The Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) was established today by 31 insurance associations, representing 87 percent of the global insurance business.

“This is a great day for the insurance industry around the world. The federation will give our associations the ability to respond on a timely basis to international issues affecting our industry and to speak with one voice,” said Frank Swedlove, newly elected GFIA chair and president of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. “I am honored to have the opportunity to be the inaugural chair of the federation and will strive to ensure that our industry’s views are heard.”

This is the first formal global federation of the world’s insurance associations. GFIA will actively comment on a range of issues affecting the international insurance industry, including developments in the systemic risk debate; the work of the IAIS in developing ComFrame, the common framework for the supervision of international groups; market conduct and trade issues; and initiatives in relation to financial inclusion and anti-money laundering.

“As the global insurance standard-setter, the IAIS values greatly the contributions of IAIS observers — who represent international institutions, professional associations and insurance and reinsurance companies—to the development and implementation of IAIS supervisory material,” said Peter Braumüller, chairman of the executive committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). “We look forward to working with GFIA and its members as we all continue to promote effective and globally-consistent supervision of the insurance industry.”

Recaredo Arias, secretary general of FIDES (Federación Interamericana de Empresas de Seguros) was elected vice-chair; Michaela Koller, director general of Insurance Europe, was elected secretary. As the secretariat, Insurance Europe will undertake the work required to support GFIA’s initiatives.

“This is indeed a historic day. Regulation of the insurance industry is increasingly being set internationally,” said Dirk Kempthorne, Washington, DC governor, and president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers. “The establishment of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations will allow the industry to work more closely with international regulators in the development of sound and balanced regulation.”

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