July 17, 2002 — ri3k and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) today
unveiled plans for the world’s first life reinsurance data hub. Focused on the North
American market, this industry-driven initiative promises to transform the life reinsurance
business by providing a single electronic infrastructure for direct life insurers and reinsurers.
This utility is a web-based, highly secure data hub, which
will allow life companies to interconnect on one network. Cedants and reinsurers will be
able to move data between themselves electronically, without manual re-keying, creating an
end-to-end flow of information.
Currently, transaction data is passed by cedants to
reinsurers using their own formats. Reinsurers must then translate, clean, manipulate and
then enter that data manually onto their own systems, a process that creates inefficiency,
frictional cost and error. The hub will receive the data from the cedants and output the
information in a standardized 1998 ANSI and ACORD format which can then be passed onto reinsurers.
“There are two aspects that make this effort more
likely than other efforts to succeed,” says RGA Reinsurance Company’s Chief Executive
Officer, David Atkinson. “First, this is a joint effort between direct writers and
reinsurers, facilitated by the ACLI, that is structured to benefit all participants, not
just the reinsurers. Secondly, with ri3k, we have a technology provider with relevant
experience and a successful track record.”
“The utility will allow broader access to the life
reinsurance process and provide greatly improved efficiency in its administration,”
says Jack Bailey, senior actuary, Northwestern Mutual. “By automating the
inter-change of data, ACLI and ri3k will be helping the industry stay competitive and
better serve its millions of policyholders.”
The hub has been developed with the support of a cross
section of American direct writers, reinsurers, and retrocessionaires who have served as a
technical advisory group (TAG) to help guide development. Northwestern Mutual Life,
MetLife/New England Financial, New York Life, Nationwide, Bankers Fidelity, Swiss
Reinsurance, ING Reinsurance, RGA Reinsurance, Manulife Reinsurance, and Clarica
Reinsurance are the members of the TAG.
Alex Letts, ri3k’s chief executive, says: “With
something like 366 million life related policies currently in force in North America,
their life industry was understandably very keen for a powerful and scaleable technology
solution. The ACLI identified the need for this and the hub is the result of nine months
hard work from the drawing board.”
By the end of September 2002, ACLI and ri3k will introduce
its system and begin limited operations for the U.S. life market, which aim to be fully
operational worldwide by September 2003.
ri3k is the secure technology infrastructure for the
insurance and reinsurance industry. The company specialises in building xml-based
infrastructure technology whereby contracts can be administered and completed
electronically. ri3k was founded in May 2000 and has built the reinsurance hub for
European non life, the reinsurance hub for Asian non life, and the Run Off Centre for
companies operating in the non life run-off industry. The name ri3k expresses the
company’s vision for an electronic infrastructure for the reinsurance and insurance
industry in the Third Millennium.
ACLI is an American national trade association based in
Washington D.C. representing 400 member companies that offer life insurance, annuities,
pensions, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance and other retirement and
financial protection products.
Minimum System Requirements: to use the
reinsurance hub, users need a Pentium-based PC with connection to the Internet. Your PC
must be running a web browser that is compliant with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 (or
above) or Netscape Navigator version 6.2 (or above).
Security: user sessions are protected
through 128-bit SSL and a unique user logon and password. All transactions are tracked and
audited using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates and unique digital signature.
PKI allows authentication via digital certificates held by a Certification Authority.
Compliance: the hub has adopted the latest
open standards, including XML (conforming to ACORD and ANSI 1998 standards) and SOAP. As a
result, it can continue to set benchmarks for reliability, scalability and openness. An
enterprise solution, it uses latest generation Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Microsoft technologies.