Schloss Hernstein, Austria.
|Austria :||Hubert Tramposch, Aurelia Tramposch, Barbara Kirchner|
|Belgium :||Isabelle Perrel, Paul Muylaert, Annick Van Malderghem|
|Brazil :||Rodrigo Marinho Crespo|
|Bulgaria :||Rozalina Gradinarova|
|France :||Amelia Brault|
|Germany :||Ralf-Thomas Wittmann|
|Greece :||Ioannis Pantelidis|
|Ireland :||Margaret Carey|
|Italy :||Alessandro Giorgetti|
|Luxemburg :||Gerard Turpel|
|Norway :||Eivind Kogstad, Trond Werner Lunde|
|Spain & Portugal:||Enrique Belzuz Fernandez (President), Jose Garzon|
|Sweden :||Christer A. Holm|
|The Netherlands :||Bertjan de Lange (Treasurer), Jan Streefkerk|
|Turkey :||Gulay Koc, Jale Keskin|
|UK :||Bill Perry (Vice-President), David Brackenbury (Marketing and Communications Director)|
|USA :||Michael Connelly – Texas, Robert Scott Newman – Florida, Robert J. Bates Jr. – Illinois|
|ARC Canada :||Jamie Trimble|
The meeting was called to order at 1040 am.
Hubert Tramposch, the hosting Member welcomed colleages to Austria and the Schloss Hernstein.
The President, Enrique Belzuz also welcomed Members to the Annual General Meeting
1 . Welcome to new Members
Eivind Kogstad introduced Kogstad Lunde which was founded in 1998 in Oslo. The firm specialises in compensation cases, social security and benefit work. The firm does Insurance defence work and are also specialist in mediation. They are named on ACE London’s panel. Eivind remarked on the excellent co-operation that they have in Scandanavia.
Bob Bates introduced Bates Carey Nicolaides LLP, which was founded in Chicago in 1999. They specialise in Insurance and Reinsurance work throughout the USA and Bermuda, as well as professional malpractice cases. They work with major reinsurance carriers such as Swiss Re, Munich Re and are expert in coverage and defence work.
2 . Member Reports
Soulié & Coste-Floret (France) – Amelia Brault reported that they had been awarded an award for Industrial Risk work. The practice has 8 partners and 10 lawyers and serves all areas of the Insurance industry as well as Captive work. One Partner is also a member of IADC. The practice specialises in multi jurisdictional cases.
Grooterhorst (Germany) – Ralf-Thomas Wittmann advised that the practice emplys eight lawyers who specialise in Architects and Engineers liability, Banks and Real Estate work. They also deal in product liability and Insurance defence and coverage issues.
The Arc Group (Canada) – Jamie Trimble informed us that most of the firms in the Group do Insurance and Risk Management work. In 2011 they want to make Arc work for smaller provincial jusrisdictions. They have targeted clients involved in Auto and Truck leasing. Arc aim to visit London during the week of 31/10/2011 and would like some opportunities to get on panels. They will liaise with BP / DHB re client events and the London visit
PD Law Offices (Greece) – Ioannis Pantelidis introduced his firm as a medium practice employing about twenty people. They have done a lot of liquidation work for British Life Assurance Companies and have worked with Van Ameyde in Austria. They also work in Political Risk and Credit Insurance matters. They are Members of the European Institute of Traffic Law.
Streefkerk Advocaten (The etherlands) – Bertjan de Lange advised the meeting on a decision in the Supreme Court on shock damages. He thanked Rozalina from Dia Consult in Bulgaria for providing a reliable Russian lawyer for business concerning the Van Ameyde Group. Jan Streefkerk commented that there were some difficulties with the Van Ameyde business just now. The firm has been established 45 years and does coverage and defence work in areas such as liability, D&O and construction.
