Meeting last week and attracting nearly 1,000 delegates, the 12th biennial Singapore International Reinsurance Conference (SIRC) has come a long way since the event joined the industry's traveling circus in 1990. So too has Singapore as a regional reinsurance hub. Back then there were plenty of reinsurers but many were small and ineffective; few brokers could be taken seriously; markets like China and Vietnam were closed; and customers in Japan, Korea and Australia stopped over only to refresh before flying on to London where they did their business. Today all that has changed and Singapore hosts a vibrant maturing market with depth in expertise, capacity and reach.
Singapore’s development as a reinsurance centre is one example of a global economy reshaped by connectivity. Internet technology and mobile telephony have transformed how businesses interact with their customers and suppliers. Today our clients can operate efficiently; sell their products competitively and access markets in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Yet their world is now more complex, inter-dependent and fast-moving. They face new sorts of risk that can have sudden and devastating consequences. My address at SIRC on Thursday was on whether the insurance industry is innovating to meet the challenge of global connectivity.
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