Caring in the Insurance World

Insight, Perspectives

This perspective was published in Insurance Insight – View from the top. August 9, 2012

When the MDS team first heard about Swiss Re’s planned involvement in a new food security initiative a few months ago, we were struck by the sense of responsibility and stewardship that the company’s move represented. For many people whose relationship with insurance lies solely on the client side, it may seem that this field is all about the numbers; about finding the right advantage at the right price. As insurance professionals we are, of course, concerned about delivering optimal value to clients while generating the resources required to help our efforts and our excellence grow.

But that does not mean our work is limited to improving the finances of our clients and our own operations.
A great insurance company should also work towards reducing risks that threaten human health and happiness, and limiting the negative consequences of unfortunate and disastrous global concerns.
That is why Swiss Re’s decision to join the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, made me feel proud to be part of a business community that is improving its focus on giving back.

Better food security
The new initiative was announced at the recent G8 Summit held in Camp David. President Barack Obama gave the world a sneak preview of the plan before the summit itself, noting that at least 45 companies had stepped up to add their names and their resources to the list of those eager to contribute to better food security and nutrition for some of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged nations.
By improving farmers’ incomes, providing educational outreach for agricultural activities and, of course, distributing much needed funds, the initiative aims to enable countless individuals and communities to get on the right track with financial and health-related matters.
Should the initiative’s effort be successful, those touched by the plan are sure to enjoy more prosperous and healthy lives, all while passing along the benefits of the programme to their children and peers.

“Those touched by the plan are sure to enjoy more prosperous and healthy lives, all while passing along the benefits of the programme to their children and peers.”

Starting point
The US president also announced that the first three countries to receive benefits from the new initiative will be Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia, countries chosen for their already impressive efforts to improve national food security and related issues.
Assessing agriculture risks and developing prudent ways to assist the less fortunate in the mitigation of these risks may not be the most glamorous prospect for an insurance firm, but it is one that is sure to be rewarding.
More than equations
Not only does Swiss Re’s involvement in this initiative bolster the company’s position as a leading figure in our field, it helps remind us all that, in order to achieve true excellence, we must bring more to today’s need for solutions than an equation and a bill.
We strongly support this important and admirable move, and look forward to a future for insurance that emphasises the power our profession has to change lives and improve welfare, both in our own communities and around the world.

Author: Jose Manuel Fonseca, CEO at MDS Holdings