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Episode 4: Helsinki


I arrived in Helsinki to glorious summer sunshine but with a Nordic chill in the wind, but as usual I was met with warmth, particularly at FIN-FSA (Finanssivalvonta), Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority.

Helsinki might seem an unusual place to find a centre of legacy activity. Scandinavian insurance companies, by and large, dealt with the long-tail US APH legacy liabilities on their balance sheets quickly and well. But other legacy business is emerging in the region. The challenges faced by the Danish carriers Alpha Insurance A/S and Qudos Insurance A/S are well documented. Both collapsed into run-off last year.

Compre has been active in Finland and the wider Scandinavian legacy market since 2004, following our first acquisitions there. They really set the company on course for significant growth. Bothnia International, our carrier in Finland, is an unusual entity for the FIN-FSA to regulate. My key observation is that ongoing dialogue, openness, and transparency when working together have fostered a strong relationship. We have executed a range of complex transactions here over the years, both large and small, and fully appreciate the regulator’s close cooperation.

We live in an increasingly regulated world, not just within the financial community, but across many walks and aspects of life. Adapting and evolving is key, with openness and transparency crucial to success. Combining such qualities with a little of the unique Finnish sisu will go a long way!

So where to next? I head back to Central Europe, to Cologne, to join my German colleagues at the Cologne Reinsurance Symposium (which Compre sponsors), and perhaps to enjoy a glass of Kölsch! I hope to see you there.