News + Notes: Middle Market Indicator Results, IFC Secures $3.5 Billion Insurance Backing for Emerging Markets and More
Middle Market Companies Thrive Amid Economic Challenges
The 2023 Mid-Year Middle Market Indicator (MMI), a report by Chubb and the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), revealed that middle market companies are flourishing despite a challenging economic backdrop. Nearly three-quarters of firms who participated in the MMI survey reported an improvement in overall performance compared to the previous year, a record high for the survey.
This positive trend is said to have been supported by top-line growth over the past 12 months, overall employment growth, and continued expansion into new domestic markets with new products or services.
According to the MMI report, 60% of middle market firms found inflation risk extremely or very difficult to manage, a 3% point decrease over 2022 data. Supply chain risk decreased 7% points to 43%, and 49% of firms indicated recession risk remained extremely or very difficult to manage, an 11% point decrease from the prior study.
“The mid-year survey showcases a number of positive economic indicators that reinforces the optimism and positive direction for the middle market segment,” said Ben Rockwell, division president, Chubb Middle Market. “The insights garnered from the MMI survey help us understand the landscape middle market companies are facing, which ultimately provides increased awareness of emerging opportunity areas, risks and the proper guidance Chubb can provide in these areas.”
Inflation, while declining, still has far-reaching effects with 40% of firms reporting a negative impact in the last six months. This includes an impact on business costs, including increasing commercial construction material costs; an important factor for companies rebuilding following a natural catastrophic event,” said Michelle McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief underwriting officer, Chubb Middle Market.
McLaughlin added, “In fact, we are seeing more severe and frequent weather events that are impacting our clients. We work with them to ensure they have adequate coverage, as well as solid risk mitigation strategies in place to help them stay ahead of these types of economic impacts.”
The MMI survey, which was created in 2012, surveys 1,000 executives from the middle market to examine topics related to business capabilities, performance, growth drivers, and economic outlook among others. The middle market represents one-third of private sector GDP, employing approximately 48 million people. The 2023 Mid-Year MMI survey was fielded in June 2023.
IFC Secures $3.5 Billion Insurance Deal to Boost Development Finance
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has secured a $3.5 billion credit insurance policy with 13 global insurance companies under its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP). The agreement aims to stimulate economic activity and promote development in emerging markets.
The MCPP Financial Institutions III program will leverage the risk capacity of leading insurers to support over $7 billion of new IFC medium and long-term lending to commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions over the next six years.
According to a press release, the program aims to enhance access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises, including women-owned businesses, and firms addressing climate change.
This is IFC’s largest-ever mobilization in a single agreement, unlocking the insurance industry’s risk-bearing capacity to increase private capital deployment. It will enable billions of dollars of additional development finance to support economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction.
“Insurance is not just about managing risks. It is also about underwriting human potential and development in emerging economies,” said John Gandolfo, vice president and treasurer, treasury & mobilization at IFC. “This new facility demonstrates the opportunity for leading insurers and development finance institutions to work together to solve the world’s most urgent development challenges.”
The program has attracted a consortium of prominent insurers, including Liberty Specialty Markets, Munich RE, the Tokio Marine Group, AXA XL, Everest, and Aspen. New participants include The Hartford, Swiss Re, AXIS Capital, HDI Global Specialty, Allianz Trade, Sompo International, and SCOR.
Veronica Scotti, chairperson of Swiss Re Public Sector Solutions, said, “Mobilization of private capital is key to scale the impact of development finance, but not easy to achieve. IFC has successfully managed this through its MCPP FIG III program, whose record volume is testament to IFC’s scaling capability.”
IFC’s new program will increase the total capacity raised under the MCPP, IFC’s portfolio syndications platform, to over $16 billion. To date, MCPP has supported more than 260 IFC clients across 63 countries.
RIMS Invests Upwards of $200,000 in Spencer’s RMI Coursework Development
RIMS, the risk management society, has invested over $200,000 in the Spencer Educational Foundation to support the development of undergraduate risk management courses at higher education institutions across the U.S.
As part of a three-year agreement, RIMS will fully fund its $250,000 multi-year commitment to Spencer by the end of 2023. So far, 14 higher education institutions have received Spencer grants funded by RIMS, including Bradley University, Brenau University, Fisk University, and Mercy College. The initiative aims to empower risk professionals at all stages of their careers and drive more students into risk professions.
“The future of business hinges on talented and bright risk management students to graduate with the skills to tackle adversity and the knowledge to drive organizational success,” said RIMS CEO Gary A. LaBranche, FASAE, CAE. “RIMS is committed to empowering risk professionals at all stages of their careers. The Society is proud to support Spencer, and subsequently the participating higher education institutions, to strengthen curricula and deliver greater opportunities for tomorrow’s risk leaders.”
”We are so grateful for RIMS’ long-time support and partnership, which has been baked into Spencer’s success since our founding in 1979,” said Spencer Executive Director Megan Miller. “It is a privilege to work with the RIMS team and other partners who truly understand how critical it is to drive more students into risk professions by funding relevant coursework.” &