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Upheaval in the East spawns RIMS session.

by Tom johnson The economic and political upheaval countries are experiencing in the Eastern bloc has drifted west and is influencing session selection at this year's RIMS conference in Boston. In acknowledgment of these widespread changes, the RIMS conference will feature a special session, joint Ventures in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Bloc Countries.

According to J.A. "Tony" Bridger, vice president of the RIMS conference committee and chairman of its 1990 program advisory committee, the machinations in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union are topical subjects. "We are witnessing history being written," he says. "One of the mandates for our committee was to accommodate a late-breaking story-to be ready in case anything happened. It could have been a natural disaster like a tornado, but instead it is the changes in Eastern Europe. And RIMS is poised to address how those changes could affect us."

How U.S. insurance carriers will enter into joint ventures with Eastern insurers remains open to conjecture. However, according to John F. O'Sullivan, managing director of Marsh & McLennan Worldwide, the possibility of conducting business in Eastern Europe "is definitely a glamour subject. In fact, you really can't think in terms of the Eastern bloc anymore. Every country is distinct and different, some better investment risks than others." Currently, there is more interest than actual investment in Eastern Europe, he adds, and considerable patience will be needed to bring joint ventures to fruition. "What really holds true," Mr. O'Sullivan says, "is that any investment made there will have to be protected by insurance-a fact risk managers should be aware of." Mr. O'Sullivan, who will speak at the special session, has lined up other panelists, including Jeffrey A. Burt, a Washington, DC-based attorney who has lectured extensively on international joint ventures, and Walther Leisler Kiep, a managing partner of Gradmann & Holler, West Germany's leading insurance brokerage. In addition, Miles Connell, a broker at Lloyd's, and Charles Berry, co-founder and managing director of Berry Palmer & Lyle Ltd., the only Lloyd's broker specializing in political risk insurance, will address potential political risks faced by carriers in a joint venture with Eastern insurers. Mr. O'Sullivan also plans to add a speaker from a major Eastern bloc insurer. RM Video Ready to Roll "Risk Management Today," a new videotape from RIMS, presents a 10minute vignette of the growing field. The VHS tape explains the roles and functions of risk managers by focusing on such things as types of risk, risk control and finance, self-insurance, captives and insurance market cycles.

It costs $19.95 for RIMS members and $24.95 for non-members. To order, send a check drawn on a U.S. bank account and payable to the Risk and Insurance Management Society to Talieh Sadri, RIMS, 205 E. 42nd St., New York, NY 10017.
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Title Annotation:Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.
Author:Johnson, Tom
Publication:Risk Management
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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