Decision-making has never been so tough for chief executives as they attempt to navigate this period of instability. Philippe Maso of AXA presents his vision for the future on page 24. He insists this crisis is primarily about banks, not insurers. Our first ever cover star, Peter Harmer, agrees (see pages 26-27). He is developing an action plan to cope with the downturn and top of his list is to understand how clients will behave and how he can position Aon to reflect this. For more proof that this is a banking-led crisis, turn to page 29 to find out how the squeeze on credit is affecting SMEs, in the new Markets & Risks section.

Like many other companies of all sizes, Aon will undergo dramatic, organisational change next year. But put to one side the swingeing cuts linked to the acquisition of Benfield and look instead at how Aon, and other firms, are repositioning themselves for a two-year transitional period, during which understanding the demands and ambitions of critical fee payers will become paramount. As Maso says: “There will be a massive flight to quality.” Perhaps this market really needs that right now.

How we’ve transformed your Insurance Times

Insurance Times was established in 1992 to campaign for the intermediary sector.

Today, however, the nature and structure of the general insurance community is in a state of perpetual change. Professionalism and consolidation have swept the broking market. Insurers face unprecedented global scrutiny and challenges. And the claims community is leading the sector in preparing to face the opportunities and frustrations of a recession (see the new Claims section, pages 32-35).

What’s more, an online revolution has transformed the way business is conducted and the way our readers consume information. As a result, this week we present to you the new-look Insurance Times. It is designed to reflect the changing information needs of brokers, insurers and all the players that make up the general insurance market. It will provide you with high-level views, analysis and data from across the insurance spectrum and incorporate contributions from our sister titles, Global Reinsurance and Strategic Risk as well as exclusive content from our rapidly growing digital channel,

I hope you enjoy the magazine.