Dragging French reinsurer SCOR Re back from the brink and restoring the company’s credibility and financial security was an achievement many in the market thought impossible. So when the reinsurer's CEO Denis Kessler, who engineered this much lauded comeback spoke about the emerging economies at the A.M. Best Conference last week, as reported in Insurance Insider, his comments were not without significance. His rallying cry for reinsurers to commit for the long term to places like China and Brazil by deploying local people on the ground to develop relationships goes some way to redress the popular perception that reinsurance is fast becoming a numbers game best left to quants on small islands far away from the audience they seek to serve.

Interestingly, at the same time, RSA have come to much the same conclusion in the consumer-facing end of the industry. In announcing the closure of all their Indian call centres and transferring 350 jobs back to the United Kingdom, a chapter of off-shoring client relations that RSA did so much to pioneer might just be closing. Judging by the comments attributed to their management, attaining a consistently excellent level of customer service has proven elusive for RSA, despite years of trying, because they failed to recreate at a distance a cultural identity with the customer.

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