London-based ri3k, the leading provider of computer-based data processing and accounting for the reinsurance industry, has launched a new initiative in partnership with a number of global companies, to provide electronic reinsurance infrastructure in time for the treaty renewals beginning 31st December 2003.
A Company bulletin described the system as providing “a significant benefit” as the platform processes the “electronic delivery of data needed by insurance groups and brokers to allow better analysis of reinsurance assets as they look to the market for reinsurance protections.” ri3k’s goal is to replace “the paper-based workflow with electronic data streams,” allowing “the core reinsurance data to flow automatically into company reporting systems.” The company also noted that this would support “the effort to meet increasingly stringent reinsurance compliance and reporting requirements.”
“The group of 8 ceding companies includes global operators ACE Overseas General, Aviva, Talanx/HDI and Royal & SunAlliance, and London market leaders Brit and Hiscox,” said the bulletin. It also noted that “Guy Carpenter, the world’s leading reinsurance broker [See article on Aon Global Re above], and reinsurers Hannover Re and Partner Re have also been closely involved.”
PartnerRe Global CEO Bruno Meyenhofer commented, “The reinsurance market still lags behind other industries in exploiting technology for efficiency gains. We all want and need these gains. PartnerRe fully supports efforts to make the reinsurance workflow more productive for our clients. We believe that ri3k represents a major step in the right direction and PartnerRe is aligned with this effort.”
Andreas Grabi, a member of the Executive Board at Protection Re, the newly created reinsurance buying arm of German insurance group Talanx/HDI, added “We are keen to accelerate the industry’s transition from a paper-based business model to an electronic paradigm. The ri3k solution supports both our strategy and our vision.”
Aviva’s Director of Group Reinsurance, Craig Patterson, indicated, “Aviva has been a key player in the industry’s drive to develop a B2B reinsurance trading structure. We have been transacting our Group and International treaty renewals over this hub since 1st January 2003, and have been delighted with the enhanced governance, compliance and discipline that ri3k brings, enabling us to co-ordinate and simplify the management of all of our reinsurance and risk management activities”
Using the new web services technologies, the ri3k Hub can interconnect the insurance companies and their brokers to the reinsurers so that they can exchange data without human intervention, which is costly and causes delay and error. “The ri3k infrastructure mirrors what the users say they needed, as opposed to simply showboating the magic of technology”, stressed ri3k CEO Alex Letts. “In reality, speed of change from paper flow to data flow will vary among the group of 8. Some are still validating, others are further along. But the crucial factor is that the tarmac has been laid, a modern electronic infrastructure has been implemented, and this will support the data payload of the reinsurance industry for the 3rd millennium”.
ri3k’s business model, which concentrates on workflow processing rather than contract negotiations, has gained new stature since the demise of inreon, the joint venture electronic reinsurance platform set up by Swiss Re and Munich Re. Juergen Petzold, Senior E-Business Co-Ordinator at Hannover Re stressed the importance cedants place on this technology, stating, “Several prominent reinsurers welcome and support this cedant-driven initiative, as it represents a promising development towards a more efficient and error free electronic information exchange in the industry. The clear commitment of ceding companies to place significant business volumes on the platform, gives it a lot of credibility.”
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