Insurance & Asset Management

 


The Insurance and Asset Management Industry Partners are a community of top companies that are actively involved in the World Economic Forum’s mission at the industry level. Partners participate in setting the global and industry agendas through collaborative involvement in projects, dialogue series, and communities that are designed based on the interests of the Insurance and Asset Management community. 

Industry Partners enjoy privileged access to the Forum’s networks across business, government, academia, and non-governmental organizations. These activities allow Partners to gain insights in global and regional issues and leverage the Forum’s unparalleled ability to convene senior decision makers from all different sectors, creating an effective platform for collaboration, innovation, and leadership. Industry Partnership also allows a company’s CEO or Chairman to participate in the Governors’ Meetings at the Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos.

Key annual events in the Industry Partnership Programme include the Governors’ Meetings at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos; the Industry Strategy Meeting in New York; the Financial Services Roundtable; and project/initiative-related workshops.

Portfolio of Industry Initiatives/Projects

Financial services industry initiatives are shaped by Industry Partners in collaboration with the public and multilateral sectors, academia and Forum project teams. Initiatives provide opportunities for sustained interaction through dedicated activities throughout the year. Senior, multistakeholder steering committees and working groups ensure the strategic direction and quality of the work. The current portfolio of Financial Services initiatives includes:

Accelerating Local Capital Market Development

Capital markets play a critical role in economic development through the efficient allocation of domestic and international savings into productive investments. However, in many emerging economies, capital markets remain underdeveloped or are altogether non-existent. This presents several challenges: domestic institutions, such as pension funds and insurers, struggle to match their liabilities with appropriate local assets; foreign investors struggle to fund important assets, such as infrastructure, due to information asymmetry, transaction costs and unhedgeable currency exposure; local companies with access often resort to raising capital in G10 foreign currencies, putting them at risk of severe exchange rate volatility, etc. This project asks whether the process of developing a well-functioning local currency capital market can be accelerated and what concrete initiatives need to be catalysed. Specific areas of focus include: a) accelerating the development of local corporate bond markets; b) creative approaches to developing market infrastructure for local equity and bond markets and c) the role of local market players: pension funds, insurers and fund managers, in achieving these objectives.

Disruptive Innovations in Financial Services

With the accelerating pace and adoption of technological change, a number of emerging, or existing, technologies have the potential to significantly disrupt the traditional business models across financial services. Although these changes have the potential to negatively impact profitability and market share, they also represent an enormous opportunity for financial institutions that are adaptive. A competitive advantage exists for those financial institutions that can identify, adopt and/or adapt to truly game-changing technologies, with the potential of rendering successful businesses more nimble, competitive and efficient.

Promoting Global Financial Inclusion

Financial exclusion represents a market failure. While proven demand for financial services exists, supply has not developed for various reasons. Today, over half of the world's working-age population (~2.5 billion adults) does not use quality, affordable financial services. The Financial Inclusion initiative focuses on different dimensions of financial inclusion, including: access to credit, savings, payments, insurance, financial capability, enabling a favourable and consistent regulatory environment, building trust in the system, and the delivery of funds via technology. The initiative aims to use the Forum’s unique multistakeholder platform to facilitate opportunities for cross-industry and cross-sector collaboration to jointly tackle key issues, share common pitfalls and best practices, and identify a joint innovation agenda.

The Role of Financial Services in Society

In recent years, the financial services industry has come under increased scrutiny, in particular for its role in contributing to the financial crisis, and in light of on-going scandals. The resulting deterioration of public confidence has led many to question the role of financial services in society. Building on a multi-year effort, led by chief executives and senior managers of financial institutions, regulators, economists, academics and civil society representatives to restore trust in the financial system, questions remain on a number of critical issues, including: improving conduct within the industry, managing trade-offs between innovation and safety, and supporting credit growth without creating asset bubbles. The Role of Financial Services in Society initiative provides an opportunity for the financial services community to address these questions and assess how the industry can better contribute to economic and social value creation.

For more information contact: financialservices@weform.org

Giancarlo Bruno
Senior Director, Head of Financial Services Industry
giancarlo.bruno@weforum.org

Abel Lee
Director, Head of Insurance and Asset Management
abel.lee@weforum.org

Ariel Schwarz
Team Coordinator, Insurance and Asset Management
ariel.schwarz@weforum.org