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2016 Conference Summary and Thank You

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This year RAPA members traveled deep into the heart of Texas for an extraordinary journey.   San Antonio featured an historical experience with the Alamo, an exquisite river, and took us to new heights at the Towers of Americas.

Our conference kicked off with a meet and great with our 30 first time attendees from as far as Australia to Barbados, and Trinidad & Tobago.   Our planning committee not only set the stage for a great event but kicked it off in style with Western “Chic” – not sure if I’ve figured this out just yet J.  Our icebreaker teams where formed by novelty item and each team was to figure out who was lying and who was telling the truth.  We also played a wild game of poker and the “plush horse” team won with a full house – Aces over 9’s!

The morning session kicked off with a very informative session from Karen McClary who took us on a Process Improvement Journey.  Karen took us through lean and A3 thinking with practical examples that can be utilized in our day-to-day work.   She worked our brains to the point where we figured out that we had one really weird thought in common = “An Elephant in France eating Tomatoes”.   The throwback to I Love Lucy made us realize we can think differently and streamline processes watching for TIM WOODS, and for that, we All Love Karen.

We then started to head to the undercurrent of organizations with Nick Durie where we uncovered more about culture.  Developing, Growing & Sustaining a Unique Company Culture that Drives Performance was the topic and did Nick ever make this journey a lot of fun.  Nick shared his story with us and we learned how companies are evolving their culture through corporate maxims, and the importance of employee satisfaction and how it drives performance.

The whistle blew and it was time to hop on Wilson Varghese’s train with his co-conductor Brian Wilkinson where we obtained Perspective’s on Operations and IT.  We explored the results of a widespread industry survey with a focal point on 5 themes – Systems/Technology, Data Management, Building Admin Workarounds, Innovation and the Ease of Doing Business.   When the train pulled into the station we learned that key investment, communication, open innovation and standardized process can really improve our organizations.

This led us to take a moment on the Riverwalk and enjoy the San Antonio sun….so nice!

In the afternoon, we cozied up with a chat…a ‘RAPA Chat’.  We gathered around to chat about how the world around us was innovating at an extremely rapid pace.  Companies are working on creating an innovative culture, promoting innovative thinking, and dedicating resources/teams solely to this cause.

Eddie Martinez then took us through the retention management and how the retention tree works.   The tip of the tree is the direct writer and has a relatively narrow view of retention but as you go to the reinsurer the accumulation view gets much broader.   Once you get to the base of the retention tree, retrocession, this provides the most broad view of per life retention.  This information can be powerful and rolled all the back up to the direct writer when issues arise. e.g. Jumbo limit violations.

Then the door opened and brochures went flying , with an energetic story and chat on Post Level Term from Brittany Pratt.  We talked about the reasons the issues exists and how treaties can differ.   Brittany talked about how her RAPA initiative team was working on aggregating issues and forming best practices.

After a quick break and Texas sized pretzels, it was time to get risky. Garfield McIntyre took us through the Risk Based Audit Plan. As reinsurance operations evolves so should your responsibility to ensure appropriate controls within your area’s are key to audit compliancy and data integrity.

Carol Arada and Deidre Ward then put us to the test with Errors & Omission.  Challenging scenarios on what qualifies for and E&O and what does not.  Is ‘systemic’ different then an ‘ad hoc’ error?  What about Automatic vs Facultative?  Intriguing questions to ensure that communication and controls are a focal point in our industry.

To conclude our chats for the day, we sat down with Brian Millman to obtain insights into the importance of understanding how appropriately aggregating insured’s data can help to weed out fraud.   The vast array of ways to interpret and aggregate data was illuminating and something we can all work to incorporate in our day-to-day due diligence.

After going through the undercurrent it was time to head to the top of San Antonio at the Tower of Americas for our evening reception.

To start our morning, Jean-Marc Fix “welcomed us to the party” by Defining Gender + Gender Change.   A topic that generates much discussion with a view on how this impacts (or does not) insurance….was that XY or XX or XXY?  It was a very good way for us to gather more knowledge of the issues at hand and how we should treat them.

Our initiative leads concluded the morning with presentations on their respective areas with great momentum within each.

A big THANKS to all our planning committee, attendees, presenters, board members, volunteers, deputies (of course the sheriff) and sponsors for making this a truly successful conference!

Look forward to seeing you for our milestone 20thannual conference in St. Petersburg, Florida!!

Greg LaRochelle, Chair – RAPA

P.S. Please note the slides have been posted on the website ( and in the Past Conferences section of the website for members).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]