The annual meeting of the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) was held on the island of Jeju (Korea) from June 10 – 12. The meeting was hosted by ICISA member Seoul Guarantee Insurance Company (SGI).

At the annual meeting, Clemens von Weichs (Allianz SE) was re-elected president of ICISA for the period 2009-2010. Joaquín de la Herrán Mendivil (Cesce) was re-elected vice-president for the same period.

In line with the actual economic environment, discussions were driven by developments of the financial crisis and the ensuing recession. Credit insurers perceive a heavily deteriorated commercial risk environment and therefore a sharp increase in default probability.

Furthermore, credit insurers forecast a sharp decrease of insured trade and therefore a downturn in premium volume, which may happen in 2010.
However, this decrease, thanks to a basic level of international trade, will be less than the drop in GDP in some markets, particularly in the US.

Credit insurers and sureties remain solvent during this recession. In addition, members of ICISA share the opinion that governments should direct their support efforts mainly towards helping producers keep their markets, rather than through indirect help.

Clemens von Weichs, president of ICISA, remarks: “We are experiencing the toughest economic times in living memory. Our industry’s commitment figures underscore the key role credit insurers and sureties play in supporting the economy, especially in a difficult environment.”

Tommie Sjödahl (Atradius), Marcus Pollak (PartnerRe) and Mike Truter (Credit Guarantee) were elected as members of ICISA’s management committee, replacing Peter Ingenlath (Atradius), Werner Jäger (Hannover Re) and Shinkou Takahashi (Sompo Japan), whose respective terms ended this year.

At the meeting, the four companies that were admitted as members since the 2008 annual meeting, namely Garant (Austria), PICC (China), Zurich Surety, Credit and Political Risk (US) and China National Investment & Guaranty (China) were formally welcomed. The new members bring the total of ICISA member companies to 45.