CfP: History of Insurance in a Global Perspective

Posted on behalf of Grietjie Verhoef:

International Conference University of Basel, Switzerland 20–22 July 2022,

Deadline for Proposals: 30th of September 2021

The dynamic nature of financial markets was highlighted during the wave of demutualisations that occurred towards the end of the 20th century. In the 1980s and 1990s mutual insurers, mutual banks and mutual building societies demutualised in response to a number of incentives and pressures. In their wake large financial services companies emerged changing the landscape of financial markets.  Three decades on, it is timely to review the outcomes of this phase in insurance and financial history. Have the performance expectations of demutualised companies been fulfilled?

This session invites scholars to engage in different aspects of the post-demutualisation operations of insurance corporations in different geographies since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Historians and insurance specialists are called upon to address the nature of the demutualised insurance environment in various markets. 

The following questions are considered:

  • In what ways has the demutualisation trend been related to parallel trends such as bancassurance and securitization? What does that indicate about the nature of change in financial markets?
  • What was the nature of the organisational structure of post-demutualisation insurance corporations?
  • How stable have organisational structures been? Specifically what does the demutualised entity look like 3 decades on?
  • Have changes in organisational and ownership form influenced post-demutualisation investment operations, that is actual investment behaviour or related strategies?
  • How has the financial performance of demutualised insurance companies compared to the mutual phase of operations?
  • How has the global configuration of insurance companies developed?
  • What have been the strategic foci of demutualise insurance companies?
  • How did corporate governance develop in the demutualised insurance corporations?
  • How has insurance penetration developed post-demutualisation?
  • How have ex mutuals fared during the various financial crises experienced in the last 2 decades?

Proposals can be submitted by email to the session organisers by 30 September 2021.

Session Organisers: 

Grietjie Verhoef ; University of Johannesburg/ Monash University /

Monica Keneley ; Deakin University, Australia

Antti Talonen ;  Helsinki University, Finland.

Much appreciated