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Webinar How insurance companies survive the impact of COVID-19?

This Webinar took place on 24 March 2021

What are the profound implications of COVID-19 to insurance companies when our working life, healthcare and businesses are disrupted by interconnected consequences? Based on the ASR experience, Gisella van Vollenhoven discussed the impact of COVID-19, explained how the current situation unfolded, how risks were managed and future consequences are considered. Thanks to a lively debate, it was concluded that the impact, after one year is limited from a financial perspective. Working from home for employees proofs, from an operational point of view, to work well, although it has its downsides regarding e.g. work-life balance and maintaining healthy company culture. However, it is too soon to conclude the longer term. The economic developments going forward, like interest-rate development, inflation, stock markets, bankruptcies and real estate, is still very unclear. And the impact of COVID-19 on longevity projections is difficult to assess. We discussed several factors that can work in opposite directions. Given the uncertainty, it is of vital importance to think about and prepare for different scenario’s. 


Drs. Gisella van Vollenhoven-Eikelenboom AAG (lecturer)

Gisella van Vollenhoven (1970) is an experienced executive and non-executive in the financial sector in insurance, pensions and banking. She currently holds several non-executive roles as a supervisory board member at ASR insurance, bunq, MUFG Bank Europe, Pensioenfonds Vervoer and Waarborgfonds Sociale Woningbouw. Gisella is also an associate partner at RiskQuest.

After graduating from the University of Amsterdam as an actuary, she worked in the financial sector for over 25 years. She started her career at ING Group and worked at Nationale-Nederlanden and Postbank Insurance in commercial roles (e.g. product development), and at ING in risk management (credit risk and model validation). 

Between 2013 and 2019 Gisella worked at De Nederlandsche Bank in both supervision (as a director for pension fund supervision and director for On-site Supervision Banks) as well as in supervisory policy (as head of the department for insurance and pensions). 

Drs. Jos Verstraelen (discussant)

Jos Verstraelen graduated in Econometrics and Risk Management for Financial Institutions from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After a career in IT, Jos entered the financial world in 2008 as an actuarial consultant. Currently, he is working as a senior staff member Actuarial Reporting Non-Life at a.s.r., specializing in topics related to solvency capital requirements and recently as Product Owner Risk Engine Non-Life P&C. From April 2021 Jos will be working as Financial Model Validator at a.s.r. Group Risk Management. Jos is also one of the study coordinators of the program Risk Management for Financial Institutions.

Drs. Guido de Smidt (discussant)

Guido de Smidt studied Business Administration at Nyenrode Business University and Risk Management for Financial Institutions at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he continues to carry out research into Behavioural Economics. Guido works as an Account Director at Aon Risk Solutions, Global Accounts, and is responsible for major clients in the financial institutions' sector. He has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry.

Prof. dr. Theo Kocken (moderator)

Theo Kocken is the founder of Cardano, professor of Risk Management at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and chairman of the Cardano Development Foundation.

In the last three decades, he has published many (chapters in) books, articles and an incidental documentary to improve education on risk management. During these decades his focus shifted from derivatives and risk modelling towards behavioural de-biasing, complex dynamic systems and how to create resilient institutions in a world of fundamental uncertainty.