The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, called “The Geneva Association” was founded under the initiative of a committee that met for the first time on 22 September 1971 in Paris. This founding committee included Emil Frey, General Manager, Mannheimer Versicherung (Mannheim), Georges Martin, President, Royale Belge (Brussels), Ernst Meyer, General Manager, Allianz (Munich), Fabio Padoa, Chief Executive Officer, Generali (Trieste) and Bernard Pagezy, President, Paternelle (Paris).
The Constitutive Assembly of the Geneva Association took place in Paris on 27 February 1973, at the headquarters of La Paternelle (today part of the AXA Group). The following companies were represented by their President or Chief Executive Officer: Allianz, Münchener Rück, Aachener & Münchener, and Victoria for Germany; Commercial Union, Royal and Mercantile & General for the United Kingdom; Erste Allgemeine for Austria; Royale Belge for Belgium; UAP, AGF, Paternelle, Préservatrice and SAFR for France; Generali, RAS, Reale Mutua, INA and Fondiara for Italy; Nationale Nederlanden for the Netherlands; and the Swiss Reinsurance Company for Switzerland.
A first report to the assembly of members in 1974 by the Association’s first President, Raymond Barre, contained a clear statement of the Association’s aims, as follows:
“The Geneva Association has been founded to make an original contribution to the progress of insurance through objective studies of the interdependence between the economic environment and insurance activities”
and this on the assumption that:
"In order to achieve this aim, The Geneva Association shall highlight the role of insurance in the economy and in modern society. For, at a time when the need for security is increasingly acute, it is in the interest of all parties to stand together to face the growing risks of a changing world.”
The very design of The Geneva Association’s logo brings into sharp focus this priority of concentrating both on these “interface” areas of risk, where insurance meets the risk management problems of its clients in all sectors (“micro-economics”) and the uncertainties of the global economic environment (“macro-economics”). Since its inception, The Geneva Association has constantly followed these main goals by setting up various types of research activities at these “interfaces”.
At the outset, The Geneva Association had 20 members in eight European countries. It now has 90 members (the statutory maximum number) in all five continents: Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. The members are the Chief Executive Officers of most of the leading insurance companies in the world, who are members in a personal capacity. The Geneva Association has provided through the General Assembly a meeting and discussion ground for top insurance CEOs where important issues and challenges facing the insurance industry can be addressed.
Former Presidents of The Geneva Association:
Mr Raymond Barre †, Paris (1973-1976);
Mr Fabio Padoa, Trieste (1976-1983);
Mr Julius Neave †, London (1983-1986);
Prof. Dr Dr e.h. Reimer Schmidt †, Aachen (1986-1990);
Sir Brian Corby, London (1990-1993);
Drs. Jan H. Holsboer, Amsterdam (1993-1999);
Mr Walter Kielholz, Zurich (1999-2003);
Mr Henri de Castries, Paris (2003-2008);
Mr Martin J. Sullivan, New York (2008);
Mr Jacques Aigrain, Zurich (2008-2009).