President’s Message

2020, and now well into 2021, many challenges have been faced by all, both corporately and as individuals, but the IRUA continues to adapt and weather the pandemic and has greatly expanded its repertoire of educational events on a virtual basis to meet the needs of our industry.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the 2020 Conference and have done so again for 2021 as there was too much uncertainty to guarantee a successful in-person event.  However, please Save the Date for the 2022 Annual Conference – April 25 – 27, 2022 when we will once again be able to meet in person at the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.   When it became clear that in-person events were not possible our Board, Executive Staff and all-volunteer Committee members have pivoted to an all-virtual format for the foreseeable future and continue planning even more educational events during the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 on significant and relevant, cutting-edge topics and content. We quickly expanded our educational offerings through a well –attended “mini-series”. For 2021 the Education Committee has done a great job in coming up with monthly planned virtual events –including a new Basic Syllabus series of training webinars.

From its inception more than 50 years ago, the IRU has brought together experienced insurance and reinsurance professionals to share their knowledge and experiences as well as provide for a healthy, educational exchange among participants in an open forum. Today’s IRUA still holds true to providing those same values and principles that were shared by our predecessors and, optimistically, with tomorrow’s up and coming leaders. Our member base is comprised of companies who operate within the US, London, Europe, and the Bermuda marketplace.

The IRUA has four core areas of focus – Education, Scholars Program, Annual Conference and Journal of Reinsurance.  Our members have the opportunity to volunteer and work on committees with seasoned industry leaders as well as attend one or all of our various educational events at a discount. In addition, our digital Newsletter and Journal of Reinsurance, which the IRUA has proudly produced for the past 28 years, is published multiple times a year and is distributed to individuals with member companies and, of course, to our valued Individual Members.

One of our goals is to encourage new talent into the industry and although we had to cancel our 2020 Scholars Essay Program, we resumed it for 2021 and have a reasonable number of intern essays to consider for cash awards. This will provide some financial assistance as well as a tremendous networking opportunity if they are considering a career in the insurance industry. As we did not disburse the voluntary funds collected in 2020, for our Scholars Program, we did not request the customary contribution in 2021. For additional details on all of the IRUA offerings, please explore our website at www.irua.org or feel free to contact myself, Jerry Wallis at jwallis@irua.org or Maria Sclafani at mcs@irua.org.

Changing gears, the IRUA has embarked on expanding its membership to include all organizations within the insurance and reinsurance sectors.  By expanding the IRUA membership beyond insurance/reinsurance, we are opening the door to welcome Insurance Carriers, Managing General Agents/Underwriters, and Third-Party Administrators. Unlocking the knowledge base within the entire risk tower is a strong way of increasing the educational and networking offerings our members and attendees will ultimately benefit from.

In closing, we would like to thank our current members for their continued and valued support of the IRUA.  For those of you who are not yet members, we hope that you will consider a membership and help drive the creation of quality educational programs and networking opportunities the IRUA is known for.

We look forward to a successful future together!

Laura Herubin, IRUA President
Vice President Underwriting – North America
MAPFRE Re

lherubin@mapfre.com