Studio Legale Giorgetti (Italy) Alessandro Giorgetti repported that his firm did only Insurance and Reinsurance matters in all classes except “wet” marine. They have always specialised in Financial Institutions and Specie work, among other areas. Alessandro is also a Chartered Mediator in Italy and he remarked that arranging mediation is compulsary in the Italian legal system. He suggested that Insuralex make more mention of mediation in our website and publicity. He also suggested that Insurers and Reinsurers act as proactively as possible as the Mediator is chosen by the side that call the mediation. This is something that the London and European Insurance Markets should be very aware of.
Dia Consult (Bulgaria) – Rozalina Gradinarova explained that they were a middle sized firm of ten lawyers and three partners. They deal in Insurance and Reinsurance litigation, Insolvency and Real Estate. They are acting as State Consultants in drafting agreements for a new nuclear power plant with Russia. The financial problems in Bulgaria have attracted new lawyers to their practice. Kaya and Partners (Turkey) – Jale Keskin advised us that the practice had been going since 1991 and specialised in Transport, Marine, Aviation, Personal Injury and Malpractice cases. They work in both the Turkish and European legal systems. Kaya and Partners have seven lawyers in Turkey.
Advokatfirman orelidHolm (Sweden) – Christer Holm told the meeting that their firm was growing and was the number one Insurance legal firm in Sweden. They are on the ACE UK Panel and have had work from Allianz. Christer acknowledged a referral case on product liability that was received from Soulié & Coste-Floret which involved Axa and a situation involving defective parts in train brakes. Carter Perry Bailey (UK) – Bill Perry informed us that their practice was well regarded, having been recently nominated as Niche Firm of the Year. The firm has six lawyers and four Partners and are listed as a Leading Firm in Chambers, as well as Legal 500. CPB deal with all areas of Insurance and Reinsurance coverage and defence, except Admiralty and “wet” marine matters They are working on a case involving a Monet painting damaged in transit and a complex multi-jurisdictional matter involving a Gibraltar subsidiary of a Ukranian Insurance Company.
Belzuz Abogados SLP ( Spain and Portugal) – Enrique Belzuz said that their practice had been founded 55 years ago and the Portugese office had been opened 15 years ago. They deal with Civil Liability, Malpractice, some Traffic Law and more Products Liability. Enrique advised that they had received a referral case from Soulié & Coste-Floret involving an expolsion at a waste operation. The firm has a Labour department for Corporate work but – 40% of the firms business was in in Insurance and Reinsurance coverage and defence work. They are instructed by Companies that include Axa, Mapfre, ACE and QBE. Enrique has recently been invited to join the IADC.
DFMG Solicitors (Ireland) – Margaret Carey told us that they specialise in Alternative Dispute Resolution and act as acredited Mediators. Their firm has represented clients who sold Financial Service in a successful mediation befor the Ombudsman. They work in Judicial Mediation and Arbitration. One of the firm’s Partners advises the Irish Government on matters of Digital Copyright and another colleague has recently entered the Irish Senate, thus providing the firm with useful political connections. Margaret thanked Insuralex for some good referral work, having received business from Soulié & Coste-Floret, Studio Legale Giorgetti and Carter Perry Bailey, as well as a case referred by Streefkerk, that will be heard in Ireland under Dutch law!
Connelly Baker Wotring (USA – Texas) – Michael Connelly introduced the firm as experts in Insurance Law and litigation and defence work. The practice has thirteen lawyers and specialise in environmental law, Catastrophe work, both in industrial and natural aspects. The firm are noted experts in Port related business and US News and World Report particularly note their expertise in Railroad law. The firm is recognised in Chambers. Michael serves as the Secretary – Treasurer of the IADC. Marlow, Connell, Abrams, Adler, ewman & Lewis (USA – Florida) – Scott Newman explained that the firm was based in Miami with twenty five lawyers and 95% of the firm’s work was Insurance coverage and defence work.Specialisations include Professional Liability, Construction Product Liability, Aviation and Marine business. They have a very wide ranging practise, which has invlved number of cross-jurisdictional cases involving Insuralex colleagues in France, The Netherlands and also Arc Group colleagues in Canada. Naturally, in Florida, issues of Bad Faith are frequently dealt with and this is an area that the firm are expert in. One of their most interesting recent cases involved the “Queen Mary II” who had main engine defects. Rolls-Royce sued their excess insurance carriers for more than US$100 Million and the firm obtained a dismissal in Federal Court and the case is now returned to the UK. The practise’s geographical spread is illustrated by their work involving an explosion in a gold mine in Ghana.
