2018 AGM Report

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer’s Report


I am pleased to report that, last year, we produced a good surplus of more than £4,400 (£4,407). Subscription income increased to £14,400 and the cost of our Annual Conference and AGM was more than covered by income.

Last year I drew your attention to an increase in our Administration fees caused by a period of parallel running between our former Administration Secretary, David Holmes, and Adrian Ballardie as his successor. This year’s Accounts have also been affected by this overlap, albeit to a much smaller extent. This “one-off” expenditure ensured a smooth transition of responsibilities from David to Adrian and we do, therefore, believe this was money well spent.

So, all in all, we had a good year with our Capital Account continuing to grow and now standing at £23,165.

Membership Report

I’m pleased to say that the Membership of our Panel remains strong. As at today’s date, we have 81 Panel Members, a net reduction of 8 over last year. During the year, 3 new Members were appointed and there were 9 lapses or resignations. I am also sorry to say that, during the year, 2 Members passed away, one of whom was Sir Anthony Colman, a former Chairman of the Society and Sir Bernard’s immediate predecessor.

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, 76 Members currently feature on our website. Entries for Panel Members willing to act in a sole arbitrator capacity are identified as such and, currently, some 41 Members (being half) are so designated.

Now turning to website “hit rates” or “visits”. Although total visits were some 10% down on the previous year, they still averaged nearly 500 per month (495.8) and, on an annualised basis, downloads of our Rules and Clauses are, for 2018 to date (as at 30th April), well up on 2017 (+80.7%). For 2017, they totalled 626 and, in order, comprised the 3rd Edition of our Rules followed by our Arbitration Clause and then AFTAR. After the UK, the next largest areas from which visits were made were USA, Germany and France.

Following our highly successful dinner in October 2016 to mark our Silver Anniversary, we are planning a similar event this year. Details have been circulated to all members. The date is Wednesday, 3rd October 2018 at the same venue, the Innholders’ Hall. Sir Christopher Clarke has kindly agreed to be our Guest of Honour. The cost is the same as last time, £99 to include wine, and members are welcome to bring guests.

Last year I advised that, after 15 years as your Hon Secretary, I felt I should “call it a day”, continuing however to serve as a Panel Member. However, as you can see, I’m still here! This is mainly due to the persuasive qualities of our Chairman! I have, however, agreed that my retirement will now be effective. So far as the website is concerned, I’m pleased to announce this will now be handled by my colleague Graham Jackson and, as regards my technical duties, these will be absorbed by Adrian and his Committee colleagues. At the same time, subject to AGM approval, it is intended that the two secretarial positions will be merged together with Adrian’s title changing from Administration Secretary to Secretary/Treasurer.

And that completes my Report.

T.G. Fairs
Hon. Secretary, Treasurer and Panel Member, ARIAS (UK)
8th June 2018.

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