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ACORD and WISe Combine Global Standards

ACORD and WISe confirmed they are merging their standards-development activities. Integration of standards development activities is expected to begin July 1.

ACORD (Pearl River, NY) and WISe (London) confirmed this week they are merging their standards-development activities. The agreement was approved by the boards of both organizations; integration of standards development activities is expected to begin by July 1.

A new Reinsurance/Large Commercial Lines Steering Committee within ACORD's established standards program will be created to support new participants from the Joint Venture (JV) community. The JV, established in 1992 and currently managed by WISe, is comprised of the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA), Brokers and Reinsurance Markets Association (BRMA), IVANS and WISe.

Also, an International Advisory Council will be established. This group will provide input to the ACORD Board and Global Standards Strategy Committee on key issues and trends affecting the global insurance industry. "Bringing ACORD and WISe together creates a strong platform to provide standards for insurance business processes, from quotation to settlement—and for various classes of business, including personal lines, commercial lines, surety, life and reinsurance," stated ACORD Chairman John Leonard, who is also president/CEO of Maine Employer Mutual Insurance Co. (MEMIC).

WISe members that are not already members of ACORD in the US will become members on July 1 and will be invited to continue their membership in 2002. On July 1, three international executives will join the ACORD Board of Directors—a global broker, an insurer and a reinsurer. Also, the ACORD Board will also appoint four new executives from global companies to the Global Standards Strategy Committee.

The Global Standards Strategy Committee has approved a development plan to integrate existing ACORD Standards into one common, standard representation of data, called eMerge. Also, in order to provide continuity of support for an expanded, global membership, ACORD will open new offices in London and Brussels and will hire WISe employees who were responsible for supporting the Joint Venture standards.

Additionally, the ACORD logo will include a new tagline in recognition of its expanded global focus that reads "ACORD—Global Insurance Standards."

Down the road, ACORD will work toward the integration of its XML standards for property/casualty and life insurance, along with the requirements for reinsurance organizations, as a cornerstone of the eMerge development plan. The organization plans to have a global specification completed for its June 2002 Subcommittee meeting in Washington, DC. A migration path and data mapping for all standards currently supported by ACORD to the eMerge standard is planned as part of the initiative.

"The agreements reflect general industry trends towards globalization, convergence and consolidation," according to WISe Chairman Rob White-Cooper. WISe is an industry-owned organization that was formed in 1999 to develop and promote e-commerce for the global insurance community.

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