Turpel & Schank (Luxembourg) – Gerard Turpel explained that the firm was set up in 1994 and has ten lawyers and two Partners. They have worked closely with Paul Muylaert in Belgium. They have been working to defend Insurers and Reinsurers of tunnel works in Luxembourg, which have been blamed for causing widespread damage to nearby houses. They have also been involved in Insurance Contract Inheritance issues.
Stüssi-eves Advogados – (Brazil) – Rodrigo Crespo said that the firm was based in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo with about thirty lawyers. The amount of Reinsurance and Insurance work has increased since the Brazilian insurance Market opened up some years ago. They see considerable opportunities from the upcoming Olympic Games and World Cup. The practise works in the fields of Credit, Civil and Professional Liability and injury claims. Rodrigo also explained that in Brazil, there was a low insurance take up.
Paul Muylaert – (Belgium) – advised that the practice was formed in 1974, with one Partner and eight Associates. Business is conducted in both French and Dutch and covers all matters of Insurance and Reinsurance coverage and defence work. They deal with Liability work in the fields of Products, Real Estate and Construction. They lecture and write articles on specialized areas of their work. Also the practice maintains strong connections with Insuralex colleagues in France, Italy, Luxembourg and Ireland.
Tramposch & Partner – (Austria) – Our host, Hubert Tramposch remarked that the firm does 80 – 90% ot the work that Van Ameyde gives to layers in Austria. He explained that the co-operation with Van Ameyde has been extremely successful. The practice is a very successful firm, covering a wide area of Liability and Corporate Law. They have worked in partnership with Grooterhorst on work for a Claim Firm in Turkey and good links have been established and there are good possibilities for future business development.
3 . Marketing and Communication
David Brackenbury was welcomed by the Members to his first formal meeting of the Group. He made a presentation to the Group on his background in the Lloyd’s and London Insurance Market and some of the activities that he has been engaged in since joining Insuralex. David introduced the new www.insuralex.com website and also touched on some of the media and press interest that there has been with Insuralex since the change of name and the enhancement of our marketing activities.
David explained that he had established an excellent working relationship with Officers of the Group and had already spent time in the Market with colleagues from France and the USA. Client’s lists were discussed so that David could be introduced to Member’s contacts, as well as introducing Members to his own.
In questions, Amelia pointed out that issues of confidentiallity differed across jurisdictions. She expressed concern that French Bar Association rules forbid disclosure of client information. Bill made the point that information could be public or private to Insuralex and, in any event, all limits of confidentiallity would be respected.
Ioannis suggested that 3 or 5 Members should consider the Group’s Marketing goals for the future and that contributions would be welcomed.
Isabelle said that in terms of jurisdictions, that firms could offer coverage that covers all a given territory and suggested that the questionaire to prospective Members should reflect this.
Amelia agreed that the London Market is important, but does not want the Continental Market to be ignored. If there was a significant event in Paris, she would expect Members to attend. Her firm will act in a reciprocal manner with her clients and Amelia will expect David to operate in France.
David expressed support for Amelia’s position and looks forward to working with her and the European Market.
Bill remarked on the fact that seven Members of Insuralex are also Members of the IADC. He pointed out that the IADC consists of individual, invited lawyers and Insuralex is for legal Practices. Nevertheless, he said that both Groups could use their links for mutual assistance where appropriate. Bill said that there is an IADC Conference in Paris 6-7/10/2011.
Hubert said that if David visits, say, Austria, does the Member or Insuralex pay for his time & expense? Enrique said that this mater has to be taken under consideration.
