On 13 June 2019, Mayer Brown partners David Alberts (Corporate & Securities, New York), Richard Spitzer (Finance, New York), Paul Chen (Corporate & Securities, Palo Alto) and Hong Kong Partner Brian McKenna (Corporate & Securities) delivered a seminar titled, “Insurance Innovation and Trends in Asia: Technology, Product Development and ILS” to over 30 clients and Mayer Brown members in our Hong Kong office. Representatives from The Insurance Authority (IA), Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited and major insurers and reinsurers attended the seminar to hear about future trends and issues in the insurance technology space as well as the development of alternative capital markets (i.e., insurance linked securities or “ILS”). ILS has drawn a lot of attention in Asia recently after the inaugural Peak Re reinsurance sidecar launch in Hong Kong earlier this year as well as the recent full 144A USD 100 million catastrophe bond issued by Security First Insurance Company in Singapore, the first deal ever under the new Singapore ILS laws. Both of these transactions were handled by Mayer Brown and led by Ricky Spitzer.
The seminar was commenced with a welcoming speech by partner Mark Uhrynuk (Corporate & Securities, Hong Kong), followed by remarks from Dave who provided an overview of the major trends in the evolution of the Asia insurance sector with the rise of insurtech investment and the influx of alternative capital in the insurance sector. Paul and Brian kicked off the insurtech development session by exploring insurtech trends from a US and Asia perspective and highlighting key regulatory developments and challenges. Ricky then introduced various types of securities in the alternative capital markets. Catastrophe bond and ILS funds have grown rapidly over the past 10 years and have recently been playing a greater and more meaningful role in Asia Pacific, and the Government of Hong Kong has recently begun work to create the necessary legislative environment to support ILS business in Hong Kong.