The world’s leading credit insurance and surety insurers and their reinsurers met in San Francisco from June 2-4 under the banner of the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) where they discussed the main issues that affect this industry following the economic, regulatory and political developments of the past 12 months.

The credit insurance and surety sectors are confronted with many challenges following proposals for new accounting rules and capital allocation requirements. The emergence of markets in China, India and Central Europe lead to an increased demand for credit management tools in these countries.

Reinsurance continues to be a topic for strong focus, and ICISA members concluded that capacity remains available, albeit against stricter conditions in many cases. Reinsurance members of the association confirmed their continued commitment to the sector.

Moody’s/KMV and Towers Perrin were invited to discuss capital and portfolio management as well as related issues.

ICISA members showed increased premium growth and strong results, after a cautious return to profit in 2003. This is a result of stricter underwriting as well as improved trading conditions in many countries. The recovery in the US and in Asia this year also contributed. Economic growth in Europe is expected to accelerate in 2005.

Claims ratios have improved as well, indicating a lower level of bankruptcies in most countries.

ICISA members elected Franois David, chairman and chief executive of Groupe Coface, as their new president for 2004/05, replacing Frank Robertson of Chubb. John Rumpler, group general manager at QBE, was elected as the association’s vice-president for the same period.

As members of the management committee, Paul Farrar (member of the management group at Allianz Corporate Ireland), Anno Kamphuis (chief financial officer at Atradius Group) and Jean-Marc Pillu (chief executive officer at Euler Hermes SFAC) were also elected.

This, the 62nd general meeting of the association, was hosted by Atradius, Chubb Group, CNA Surety, Coface North America and Euler Hermes ACI, and was held at The Fairmont in San Francisco.

Credit insurers and surety underwriters have been working together for over 75 years under the banner of the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA).

Credit insurance covers the manufacturing, trading and service industry against the risk of loss due to non-payment by their customers.

A surety bond or guarantee is normally required under the terms of a construction or engineering contract, to secure the obligations of the principal debtor. It provides security against the failure of a contractor to complete a contract in accordance with its terms (for more information visit

ICISA was established as ICIA (International Credit Insurance Association) in Paris in 1928. Since then it has evolved and grown and it now represents companies insuring risks in practically every country in the world.

ICISA members are: Allianz Corporate Ireland, Allgemeine Kreditversicherung Coface (Germany), Atradius, Atradius Namur Re (Luxembourg), AXA Assurcredit (France), Cesce (Spain), Chubb (US), Clal (Israel), CNA Surety (US), Coface (France), Coface Iberica (Spain), Coface Nederland (Netherlands), Coface North America (US), Coface UK, Concordato (Italy), Converium, Cosec (Portugal), Credit Guarantee (South Africa), Credito y Caucion (Spain), Dansk Kaution (Denmark), De Montfort (UK), ECICS (Singapore), Ethniki (Greece), Etoile Commerciale (France), Euler Hermes ACI (US), Euler Hermes Cescob (Czech Republic), Euler Hermes Credit Insurance Belgium, Euler Hermes Credit Insurance Nordic (Scandinavia), Euler Hermes Guarantee (UK), Euler Hermes Hong Kong Branch, Euler Hermes Interborg (Netherlands), Euler Hermes Kredietverzekering (Netherlands), Euler Hermes Kreditversicherung (Germany), Euler Hermes Magyar Hitelbiztosito (Hungary), Euler Hermes Services (Switzerland), Euler Hermes SFAC (France), Euler Hermes SIAC (Italy), Euler Hermes UK, Hannover Re, ICIC (Israel), Fianzas Atlas (Mexico), Mapfre (Spain), Mitsui Sumitomo (Japan), Munich Re, Nationale Borg (Netherlands), OKV Coface (Austria), Partner Re, Prisma (Austria), QBE Insurance (Australia), Seoul Guarantee (South Korea), Sompo Japan, Swiss Re, The Guarantee Company (Canada), Tokio Marine (Japan), Viscontea Coface (Italy), Warta (Poland), Winterthur (Switzerland), Zurich GSG (UK), Zurich Versicherung (Germany),

The executive of ICISA is formed by a management committee, which is headed by the president Franois David and the vice-president John Rumpler.