4 . Feedback from Members on Seminar
Enrique said that DB should assist the hosting Member in organisation of events in the future. He made some points to assist in future planning. It is important to have information on the topics to be discussed at the seminar at least fifteen days before the meeting. Minimum standards should include translation if the presentation is not given in English. After the seminar and during the cocktail, there is a need to specify so that the host and Members know who are Clients of the Group and who are not. Enrique said that the plan was for all Members to gather one hour before the presentation, but this had not happened on this occasion.
Hubert agreed that there had been no structure in the pre-seminar meeting. He said that everyone should be present one hour before and that the hosting Member and the President need to provide leadership for people to be gathered at the right time.
Margaret said that the seminar went well. She praised the presentations and the translations provided, but asked what was achieved for the Group as a whole? Margaret suggested that topics should be more able to showcase the Group. She said that there should be a re-think about marketing the Group in seminars.
Scott said that in multi-jurisdictional areas, it helps if Members and Guests introduce themselves as this is good for mutual recognition. He said that the Arc Group are better at presentation. The day before the meeting, they have a list of who is working, where and does what. Scott agreed that a one hour pre-meeting before the seminar is essential.
Amelia pointed out that she does think that multi-jurisdictional pain and suffering issues and the amounts of damages that can be awarded are of real interest and commented that the definition of the terms may differ between one Country and another. She asked whether Member’s questions should be considered in advance to stimulate debate.
Enrique made the point that the topics for seminars should be voted upon by Members.
Alessandro said that introductions can come from unexpected ways and that seminars are crucial. If there is no seminar, Insurance people will not come and socialise only. He made the point of differing cultures. In London, social and sporting events are perfectly correct, but these were not usually done in Europe. Also there are further differneces between Europe and the USA and these cultural differences should be taken account of and best practise adopted! Alessandro said that the translations were good, although at times the speaker went a little too fast for them to keep up. He said that delivering seminars in the local language is very important for Clients and Guests, as the event is for their benefit! Name badges should be in different colours for Members and Guests and the typing should be in larger print. Alessandro’s final point was that topics should be proposed by the Group and decided by the hosting Member. He said that the Guests here in Vienna were very pleased at the way that Members circulated. They had said that it was a very social and down to earth Group and that the event had shown real empathy.
Enrique commented that there were not too many Companies represented as Guests. He remarked that there should be more potential Clients present.
5 . The meeting was then adjourned for the lunch break
Hubert welcomed alternative events. He agreed with the points that Alessandro had made earlier. Hubert said that events such as this gives clients a good opportunity to mix business with pleasure. This was not really possible if there is not any business content. There should not be too many questions, as some find these tedious. Any questions before the event should be via the local Member. Hubert thought that the presentation of the Members to the Guests was too brief and that a better way should be thought of. responding to earlier comments, Hubert said that his firm had invited more Guests than came, but this had still covered 40-50% of the local Market. He had received very good feedback from the Guests, who thought that the event had been very nice and with a warm personal feeling. The good attitude of Members had been remarked upon and Guests were very impressed with Insuralex’s Global reach across jurisdictions. Presenting Insuralex as a Group will have a positive impact on our development.
Jamie Trimble said that there are clearly cultural differences in differing Markets. As far as presentations are concerned, one has to consider who you want in the room, what Clients and what subject to be discussed. The Arc Group’s next presentation will be on Privacy, based on Client feedback. Arc target their invitations and have questions planted with members of the audience.
6 . Minutes of the Midterm Meeting – 12 th ovember 2010
These were proposed as a true record – APPROVED
7 . Exchange Cases
Enrique said that no information has been provided recently. David will contact Members for updated information from November 2010 to date. The new Website Private Members Area will incorporate such information.
Enrique and Bill both pointed out that when a new case file is being opened by Members, referral information should be uploaded as a matter of course to Insuralex as part of this process. It was agreed that the information should be sent to Insuralex by the Member receiving the case.
Michael requested confirmation that information should be sent about where business comes from, if there are other Members involved.
Hubert said that he was worried about lack of clear information, but Enrique was clear that all such information will be stored on the Website. Basically, any referral made, whether from one Member to another, or through David’s marketing activities, then the information needs to be registered.
