The 2012 deadline may be some way off, but insurers and reinsurers must prepare now, finds Helen Yates

In December 2006, Global Reinsurance invited some senior industry figures to discuss the importance of enterprise risk management (ERM) and Solvency II. The Solvency II deadline of 2012 might seem like a long way off, but many insurers and reinsurers in Europe realise they must prepare now for this crucial new regulation.

Solvency II will put the onus on individual companies to assess their risk exposures and, as a result, calculate their solvency requirements. In both Europe and beyond, ERM has become a sophisticated means by which companies can better measure and understand all the risks in their organisation. The benefits are profound. Regulators and rating agencies alike increasingly reward those firms with an ERM framework.

Better understanding risk exposures can also help to keep down capital requirements. So ultimately, will ERM help insurers and reinsurers compete in an increasingly sophisticated and demanding regulatory environment?

We put this question to our panel of experts.