Risk & Insurance Management in Asia-Pacific
18th Sep, 2014

The not-for-profit organisation PARIMA stands for ‘Pan-Asian Risk & Insurance Management Association (PARIMA)’. As a regional association with local chapters being created across Asia, it focuses on strengthening and enhancing the culture of risk management across Asia-Pacific. Chairman Franck Baron explains how the organisation operates and what challenges they have to face.

What is PARIMA about exactly?
PARIMA creates opportunities for education and dialogue within the professional community of risk and insurance management. Supported by Corporate Associate Members from the industry, the association exists to represent and support them all by coordinating and enhancing awareness and effective use of risk management, insurance and risk financing in Asia-Pacific.

The need for risk practitioners to meet and share concerns and best practices is a “must-do” around the world. The idea to develop a regional group such as PARIMA came as it was felt that it would be very beneficial in the immediate future and in the long-term to create an association of and for risk management and insurance professionals that would extend across national boundaries within the region.

An objective would be to represent and support our members by coordinating and enhancing awareness and effective use of risk management, insurance and risk financing in the Asia region.

What made you decide to set up the organisation in Asia-Pacific? What do you want to achieve?
Basically the absence of a regional professional association for risk and insurance professionals: the goal is hence to get all these professionals together, raise their profile and skills so that this profession can get to the next level.

Asia-Pacific is growing at a pace unmatched anywhere else in the world. Part of our challenge is to match or exceed that rate of growth on a personal level, as well as within our risk and insurance community. Part of the role that most of us fulfill entails the purchase of insurance to protect our respective companies. Beyond that, many of us are also expected to enable our companies to prepare for the future, to turn risk into opportunity, and ultimately into value. The overarching goal of PARIMA is to become a vehicle that will help each of us to advance toward that goal of value creation in our professional roles.

What's is the life of an Association Executive from Europe like in Asia-Pacific? How do you deal with cultural differences?
The Asia-Pacific is not one thing like Europe can be through EU. It is a myriad of different countries with different economic development, political systems, culture, language and religion. So the main challenge is to stick to your vision and ambition while taking into account the local specificities and difference in appetite/maturity to get together as a professional community.

We understand you have worked in Europe and in the US as well. After one year in Singapore, what is the difference between being a member association of IFRIMA in three different continents?
Franck Baron: The International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations (IFRIMA) is the international umbrella organisation for risk management associations, representing 23 organisations and over 30 countries around the world. As an ‘association of associations’, IFRIMA’s primary objective is to provide a forum for interaction and communications among risk management associations and their members.

The main difference is the fact that PARIMA is a creation that triggered a lot challenges in terms of legalities, admin, logistics, financing, etc. This was a real challenge as it is very different from the development of an existing association

How do you see the future of the association?
Franck Baron: I certainly look forward to our very first regional conference, to be held 9 December 2014 in Singapore, where we expect 500 attendees including 200 risk and insurance managers (50% of them will come from overseas) and sponsors and exhibitors from the region.

We want it to become the profession and industry ‘must-attend’ event: we chose Singapore as our destination, since it’s the registration domicile of PARIMA and it’s easy logistically speaking to organise our very first conference here, especially given the strong support by the local authorities and the quality of the conference centre and hotels. With no visa restrictions and affordable in terms of airfares and accommodation, Singapore is naturally attractive, and growingly considered as the regional hub for the insurance industry.

As to the association itself, we naturally aim for membership growth in all Asian countries and the development of local chapters and local activities (local language and culture based). We will also encourage the development of dialog with local / regional authorities in regards of our profession, while working on structuring educational and certification facilities.

How would you summarize new trends in the association congress world?
Attracting new and retaining current members can be a challenge: the idea is to always sustain the value proposition for the membership and the related products (conference, education, etc.). The resources to be acknowledged as an official stakeholder by various authorities also have constantly to be worked on: as such, we are no different to another organisation, and the trends we come across are those of everyone else, no matter the objectives and the mission.

PARIMA’s recent events
Strategic Risk Forum – 10 July 2014 – Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore
Conference & Workshop on Global Framework – 30 May 2014 – Suntec Singapore
Singapore Risk Management Summit – 19-20 May 2014, The Regent, Singapore
Hong Kong Corporate Governance Seminar – 26 June 2014 – Norton Rose Fulbright, PARIMA
Singapore Executive Breakfast – 23 April 2014

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