8 .USA / Australia / South Africa – Multi-Jurisdictional issues
Bill outlined the situation in this area. We are receiving interest in Membership from law firms who would like to join Insuralex, but on a multi-jurisdictional basis.
In the US, we have received an application from Goldberg Segalla, who have offices in NY, NJ, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. We also considering an application from Lavin O’Neale in Pennsylvania.
In Australia, CBP has been proposed for NSW and another firm has expressed interest in joining the Group based in Victoria and NSW
In South Africa, we have received an expression of interest from Woodhead, Bigby and Irving, who have requested that they are responsible for much of sub-Saharan Africa. They are retained by the Ports Authorities in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.
The present position is One Member – One Jurisdiction, One Jurisdiction – One Member, with rare exeptions. This was very much the view of American Members and the Groups opinion was sought on the South African application and the general principle.
Christer agreed with US Members. WBI should represent South Africa only. Margaret supported the US view. She said that she was unhappy for outside territory to be exclusive to a SA firm. One jurisdiction only.
Alessandro agrees with the US. He suggested that if any exception was agreed, the firm would have to pay multiple subscriptions, but remarked that a precedent would be established and approved of the Group’s One Member One Jurisdiction rule. Scott asked how exceptions would be agreed upon. Would it be a simple majority or a 75% vote of Members? It may be appropriate to allow some multiple offices, but if we do allow exceptions, then when and how could matters be rolled back?
Bill confirmed that any exeptions for additional offices, OR their withdrawal would be on a 75% vote of Members.
Amelia commented that if we accepted Members with multiple jurisdictions, then how would Clients interests be maintained?
Hubert asked how huge countries such as India and China would be viewed? He said that under our rules, one firm could block the whole country and asked if this was acceptable? Hubert commented further that if the MIS Network used by WBI in Southern Africa was suitable, could they join?
Bill explained that big countries may need to be considered seperately, unless a multicentre practice. MSI firms could be admitted to Membership, subject to due diligence.
Michael said that we wanted these firms to join the Group and could we make any arrangements?
David suggested that the Group might like to consider a multi-member approach per jurisdiction based on the types of insurance law that is practised.
Rolf and Hubert both disagreed with this, saying that it would cause cahos and would cause too much of a precedent anyway.
Bill then explained WBI’s proposal for sub-Saharan Africa (but not Madagascar) in more detail.
Michael said that the proposal was unacceptable and said we should suggest an alternative.
Bill said that if a firm requested three jurisdaictions, Insuralex should chose which and then explained briefly some information on the MSI Group in Africa.
Hubert asked if WBI fell through, were there any alternatives.
David said that he was aware of a good firm and could talk to them if Members wished it.
Alessandro said that he was very uncomfortable with any prospective Member wanting to have a jurisdiction where they do not have an office.
Margaret said that the Group was a specialist operation and does not think that practices in the MSI Group would necessarily have the attitude and ethos of Insuralex.
Enrique put the proposition that we would offer WBI the jurisdiction of the Republic of South Africa only. – AGREED
The discussion then turned to the situation in Australia
Bill explained that CBP has already been endorsed by Insuralex Members in an electronic vote and asks whether we should pursue the other firm with offices in Victoria and NSW. If so, should we put theCBP vote on hold?
Hubert said that he was happy for Officers to consider the other firm, while keeping CBP vote on ice.
Amelia asked if the other Australian firm were using the London Market and Bill explained that they were in the Market last month.
Alessandro said that we have received and approved an application from CBP and now we are thinking of hanging them out to dry. He said that we must move quickly to resolve this issue.
Enrique said that the matter would be worked on as quickly as possible.
