On the agenda in June 2004 when Andrew became chairman was the resolution - soon successfully accomplished - of the proposal by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for the regulation of risk manage

This, he says, mainly involved lawyers. More directly absorbing has been continuing the work on AIRMIC's direction over the next three years.

"I am passionate about taking AIRMIC forward, developing a coherent strategy to work out and decide the actions needed to put our mission statement into effect and accomplish our strategic aims," Andrew says.

Much of this work involves the development of relationships with other organisations such as the public sector body ALARM and Institute of Risk Management, and on a wider stage, with bodies such as the CBI and the Institute of Directors. One of the projects closest to his heart is the work that AIRMIC has been doing with the CBI to increase the use and effectiveness of rehabilitation for injured employees. This will be formally launched at the 2005 AIRMIC conference.

The most significant of these partnerships, however, is the agreement with ten brokers and insurers of long-term support, including funding, for AIRMIC. This has given the organisation a much better resource base.

Lightning strikes

In October, lightning struck the insurance industry in New York, and the thunder could be heard across the Atlantic, when state attorney general Eliot Spitzer sued Marsh & McLennan over business placement practices and additional payments. Andrew found that everyone in the UK wanted AIRMIC's views on brokers and contingency fees.

The response from AIRMIC and its chairman was a measured one that came down on the side of transparency without taking up an adversarial position against the brokers. Instead, AIRMIC published a list of seven questions that anyone buying insurance could use to identify the critical information the broker should disclose.

Andrew then said that risk managers would need at least one renewal season to see whether the brokers were fulfiling their public commitments to transparency. There will be an important discussion at the 2005 conference on the next steps. Challenges remain for everyone involved, insurers, brokers and risk managers, too, who "will have to prepare for renewals well in advance."

In light of the trans-Atlantic revelations, it was not surprising that AIRMIC came in for criticism when the partnership agreement with the brokers and insurers was announced in February 2005. "From the point of view of all the Spitzer stuff, it was clearly awkward," says Andrew, "but from an organisation perspective the timing was right."

He is happy to defend this acknowledgement of the relationship between risk managers and the insurance industry. "We are saying that one of our core areas of expertise is insurance and insurable risk. It is a strength that is being recognised, and we don't want to lose that. We want to grow in this core area and to grow elsewhere."

Andrew believes that his participation in the top level working party on contract certainty set up by the London market on the instigation of the FSA is evidence of this recognition of AIRMIC's ability to comment authoritatively on insurance issues.

However, he says the resources coming from the insurance industry are giving AIRMIC the ability to expand in other areas, such as services for small and medium sized companies that have no dedicated risk manager.

Andrew is at pains to emphasise that the three year strategic plan is not dependent on who the chairman is. As he hands over the chairmanship to Peter Berring, he will remain actively involved in AIRMIC's work. As immediate past chairman, he remains on the Council for another year to support the new chairman.

The role of chairman of AIRMIC in 2004-5 has clearly been a demanding one. "I have enjoyed myself greatly," says Andrew. "It gave me the opportunity to meet new people. The Spitzer issues have been very challenging and the London market has been going through a degree of turmoil, but it is exciting to be part of the future direction of the industry."