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Partnership beyond borders: Reducing the complexities of managing international operations

Change is a constant. Today's increasingly globalized world calls on the need for businesses, large or small, to operate internationally to survive and thrive. Companies which once had a purely domestic market operations are realizing the complexities involved as they expand their operations internationally. 

With their upscaled operations, these companies must now factor in cross-border financing, managing regulatory and compliance requirements, as well as supply chain and logistics coordination considerations. In addition, there is the aspect of managing the risks of the local operations to consider, including the risks of natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, typhoons and floods. Put simply, today's business environment has grown complex. But, does managing an international business need to be complex as well? Is there a way to simplify the process?

The rise of M&As and regulatory requirements

Despite the pandemic, businesses are continuing to explore expansion opportunities globally. In Q1 this year, over 11,000 M&A deals (12% year-on-year increase) have closed. According to a study by Standard Chartered, a majority of U.S companies expect an increase in global expansion, with Asia identified as a major growth market

From a regulatory perspective, divergence in the regulatory detail is increasingly the norm and expected to affect the day-to-day operations in global jurisdictions. In addition to the topic of IFRS17 impacting the insurance industry, among 10 key regulatory challenges impacting the financial services sector this year are credit risk and LIBOR, climate and ESG, core risk management, expanding regulatory authority, and more.

The impact on companies' commercial insurance

With internationalization and increasing regulatory scrutiny, a company operating in 10 locations around the world for instance, could be seen having 10 different insurance policies in place, each with different policy approaches. This decentralized approach is effective in meeting the local market requirements, with its language, compliance and claims settlement needs. However, the volume of data and information exchanged between carriers, brokers, and the insured, results in the duplication of efforts and inefficiencies. 

From a regional or global perspective, the decentralized approach lacks standardization in the product and coverage descriptions. This limits the visibility, transparency and consistency of the commercial insurance coverage as the policies tend to be in local language and matches the local practices but not the vision of the regional or global team.

Simplifying the approach

Managing your cross-border operations might seem complex but it is as complicated as you allow it to be. In a recent Financial Services Regulatory Outlook Report, Deloitte identified Global coordination as an opportunity for companies to avoid regulatory divergence

In this similar vein is an International Program approach which can help you unravel the complexities, and navigate the global risks you face today while anticipating the challenges you might experience in the future. With a centralized approach to your commercial insurance policy leveraging the PULSE portal, an International Program can give you transparency and efficiency from managing your policy needs across the globe. 

We recently partnered with a company headquartered in Australia but with operations across the world. The company had a decentralized approach, with multiple insurance policies in each of the locations where it had presence. With its growth ambitions, the company found that its existing arrangement would not support its business strategy and it needed to enhance its risk management strategy. In our partnership with the company, we focused on understanding the customer's needs and delivering solutions that would meet their needs. Leveraging the PULSE portal, we succeeded in streamlining the customer's insurance policies so they were underwritten out of Australia, thus reducing the complexity of their risk portfolio. Additionally, a Captive was put in place for the customer to enhance their financial strength and enabling growth.

Conclusion

The business environment is becoming more volatile. With the global regulatory environment constantly evolving, there is now increased scrutiny by Regulators with compliance requirements on insurance premium taxes, foreign cession rates and more. Keeping track of the fluid regulatory changes can be challenging, and this is where working with a partner would be valuable. In addition to helping you gain compliance assurance, a partner with the right expertise and that is committed to helping you address your challenges can benefit you in terms of efficiency and effectiveness gains on your risk management portfolio.

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