Bill put the proposition that the Officers would draft changes to Rule 8 which embodied the ‘one firm per jurisdiction, one jurisdiction per firm’ principle but which would allow:
(a) one firm to represent the Group in more than one jurisdiction if the
Group, exceptionally, wished, and
(b) members to have offices in jurisdictions represented by other firms, provided that they did not compete with the member for that jurisdiction within Insuralex. This would be on the basis that any such arrangement would require approval by 75% vote and a subscription would be charged for every jurisdiction represented.APPROVED
9 . Insuralex Rules and Procedures
Bill proposed the change to Rule 1 relating to the description and status of the Rules previously circulated by the Officers – APPROVED by 75% majority.
Alessandro observed that there were three jurisdictions in the UK and suggested that he was unhappy that the UK could have three votes. He asked about the situation in Northern Ireland.
Enrique raised the possibility of having two firms in the UK and an amendment to include Scotland only.
Bill offered to tidy up the matter with proper reference to Scotland, Northern Ireland and, of course England and Wales. He would draft and circulate for approval a revised Rule 8.6 providing for a member in each of England (and Wales), Scotland and Northern Ireland in the UK – AGREED
Bill introduced the proposed change to Rule 5 relating to the location of the Group’s office which had previously been circulated. He explained that in the event, the Officers had given this matter further thought and now wished to propose instead, which he accordingly did and explained why, that the whole of the existing Rule 5 be deleted and replaced by the words: “The official address of the Group shall be where the Group from time to time decides” – APPROVED by 75% majority
Hubert mentioned that the papers were sent to Members with very short notice and said that he would appreciate them in a more timely fashion in the future.
Amelia suggested that we should define under our rules the precise definition of “Jurisdiction”. Bill said that he would do his best.
Hubert suggested that we should make use of the term “Exclusivity”
10 .Website wording and design
Much discussion took place on this topic and there were other suggestions offered outside the meeting.
Alessandro suggested adding the Italian 2003 Blackout to the important cases that have been dealt with. Michael made the point that Members do other things than just Insurance Law. In his area, Insurance defence and litigation is a separate matter and our website should make this distinction.
Rolf said that our draft wording said “ the World’s most presigious …” He suggested that this was rather overdone.
Jamie commented that we serve the Insurance and Risk Management communities.
Hence, it was agreed to tone this reference down to “The World network of independent Insurance and Reinsurance lawyers, dedicated to Insurance and Risk Management communities
Rodrigo suggested that in the About us part of the entry, that “Globalisation and changes in the European Insurance Market”… should be changed to the world Wide Market. This was agreed
Ioannis made a number of suggestions to enhance the website. Do we do regulatory work? Who are our Clients? An explanation that our clients, as well as Insurers and Reinsurers include Brokers, TPAs, Loss Adjusters and Authorities / Captives. He said that it would be good to include our specialist ability in Cross-Border enquiries and cases.
Enrique said that we will also need individual Members to keep their entries accurate, up to date and to the point. He said that we would send the existing information and collegues could update it from there. David said that this information is an important gateway to your firms and would help the Group and all your businesses.
11 .Electronic voting
Enrique introduced the topic, explaning that voting has always been done in public and this should continue in most cases. He said that the President should have the discretion to request a private vote in certain cases.
Alessandro stated that, in his view, voting should be public. He said that it stimulates a useful exchange of ideas and the discussion and voting should be open to all Members.
Hubert said that he was against private voting and that he appreciated other Members’ comments and thoughts.
Isabelle Perrel suggested that there could be a private vote after a public exchange of views and opinions
Enrique explained that in certain circumstances, the President may offer a private vote after full discussion of the outstanding matter. He said that there could be occassions where some Members may rely on others to formulate their opinion.
Amelia said that when the Board requests a vote, it is an important matter and should be addressed. In view of such importance, the time for Members to make a decision should be adequate, but the votes are the key and she does not see why they should be private
The matter was WITHDRAW
12 .Potential Candidates for Membership – Central and Eastern European Group
Alessandro introduced this matter by explaining that the CEE Group comprised Barbara, Rosalina, Ioannis and himself and they also wanted Vahit to join from Turkey as that market is quite important. He commended the report of the CEE Group to the meeting. He said that there would be a conference for the Greek Market, both in Insurance and Reinsurance on Hydra and that attendance should be considered.
