relevant world news, looking at the re/insurance story behind the headlines. With last year's Rendez-Vous concurrent with Hurricane Fabian, and European floods happening at the same time as the 2002 meeting, the industry's gaze is as likely to be turned out onto the wider world as it is to be looking inwards during this year's Rendez-Vous. GR TV will keep delegates updated with world events as they relate to the re/insurance sector.

Roving GR cameras

More than 3,000 industry players and service providers will be gathered in Monaco in September, and this year's GR TV will aim to gauge the opinion of the 'man on the street' as well as industry leaders. TV cameras will be out and about in Monaco during the four main days of the gathering, with a roving reporter looking for vox pops to be shown in each day's programme. The cameras will also be around for the lighter side of the Rendez-Vous, at various cocktail parties and events around the Principality.

Each morning, delegates can tune in to GR TV over their breakfast to find out what will be happening during the course of that day, as well as what went on the previous day - and evening - in Monaco. In addition, the cameras will be covering the conference session taking place on Tuesday 14 September, when Patrick Snowball, member of RVS organising committee and Group Executive Director General Insurance, AVIVA will be joined by Judge Richard A Posner from the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, The Right Hon The Lord Hunt of Wirral MBE and UK broadcaster John Humphrys to debate the question, "Compensation: Are we all paying too high a price?" Recent research commissioned by Norwich Union has shown that attitudes in the UK are changing from a society-based to individual focused approach, with the knock-on effect that compensation costs are increasing. The research showed that about 40% of the UK's annual £10bn compensation bill is taken up by costs, and that other European states are following the UK's lead. With claims inflation an ever-growing problem for the industry, this debate is likely to echo many of the concerns aired over coffee at the Cafe de Paris, and should be a must-see for delegates to the Rendez-Vous. For those unable to attend the debate, GR TV will show the highlights on its Wednesday programme, and for those unable to attend the Rendez-Vous, the programmes will be available on the Global Reinsurance website for viewing after the event.

Happy viewing!