A blow by blow account of the first Monte RVS for GR’s new editor

monte carlo

Sunday, 13 September

9.30am  We’re off to a stormy start here at Monte Carlo, but plenty in store despite the rain. I’m on my way to my first meeting at my first ever Monte Carlo RVS. I’ll be speaking with Fifth Step chief executive Darren Wray.

10.00am  The Fairmont is just waking up; the stands are out and the people are trickling in. I have a morning meeting with Fifth Step chief executive Darren Wray shortly and I’m ready to jump in.

11.20am  Wray had some interesting insights on cyber risk and security. As he says, it’s the new ‘big data’ for the (re)insurance industry. For service providers it’s about being ahead of the curve in order to service the clients.

11.55am  Just tweeted some standout points from the Aon Benfield conference. Some very honest words shared by Paul Schultz on the lack of organic growth and the need for other capital streams. 

1.05pm  Just finished an interview with Tokio Solution Management chief executive Kathleen Faries at the Hermitage. It looks like Tokio Millennium as a whole will be focussing more on third party capital. I’ll be speaking more on this with Tokio Millennium Re chief executive Stephan Ruoff later on today.

2.10pm  The possibility of lunch have all but slipped away. I’m now making my way to the Munich Re Media conference, before heading to meet with XL Catlin EMEA chief executive David Watson.

3.00pm  M&A is proving a recurring theme at Monte this year. Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to has referenced it and both Aon Benfield and Munich Re have sought to explain it in their respective conferences. 

4.05pm  Bumped into Pro Global chief executive Artur Niemczewski at the Metropole, it’s always a pleasure to speak with one of the industry’s most interesting characters.

5.35pm  Great chat with Dagong Europe director Linus Grigaliunas about the Chinese rating agency’s move towards Europe, which is in line with the international expansion of the Chinese financial sector as a whole.


Monday, 14 September

7.45am  Just about to start chairing our GR Global Executive Breakfast, held in association with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). We have a fantastic turnout with all in attendance.

9.00am  We’ve drawn to a close with our roundtable. Our discussion on hubs, established, emerging and emerged, was a lively one. The report of the discussion should make for an interesting read.

9.30am  With a dryer and brighter day ahead, RVS is in full swing. It’s now impossible to get a seat at Cafe de Paris – a far cry from yesterday when they were in abundance. 

2.00pm  The GR Executive Lunch held in association with the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has just drawn to a close. Great company and great conversation at the Vistamar Terrace at the Hermitage Hotel.

2.30pm  I left the lunch with Gary Reader from KMPG and we met up with Phil Smart at the Fairmont. Their views on potential disruptors to (re)insurance and the sector’s admission that innovation is needed was very insightful. 

3.30pm  I went on to a meeting with the Partners from drinker Biddle, the U.S. Legal specialists. It was great to hear that Monte coverage had been ’optimistic’ for the team, even given the current climate. 

4.00pm  there was no better person to speak with at Monte about ILS than Greg Wojciechowski. And the fact it, third party capital is another recurring theme across the piece at Monte. had the sector accepted it’s here to stay?

8.00pm  dinner with Christina Booth of Tokio millennium is the perfect way to round off the day at Monte - following by Scor lounge, of course.


Tuesday, 15 September

9.10am  On my way to meet with Swiss Re EMEA chief executive Jean-Jacque Henchoz. I have so many questions I’m wondering if I can squeeze this in to a 30min conversation. I’ll make it work!

10.45am  Next up is Tom Johansmeyer at the Cafe de Paris. This will be my first meeting there, unlike the Swiss Re Pavilion, I doubt I’ll get a seat…

11.40am  ISO assistant Vice President Tom Johansmeyer is doing great things in Turkey and its neighbouring countries off the back of ISO’s reinsurance initiative, which he has spearheaded. Definitely a region to watch.

12.10pm  Slipcase has showcased our magazine in its Monte Carlo Special. Our GR Monte Carlo Special cover has had rave reviews, as have our top-level interviews. The response has been appreciated.

2.05pm  Just finished up with Akshay Randeva and Khalid Al Mughesib of the QFC at the Fairmont. The QFC has just published its MENA Barometer, and this was an opportunity to gain deeper understandings of the findings.

3.40pm  A sit down with Moore Stephens was a real pleasure. Mapping out potential editorial collaborations in the Monte Carlo sun definitely sparked some interesting future projects.

4.40pm  Ben Love of Hiscox Re was my last meeting for Monte Carlo. We talked about the trials of staying competitive in an increasingly consolidated market.

6.50pm  Being invited to IGI’s yacht reception was fantastic – it was the perfect way to unwind after a hectic few days.

8.00pm  I’m now at Aon Benfield’s journalists’ dinner at Nobu in the Fairmont. It’s great to close my first Monte Carlo RVS experience with my peers, discussing the trials and tribulations of the past few days - and the meal was truly delicious.

And that draws a close to my first Monte Carlo experience, until next year!