The CEE Group is currently looking to identify lawyers in Cyprus and Malta. He requests the Group to confirm €5,000 to run the programme set out in the report of 2011 – 2012
Considering the report, Enrique suggested that we visit the Sarajevo meeting
Alessandro said that two people should attend, Rosalina and one colleague from Tramposch. He suggested that Insuralex may like to sponsor part of the lunch or the cocktail at the Sarajevo meeting.
Bertjan said that the Budget would have to be raised and this was agreed in principle, subject to the discussion in the Treasurer’s Report
Enrique reminded that meeting that other candidates were being considered world wide, but he had no specific report at this time
13 .Treasurer’s Report
Bertjan submitted the Report and made certain amendments to cover London Marketing to €30,000 and the CEE Group’s budget would be €15,000. He also commented that the London Midyear meeting’s expenses may increase.
Bill remarked that the London event was bugeted at €12,000 and that other events need to be specified. He had considered a budget of €4,000 fpr the ICC event in Paris. Bill said that the 2011 budget was €82,600. On this basis, we would run out of money by the end of the year. There was a need to cut expenditure or to raise subscriptions and membership. He suggested raising the subscription to €2,500 and charging new Members an entrance fee of €1,000.
Alessandro pointed out that the subscription should apply per jurisdiction and that Belzuz Abogados should pay two subscriptions for Spain and Portugal.
Both Enrique and Bill commented that the USA pay per State. If any Members have two jurisdictions, they should pay two subscriptions.
Bertjan, Bill and Michael had a discussion on the outstanding figures in the budget. They agreed that if the subscription was €2,500, as suggested, we would not be able to balance the budget.
Ioannis suggested levying a 3% charge on fees for any Insuralex referral business. Some Members suggested that this may cause a lack of communication about referral business.
Margaret asked how high the subcription should be to balance the budget on the projected figures and Michael said that this figure would be €4,000 on the current budget and membership
Scott pointed out that with five new Members, the subscription would only have to be €3,200
Enrique suggested raising the subscription to €3,000
Bill commented that there seemed to be a strong consensus that the budget and the Group’s plans should balance. He proposed to defer the decision on the Budget to be discussed by Officers and that spending figures for the Budget 2011 / 2012 should be delivered to Members no later that the end of June – APPROVED
Bertjan then raised the matter of the Dinner costs. He asked whether these should fall on the hosting Member or the Group? Bertjan feels that we need to have clarity. A budget is set at €10,000 for the event and if not exceeded, should the Group pay?
Margaret said that we should be careful of the budget and, unless agreed, people should pay their shares.
Enrique stated that the Dinner is free for one delegate per Member. Others should be charged for. He pointed out that most Groups similar to Insuralex charge for participation in Meetings and reminded everyone that we have tried to avoid this cost to Members.
Amelia said that part of the problem is involved in invoicing and collecting funds. Enrique said that the Members should pay the hosting Member (Hubert in this case) and recover their costs from those who owe them monies.
14 .Elections for Group Secretary
Michael Connelly was proposed as Secretary to the Group – ELECTED
With this appointment, it was suggested that the official Address of the Group be that of the Secretary – RESOLVED
15 . Annual General Meeting 2012
It was suggested that the date of the next AGM should be May or June of 2012, perhaps the second week of May.
Scott suggested that the AGM should be held in the NE of the USA, probalby Chicago or maybe another significant Insurance area. – AGREED The Officers asked the USA members to advise their recommendation at an early date
Alessandro mentioned cultural differences that operate in the USA and asked whether the Group would operate effectively in this environment
Bob asked about the date for the London Midyear meeting and was told that it was normally the 1 st week in November. No date has yet been finalised, but it would be a major priority for Officers once they return from this visit.
Ioannis suggested Athens as the venue for the 2013 AGM and it was agreed to make this decision at the November meeting in London
There was no further business and after thanking all Members for their contributions, the meeting was closed by the President at 17.20 hrs.