Update from the president and CEO
“But in the end, it’s only a
passing thing, this shadow. Even
darkness must pass. A new day
will come. And when the sun
shines it will shine out the
J.R.R Tolkien – Lord of the Rings
Dear friends of Skuld,
I hope you are keeping well and safe during these extraordinary times.
As I am writing this, our entire global organisation is working from home for what is the fourth week. I am very pleased to see that it is working well, obviously it is not optimal, but it is working well. All staff have access to all systems and can perform their daily tasks from home. We have moved all internal meetings on to digital platforms using Zoom, Skype and Teams. Several webinars and meetings have been performed successfully with members, clients and brokers by video conference and I must say the spirit and motivation in our organisation remains high. All leaders in Skuld are taking good care of their teams.
Many of our members and clients are facing extraordinary challenges these days and we are doing our best to assist. We have noted a significant increase in COVID-19 related queries, claims and disputes. Internally we are allocating resources across our global office network to support those offices that face the highest workload. We do understand that the current situation where many of our members and clients are working from home can slow down processes and we are therefore allowing increased flexibility when it comes to outstanding premium and deductible payments for those who need it.
Skuld is not unaffected by the situation. We do anticipate a slowdown in global trade thus vessels being laid up in the coming months and this will lead to a reduced level of premium income. At the same time we expect claims costs will go up due to COVID-19 related cases. The current turbulence in the financial markets is no doubt affecting our investment portfolio. However, Skuld is still in a strong position both operationally and financially. We are well above all solvency requirements set by regulators and we are well above our stricter internal solvency targets set by the Board. Our long-term investment strategy is built to handle extreme volatility although our results will be affected in the short term.
We have created a separate section on website skuld.com for COVID-19 related information and we will continue to publish FAQs and other relevant links and news that are useful. I would also encourage you to use our logged-in pages on skuld.com where you have access to all relevant information regarding your relationship with us. This is a very useful tool these days when you need access to everything from your home office. Our main focus now during these challenging times is to keep the service level high and assist our members and clients in the best way possible. I can assure you, we have a highly motivated Skuld team ready to serve you.
As we are approaching Easter, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful although different holiday and I very much look forward to seeing you all offline when this is over.
Take care and stay safe.