This year’s SIFMA Insurance Risk Linked Securities (IRLS) conference in New York was not only a great networking opportunity for Rein4ce, but also a chance for me to visit a city I have never been to before.
What is the SIFMA Insurance Risk Linked Securities (IRLS) conference?
The event is one of the main conferences in the insurance-linked securities (ILS) calendar – with over 400 delegates, 40 speakers and nine sessions, discussing how the convergence of reinsurance with the capital markets is driving industry growth and change.
Places to go in New York to network with ILS people
My first time in New York did not disappoint. The various networking events throughout the week allowed me to eat at some of New York’s best restaurants – my favourite being @TaoDowntown in Downtown New York with the Tullett Prebon boys, and whiskey tasting at the @TheFlatironRoom with the Bermuda BDA @investBermuda team and @BSXBermuda.
Mairi Mallon, CEO of Rein4ce – aka @reinsurancegirl – got a bit sick of me stopping dead in the street shouting “oh my god look” at one of the hundreds of iconic sights New York had to offer, so she gave me an afternoon off to sightsee (#bestbossever).
After I learned to look the wrong way when crossing the road, realising those cabs aren’t going to slow down, I had a pretty good time. When I finally ventured into the back of a yellow cab, it felt a bit like being in the back of a police car (er, not that I would know), and I even learned some new words – mostly from my slightly aggressive cab driver, so I won’t repeat them.
A couple of things that I’ve learned. First, nobody holds the door open for you, no matter how loudly you tut. My personal favourite is that Americans think gin is a super civilized drink, not in fact ‘mother’s ruin’ and something that old women like to drink. Also, if you ever come to New York, learn to survive on four hours of sleep a night – there’s always something amazing happening.
SIFMA -a ‘who’s who’ of the international ILS market.
While there may have been a few culture clashes – don’t try to drink the ‘tea’ (honestly don’t even try) – everyone was talking the same language at the SIFMA conference. It really is a top networking event. As Trading Risk’s editor @Fiona_InsideTR said, the lobby of the conference venue, the Grand Hyatt, was like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the international ILS market.
ILS innovating capital markets
Delegates heard how ILS has bought innovation to the capital markets, and delved into the intricacies of risk modelling. Also interesting was hearing what the future disruptors could be as the ILS market inevitably becomes bigger, or what @DrinkerBiddle’s Michael Halsband calls #disruptiveinsurancerisktransfer – a brand new hashtag! For example, Extraordinary Re’s @XReHoldings is hoping to create the first liquid market place for insurance contracts.
Some of our clients were also in the limelight – with @BSXBermuda CEO Greg Wojciechowski speaking about innovation in the Bermuda market, and Twelve Capital’s John Butler talking #ILS challenges and growth opportunities with @AMBestNews. I’m also looking forward to seeing what @artemisbm, @IPTradingRisk and @reactionsnet have to say following the conference.
Any comments or feedback on the conference or the SIFMA agenda would be welcome!
Thank you SIFMA and thank you New York – until next year.