2013 AGM Report

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer’s Report


Firstly, looking at the Accounts, you should find these fairly straightforward. As you may recall, last year’s Income and Expenditure figures were distorted by the £4,000 refund from Lord Mance’s ad hoc committee – this complicates any direct comparison between last year’s and this year’s figures. However, stripping that item out sees our excess of expenditure over income reduce from last year’s figure of £900 to just £391 for this year. This is largely due to Swiss Re’s generosity in providing, at preferential terms, these excellent facilities for our Workshop and AGM. This enables the Society to make a surplus on this event. We are grateful to Swiss Re for this gesture.

This all left our accounts in good shape and, as at the end of the last financial year, the Society had £14,329 in its capital account. This was after making provision for the pre-payment of next year’s subscriptions for those members who took advantage of the discounted 2 years rate.

Membership Report

I am pleased to report that the Membership of our Panel is also in good shape, with numbers exactly the same as last year. As at today’s date, the Society’s Panel Membership stands at 83, excluding our 2 honorary members, Hugh Thompson and Dr Peter Frey. During the year, 6 new members were appointed (most of whom are with us today) and there were 5 lapses or resignations. We also sadly lost one of our US members, Kevin Riley, who passed away last year.

Once more, by far the largest discipline represented within our membership is underwriting (both marine and non-marine) but we also have members with backgrounds in law, claims, broking and accountancy.

The actual numbers (excluding our Honorary Members) currently stand as follows:

Underwriting 41
Law 20
Claims 11
Broking 8
Accountancy 3

Whilst the majority are of course domiciled in the UK, it is good to see a continuing overseas representation – at 24, overseas membership remains more than a quarter of the total. Our current membership comes from:

UK 59
USA 11
Germany 4
France 3
Switzerland 2

and one each from Bermuda, Norway and Sweden and a new member (Migel Roure) from Spain. We are especially pleased to welcome those overseas members who are with us here today.

Of the overall Panel Membership, 77 currently feature on the Society’s website (+ one pending). Three years ago we gave Panel Members the opportunity to include their photographs and 38 Members have since taken this up. Although this figure is a few (5) more than last year, it remains, at just 50% of the total, a little disappointing. The opportunity is of course still there for those members who have so far not taken the plunge.

Now turning to website hit rates, these were once again up on the previous year. Comparing the whole of 2012 against the previous year, total visits increased by just over 1,000 (1,030) to 7,516 representing 15.9% more traffic. There was, however, a small (4.5%) reduction for the first Quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year. As usual, visits to panel member pages were the most popular at just over 3,000 (3,052) hits for 2012 as a whole closely followed by the Rules and Clause with more than 2,500 (2,574) and then the Mediation Scheme with 386. In all, visitors came from 119 countries (22 more than last year).

As always, we welcome suggestions as to any particular enhancements members would like to see to the website.

Finally, as regards our Tutorials, as our last one was held relatively recently (at the end of 2011), there is currently insufficient demand to justify another just yet. We are, however, constantly monitoring the position – so, if either as a newly appointed panel member or as an existing member seeking to refresh your knowledge, you would like to attend one, David Holmes would be pleased to register your interest.

T.G. Fairs
Hon. Secretary, Treasurer and Panel Member, ARIAS (UK)
17th May 2013.

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