President’s Message

As 2023 comes to a close, we reflect on a highly successful year of activity and achievement for the IRUA with much more to look forward to in 2024.  The IRUA remains focused on our mission of education, networking, and outreach to support a prosperous community of current and future reinsurance professionals.

Our 2023 Conference saw record attendance with many thought-provoking sessions and topics.  We welcomed a large number of new “first-time” attendees and received excellent feedback from all.  We thank and appreciate all those who contributed to making the event a success. The member-company Conference Committee, led by Liz Hodge of SCOR Re and Keith Cartmell of Toa Re, is already hard at work producing a 2024 agenda filled with new industry insights; relevant and informative sessions; and several networking opportunities.  Please mark your calendars and plan on attending from April 22-24, 2024 at a new location – the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.  You will not be disappointed!

This year we launched, and are pleased to showcase, a new and dynamic Linked-In site:, which now already has almost 300 followers.  The revitalized social media presence has rapidly become our prime vehicle for announcing and sharing IRUA’s events and activities.  If you are not already following, please consider doing so – check it out!

The Education program, led by Christiane Gross of Munich Re and John West of Guy Carpenter, continues to produce an array of excellent, relevant, and timely events.  In July, we were pleased to have awarded “Certificates of Completion” to those who have attended 10 different sessions in our “Reinsurance Basic Syllabus” program.  This program is taught by experienced reinsurance professionals and provides a comprehensive introduction to reinsurance including underwriting, claims, reinsurance structures, contracts, audits, accounting, actuarial principles and more!  It is an excellent complement to companies offering internal training to help keep their new hires engaged and developing professionally.  Employees that complete the program are recognized at our annual Conference, which they are invited to attend at a substantially discounted registration fee.  As before, the IRUA will also continue to cover current and emerging industry topics throughout the year starting in January with our perennial Wall Street View of the Insurance/Reinsurance Industry and a new collaboration with an in-person Cyber Seminar organized in New York by the Reinsurance Under40s Group – hopefully, the first of many.  All these valuable sessions can be included under our membership plan and remain open to both members and non-members alike.

The Scholars program, led by Sam DeGiovanni of Ryan Re, also has expanded our Annual Scholars Essay program eligibility to include not just our company member’s interns, but also their first-year industry new hires. During 2023, the program was further expanded to permit team-based essays.  The program allows member employees to research and analyze an emerging reinsurance issue for a potential monetary award to help with their educational expenses.  For 2023, our “Scholars Essay Program”, funded through voluntary member contributions, has increased allowing us to award five Scholar winners a total of $15,500 which was announced in October.  In June, member company Trans Re also hosted a highly successful Summer Intern Lunch and Learn Event in New York City with a record attendance of 70+ interns.  This one-day event provided a broad view of the industry by hearing from leaders from several different disciplines, underwriters and brokers.  The dedicated IRUA Scholars Alumni LinkedIn page also offers member companies a place to showcase job opportunities for new entrants into the industry and thereby assist past scholars with their career path.

Lastly, we thank the hard work of the many individuals involved in Governance, Membership, Social-Media, our Executive Director, Jerry Wallis, and the Beaumont Group for their efforts critical to supporting the functions of the IRUA.  Thanks for your commitment!  In 2023 we welcomed two new IRUA members — two major brokers — Acrisure Re and BMS Re, and already for 2024, we have welcomed the prestigious Everest Group to membership and have several hot prospects that we hope to announce in the near future.

The IRUA is a dynamic organization and the buzz from this year’s activities has been quite noticeable.  New, fresh ideas and perspectives are what will continue to keep our organization relevant, bring added value to member companies and provide innovative ways of serving the reinsurance community.  We are always encouraging member involvement so please think about who at your company may benefit from being a part of the thriving IRUA!

The Membership Fee structure will continue unchanged for 2024.  Please make note of the multiple options that allow multiple employees from your organization to attend IRUA events at no extra cost.  This allows our members to pick the option that best fits their organization and we have a growing number who take advantage of the enhanced options.

In closing, we would like to thank our current member partners for their continued support of the IRUA.  For prospective members, we hope that you will consider a membership and help drive the creation of future quality educational programs and networking opportunities that has been part of the IRUA’s rich tradition and history.  We look forward to continuing our mission of training, educating, and providing networking opportunities that are such a valuable resource and benefit to our industry!

Bill Bernens
IRUA President
Managing Director, Property & Specialty
Arch Reinsurance Company