StrategicRISK talks to AMRAE's Alain Poullet about January's conference, 'Les Rencontres'

With so many subjects clamouring for the attention of European risk managers, why did AMRAE decide to make risk and communication the main theme of its 2006 conference? Alain Poullet says that this because of new rules, some of which have international effects, (such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act), or national ones, notably the Loi sur la securite Financiere, which targets transparency and ethics within French companies. Of particular significance is the forthcoming regulation in France, which will, for the first time, make it possible for plaintiffs to bring class actions against companies.

Therefore, once Michel Yarhi, president of AMRAE, has opened 'Les Rencontres' in Deauville, the first speaker will be Michel Prada, chairman of the Autorite des marches financiers, who will be looking at how the changing legal and regulatory environment affects the role of the risk manager in France. There will be a round table discussion on risk and enterprise communication, and another plenary session on transparency and confidence in risk professions.

In addition, says Poullet, 'Les Rencontres' features around 40 workshops this year. Among them, he highlights the following:

- the outward transfer of risks to the insurance industry
- new techniques in risk modelling and other tools
- regional hazards, for example the risk of flooding in the Deauville area (Deauville is located close to the river Seine)
- the risk of a hurricane in Northern Europe or in the Channel area
- risk in developing regions, including central Europe, Africa and China.
- how the risk management profession operates in the insurance industry.

AMRAE is also launching a new initiative at the Deauville conference.

This is a workshop focusing on risk management development in a particular European country. Next January, this will be held in conjunction with the Italian risk management association, ANRA, and in 2007 Poullet says that he hopes this session will focus on risk management in the UK.

He expects that around 1500 risk professionals, including insurers, reinsurers, brokers, research students and risk managers, will be attending January's meeting. "Although we expect the majority to attend the keynote speeches and workshops, undoubtedly networking is the key benefit."

On the subject of how risk management is developing generally in France, Poullet says that boards have become more interested in risk management.

"However, each business has its own risk management philosophy, and therefore risk managers and their roles differ considerably. I don't think many CROs have been appointed outside the financial services sector, and many risk managers in the operational sectors have an engineering rather than a financial focus. But the role is evolving and who knows what the focus of tomorrow's risk manager will be?"

With January's 'Les Rencontres' looking as though it will set new records for attendance, preliminary planning has begun for 'Les Rencontres' 2007.

The chosen venue is Nantes on the river Loire. The main theme has not yet been finalised.

- Alain Poullet, risk manager, SOGEA Construction, is the principal organiser of Les Rencontres 2006.


European risk managers are invited to attend Les Rencontres, AMRAE 2006 in Deauville on 25-27 January 2006. Among the issues that will be discussed at Les Rencontres are:

- the role of the risk manager
- human resources
- risk transfer
- specialist risks
- international risks
- technical and legal issues.

The meeting will be held at the Centre International de Deauville, 1, avenue Lucien Barriere - 14800 Deauville. Registration costs inclusive of all taxes are:

AMRAE/FERMA members; academics EUR760. Other participants, EUR1200. Students, senior citizens, job seekers EUR250
Further information:

Participants in Les Rencontres round table discussion on transparency and confidence in risk professions include:

Marie-Gemma Dequae, president, FERMA
Genevieve Ferone, Fondatrice, Core Ratings
Gerard de la Martiniere, president, CEA
Robert Leblanc, president, FCS
Jean-Paul Rignault, Director General, AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance
Michel Yarhi, president, AMRAE.
The moderator is Gerard Lancner, vice president, AMRAE.