We are so pleased this past November to have had the opportunity to conduct our National Conference in person. Our friends at the Risk Retention Reporter (the Reporter) were in attendance and chose to write their November feature article describing the event. The Reporter is the leading independent news source for the risk retention and purchasing group industry. What follows are the high points and a link to the article.
Participant excitement was palpable
In the first instance, NRRA fully anticipated attendance would be lower than normal due to governmental restrictions, employer travel bans, and simply the persistent fear still affecting the public in general. While the attendance numbers were only somewhat lower than normal, those attending were highly motivated to participate, according to the NRRA Executive Director. They were very excited and grateful to be at the event and immensely enjoyed the content, presentations, and personal contacts even more so than in years past. Indeed, it was quite exciting to see audience participation far more engaged and interactive than normal.
Content continues to be King – Presentation is Queen
As is typical with NRRA conferences, the staff and conference committee went to great lengths to present an organized program of valuable content. There were nine (9) panel discussions dedicated to management concepts. Five (5) related to RRG strategies, new exposures, excess and reinsurance challenges, coverage opportunities and prospects for non-liability products for RRGs. The other four (4) were dedicated to matters impacting financials, including capital and surplus, investment challenges ahead, how to anticipate and avoid exit solutions strategies, and a very energetic and entertaining panel on the pros versus cons of artificial intelligence in underwriting and claims applications.
To see the NRRA Conference Program, valued sponsors and speakers click here.
In addition, two panel groups did a case study, first, on a company’s cyber risk management planning, only to be stymied by, second, the predictable “D&O” claim against its board of directors for the cyberattack that ultimately could not be stopped. Following a keynote address with some very important data analyses of its causes and effect, two other panel groups did a deep dive into “social inflation,” with the second group fielding very energetic Q&A from the audience regarding not whether, but when, the next nuclear verdict will explode.
The Regulators deliver once again
The article also noted that for the first time ever, we saw a “Regulators Update” that featured both domiciliary and non-domiciliary regulators. This engaging and personally interactive dialogue session focused on the progress made by the NAIC Risk Retention Group Task Force over the past few years, with input from NRRA. These changes and progress included updating the risk retention group registration form and the issuance of new Best Practices and FAQs incorporating emphasis upon the need for compliance with the LRRA. Many in attendance expressed their sincere hope that that the message will get out that ALL regulators can expect to receive a warm and engaging welcome at the NRRA conference, because through NRRA, even the most basic of disagreements can best be assuaged, if not resolved, through simple education and constructive dialog.
RRG growth prospects become reality
Off the record and while interviewing many attendees, including numerous captive managers, the Reporter learned many interviewed had received more inquiries on the formation of new risk retention groups, and of many managers having new risk retention groups in the works. This activity is in addition to strong formations which occurred in 2021.
Students, as always, very much enjoyed the conference
NRRA’s CRISP initiative (Collegiate Research Insurance Shadow Program), was a success with several students attending the conference. Once the CRISP universities lift their travel bans on students, NRRA expects attendance to return to its pre-pandemic levels of enthusiasm and support. CRISP allows students to have the opportunity to directly network by shadowing NRRA member executives in their daily routines.
Jim Cutts receives the “Karen Cutts Award”
The Karen Cutts Award is the highest award that NRRA annually presents. It was particularly poignant this year as the NRRA board decided to present it to Jim Cutts, the husband of the late Karen Cutts, founder, publisher and original editor of the Reporter. Present to accept the award for Jim was Chris Diemel, the third-generation owner, publisher, and editor-in-chief of the Reporter, who was the author of the November Article covered in this report.
In the words of NRRA executive director Joe Deems, “For those who did not know her, Karen was a visionary—a beacon of light for the RRG industry from its inception in 1986. She founded the Risk Retention Reporter, promoted the industry, and vigorously investigated its successes and flaws, fortunately much more of the former than the latter, until her passing in 2010. Jim, despite his day job as a bona fide ‘rocket scientist’ who has had a career at JPL in Pasadena, California, furthered Karen’s legacy by moving the paper and ancillary publications to another level.”
2022: Looking forward
Our 2021 conference theme, “In Person – In Depth – In Vision,” has now been adopted as our overall theme for NRRA’s 2022 agenda of events. Be sure to save the date for our National Conference coming November 1-3, 2022 at the Sofitel Chicago. Keep in touch with NRRA on this website, social media and our executive office for all events going forward.
For more information in the Reporter article, including updated exciting numbers of new formations this year, click here.