Zurich's Michel Liès appointed as IDF Steering Committee Chair


The Insurance Development Forum (IDF) has the appointed Michel Liès as its next Steering Committee Chair, bringing with him extensive experience of the insurance sector, having spent over 40 years with Swiss Re, including as Group CEO from 2012 until his retirement from the company in 2016.

Liès, who is Chairman of Zurich Insurance Group, will succeed Denis Duverne, Chairman of the Board at AXA, who has been IDF Steering Committee Chair since September 2018.

He is also a member of the Institute of International Finance Board, European Financial Services Roundtable and World Economic Forum Community of Chairmen.

Liès commented: “The IDF has made an outstanding policy and operational impact in recent years, delivering the first three country programmes under the Tripartite Agreement, as well as significant mobilisation of new resources in support of the climate and disaster risk financing agenda.

“This is due in no small part to the Steering Committee under the leadership of Denis Duverne and to the IDF’s working groups, our fast-growing membership, and our partners and supporters.

“While some countries have increased their resilience to climate change, the urgency of the climate crisis calls for much greater speed. This creates a critical role for advocacy about the importance of risk management and insurance in supporting development.

“In addition, the need for effective cross-sector collaboration to deliver meaningful change has never been more important and this must be a key priority in the immediate term.

“It is an honour and privilege to be asked to Chair the IDF’s Steering Committee alongside co-Chairs Achim Steiner and Hiroshi Matano and I would like to thank Denis for the outstanding contribution he has made in championing the work of the IDF.

“We are on a journey – including extending partnerships, accelerating our operational programmes and mobilising new resources in support of the climate and disaster risk financing agenda – and I am confident that the IDF will remain a key institution for bringing about systemic change.”

Duverne commented: “It has been an honour to have served as Chair of the IDF Steering Committee for over three years and during this time, we have achieved so much in terms of galvanising the public, private and humanitarian sectors to highlight the crucial role that insurers must play in addressing the adaptation and resilience challenges we face today.

“While a huge amount of work still clearly remains to be done – considering the recent IPCC report and roll back in the human development index across the SDGs – I am confident that the IDF will continue to play a pivotal role in bringing about systemic change to combat the climate crisis and help deepen global resilience.”

Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP and IDF SteerCo co-Chair, said: “I am delighted that Michel Liès has agreed to be the next Chair of our Steering Committee. Michel has already made a significant contribution during his time as Deputy Chair, helping to leverage the private sector’s expertise to boost the climate resilience of countries and communities across the world.

“As the climate crisis intensifies, the IDF will have an increasingly important role to play, pooling the world’s resources and expertise on insurance and reforming the global risk financing architecture. Ultimately, the IDF must continue to be a driving force behind the roll-out of much-needed insurance solutions to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

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