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NOTTINGHAM, England-A new identity and strategy to carry it into the 21st century was unveiled by the Assn. of Insurance & Risk Managers as the finale to its annual conference, held March 24-27 at the East Midlands Conference Center at the University of Nottingham.

A little more than a year before, AIRMIC put together a strategic group to prepare a plan to take the organization into the next millennium, explained Derek Brighton, chairman of AIRMIC and a member of the six-person group.

AIRMIC members and other entities, including the Confederation of British Industry, Assn. of British Insurers, Institute of Directors and the London International Insurance & Reinsurance Assn., all were canvassed for their views on the risk managers' organization's effectiveness and its future direction.

"The process involved analyzing AIRMIC's strengths as well as its weaknesses, clarifying any confusion over its central messages, and determining how we could become more focused to provide better value to members," Mr. Brighton explained.

As a result, it became clear that the organization "needed to reposition ourselves and revisit our mission and aims," he said.

Having considered AIRMIC's direction and intentions, the strategy group decided that the organization's mission distilled into "anything which raises the profile and the standards of risk management."

That will be achieved through several means, including: widening industry's understanding of risk management; lobbying key decision-makers; playing an active role in the international arena; and supporting members through exchanging risk management information through seminars, workshops and conferences.

But in order for AIRMIC's new strategy to be a success, it needs to be supported by "a set of core values that we can all subscribe to," said Mr. Brighton, "because in our mission to be seen as a serious player and risk manager, our actions need to tell the world that we are responsive, forward-looking and stable."

Actions taken by the organization's members will be the most convincing demonstration of these core values, but AIRMIC also is addressing the issue by revamping its visual identity.

Its logo, as "the most succinct visual expression of our values," has been redesigned.

The new logo brackets the "R" and "M" in the center of the text, symbolizing that risk management is "at the heart of AIRMIC," explained Mr. Brighton. The brackets "emphasize protection, stability yet with movement, for responsiveness," he said.

Stability is denoted by retaining AIRMIC's shield, a symbol of the association's history, "and by building on our past we can deliver responsive, imaginative and responsible strategies for the future," he added.

Nevertheless, it takes more than a change of corporate identity to bring about such change-it takes people, Mr. Brighton noted.

"If people do not identify with AIRMIC, then all the visualizations in the world will not help us deliver our mission," Mr. Brighton said.

"We have reached the end of the beginning. We have laid down the foundations for the future. Over the next 12 months, we will all have an opportunity to help shape the organization the way we want it," he said.