Monte Carlo… is the Rendez-Vous de Septembre still the place to meet, greet and be seen?

From 13th to 18th September, a great swathe of the London Market will relocate along many others from across the globe in their annual reinsurance pilgrimage to the principality for the Rendez-Vous.

A bit of history

Why go and why September? From its beginning in 1957 as the brainchild of André Roux, then President of Assurances Générales, it quickly became the annual gathering point for the reinsurance market; reinsurers, brokers and their reinsureds alike to informally discuss  matters such as the state of the market and the likely renewal terms ahead of what was then the 1st January inception dates of the vast majority of the whole account reinsurance programmes.

Why Monte Carlo? Seemingly for two reasons. It has no local insurance market so provides a neutral territory and secondly, well it's Monte Carlo. Why would you not want to have it there? The weather is clement, it is within easy reach of Nice airport with air links to most major capital cities and, as a location, it boasts some of the finest hotels, restaurants, cafes and other assorted meeting locations all within an easy walking-distance of each other.

Is it still relevant?

But in this 21st century digital age where the world is a much smaller place, deals are done electronically/remotely and there isn't that common 1st January renewal date, is it still relevant? Or has it become more of a self-fuelling annual junket, where not to be seen could be deemed riskier than attending, so best we still go?

Well, 2600 industry professionals now including many lawyers, bankers, investors, accountants, analysts, rating agencies and the trade media feel it worth the effort. And, in a time of much tighter restraint upon business expenses, they wouldn't all be attending if it didn't provide a return on their investment.

Risk

For our part, we believe the answer here is simple, cutting to the very core of what drives the (re)insurance industry to continue to thrive and can be summed up in one word… Risk.

It is the foundation upon which the entire industry is built. An ability to recognise, control and evaluate risk is what sets apart the great from the good and definitely from the bad. The intelligence and knowledge that empowers the industry professionals to analyse it is therefore of paramount importance. Of course in this age of shared information, harvesting news & data is a lot simpler from one's desk and more reasoned decisions can be made ahead of any risks being presented. However, in one major way it can never replace the true arts of negotiation between insurer, insured and their broker. There will never be any substitute for sitting across a table, face to face and watching the body language to know when truths are being told absolutely, being stretched or perhaps avoided all together. The trust and market reputation that this then delivers is priceless.

That is why the Rendez-Vous still has a valid role to play today and we hope long into the future. As a frequent visitor ourselves, we have witnessed first-hand the benefits of being in the bubble that the Rendez-Vous creates - where old friends are seen and where happen-chance plays its hand, and others are unexpectedly seen as well as new friends made. Where news is broken and gossip is shared. And giving proper credit of course to the digital communication tools such as social media, the ripple effect of the event is shared globally in an instant. Perhaps raising that small tinge of jealousy for those not attending, leaving them thinking, we must be there next year!

Myself and my colleague Simon Hayes will be there. If you are too and you've time to say hello then we would love to catch up. So drop us a line at

Mhuxley@brandformula.co.uk

Shayes@brandformula.co.uk

Check out the official Monte Carlo site here.