2017 AGM Report

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer’s Report


I am pleased to report that, last year, we produced a small surplus of £528. Subscription income held up well, being only slightly down on the previous year (-£436) and the costs of our Annual Conference and AGM were almost fully covered by income (-£16). At the same time, we were also able to keep net expenditure for our highly successful Silver Anniversary Dinner down to a very modest level (£384).

One other aspect I should draw to your attention is the jump in our Administration fees (+£2,369). This was due to a period of parallel running between our outgoing Administration Secretary, David Holmes, and David’s successor, Adrian Ballardie. It was, therefore, very much a “one-off” expenditure. This arrangement enabled Adrian to “get up to speed” more quickly and effectively and I know Adrian greatly appreciated having this hand-over period.

So, all in all, we had a very reasonable year with our Capital Account continuing to move in the right direction and now standing at £18,758 (+£528).

Membership Report

It is pleasing to report that the Membership of our Panel remains at a buoyant level. As at today’s date, we have 89 Panel Members, a net reduction of 4 over last year. During the year, 5 new Members were appointed and there were 9 lapses or resignations.

The largest discipline represented within our Membership remains law followed by underwriting. Other disciplines such as claims, broking and accountancy are relatively unchanged.
Of the overall Panel Membership, 84 Members currently feature on the Society’s website. To assist with the selection of Panel Members willing to act as sole arbitrator, either under our Fast Track Rules or otherwise, an “SA” logo appears against the website entry of each such Member. Currently, some 46 Members are so designated. The number of Panel Members including their photographs on the website is currently 62.

Now turning to website “hit rates” or “visits”. I am pleased to say that, taking 2016 as a whole, visitor numbers were some 3% (2.8%) up on 2015. Although this year so far shows a small reduction (3.0%) over 2016, visitor numbers are still averaging around 565 per month. After the UK (1,374), the next largest areas from which visits were made were USA (464), China (100), Germany (95) and India (61) – for 6 months period ending 31st May 2017.

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

On Thursday, 6th October last year, we held a Dinner at the Worshipful Company of Innholders to mark the Society’s Silver Anniversary. Some 77 members and guests including our President, Lord Thomas, attended the event. The evening closed with an address by Lord Clarke. Feedback was very positive and the overwhelming feeling was that it was a huge success. As already mentioned, its net cost to the Society was very modest. We are indebted to Alan Weir who masterminded the event.

Following last year’s highly successful Tutorial, we continue to monitor interest in future such events. We shall be pleased to take details of any members who might be interested so that, as soon as we have sufficient support, another can be arranged.

After 15 years as the Society’s Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, I’ve decided it’s time to “hang up my boots” and pass the baton to a younger and more energetic version! So at our last Committee Meeting I made it known that a wished to “call it a day”. In order to achieve as smooth a transition as possible, I have agreed to stay in my role until my replacement is in situ or until the end of the year (whichever comes first!). We are, therefore, currently seeking someone to take over. Anyone interested or requiring further details should speak either to Sir Bernard or myself.

And that completes my Report.

T.G. Fairs
Hon. Secretary, Treasurer and Panel Member, ARIAS (UK)
9th June 2017.

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