Magazine article Risk Management

RIMS Conference 1994

Magazine article Risk Management

RIMS Conference 1994

Article excerpt

What was most apparent at the 32nd Annual RIMS Conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana was the focus on some of the most critical issues of the day. Nothing demonstrated this more than the newest event, an array of roundtable Brown Bag Discussions, where risk managers gathered into more than 65 topic tables to discuss crucial problems and possible solutions such as environmental liabilities, captives and emergency planning. The conference's keynote speakers also discussed vital issues: health care expert Dr. Jane Fulton focused on the impact of health care systems on society and the risks to business in the United States and Canada, Jane Bryant Quinn spoke on financial markets, new trends in derivatives and the risks involved in personal investments. Finally, former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney said that while the nation's focus is clearly on economic, health care and other domestic issues, the United States also needs to focus on world events and its leadership military role.

The conference had the third highest since the first in 1963. Approximately 4,648 people attended the sessions and various business and committee meetings, and kept up to date on the latest products in the exhibit hall, where there were a record 343 exhibitors operating from 621 booths.

This year's annual membership meeting also featured a few changes from past years, said Eugene Ricci, RIMS Executive Director. "What we've done in response to suggestions is to combine the traditional annual meeting with what had been separate keynote sessions," he said. Another change was the inclusion of the newly established. Executive Director's Award, given to those companies who helped RIMS in new product development. This year, the winners were American International Group, Inc. and Zurich-American Insurance Group.

Throughout the past year, RIMS focused on achieving a number of objectives, remarked J.A. "Tony" Bridger, outgoing RIMS president and risk manager for the Bank of Montreal in Toronto. These objectives aimed at addressing the budget deficit by controlling costs and by stimulating growth in our revenue-producing activities," he said. Secondly, we aimed to implement our principles of governance by moving more policy input and decision-making on the management of the Society to the membership, through local chapters, committees and the board of directors." RIMS also adopted a number of measures to improve communications within the organization and "to begin implementing a new, long-range strategic plan that was officially adopted a year ago."

RIMS will not rest on these successes, however. The process of enhancing the Society's operations will continue in earnest throughout the next year, proclaimed Lucille A. "Lucky" Gallagher, who took the reins as the 1994-1995 RIMS president and serves as vice president, risk management for the Monfort Company in Greeley, Colorado. "Involvement, Value and Vision" is RIMS' theme for the next year, said Ms. Gallagher, and the Society will strive to increase involvement among its members. "We are going to focus on how we can get more risk managers involved in RIMS and in developments relating to the interests of our member organizations," she said. "Our goal is to strengthen the committees, and have them much more involved in every aspect of the Society." Other goals include having Executive Council members attend more chapter meetings, and commencing efforts to improve communications between the board and chapter members. "The chapters need to become more involved by submitting program suggestions, reaching out to member organizations at the local level, and by recruiting new members," she added. "I challenge you this year as risk managers, not only to become more involved in RIMS, but to add value to your organizations."

RIMS also announced its opposition to the Clinton administration's Superfund reform proposal. Officially adopted at its board of directors meeting on April 17, RIMS' position contains recommendations for reform in five primary areas, including: elimination of the proposal granting veto power to community groups over selected environmental remedies; elimination of overlapping regulatory oversight by state and federal agencies while stipulating that regulatory oversight be definitively established and not subject to "reopeners"; a stipulation that protection be established for policyholders that engage in voluntary response activities; and recommendation of joint and several liability for PRPs, and suggesting an approach that would draw a line on a specific date for historic waste disposal liabilities; and rejection of the establishment of an environmental insurance resolution fund as inappropriate and adverse to public policy interest. …

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