REBUTTAL FROM RIMS
RIMS once again finds itself having to provide corrections to Tom Slattery's editorial content.RIMS has been a consistently vocal advocate for reform with respect to contingency fees.RIMS' response to this issue has been neither "spotty" nor "shockingly weak," as you have written. Instead, it has been professional, consistent and focused on improving business practices.
RIMS issued its first position statement on contingency fees in 1999, calling for complete transparency in the relationship between brokers and buyers.Interestingly, the statement was jointly issued by RIMS and Marsh (then known as J&H Marsh McLennan).
During the Spitzer investigation, RIMS renewed the call for transparency and full disclosure of all fees paid to brokers in a statement issued in August 2004. In October 2004, RIMS president Nancy Chambers issued a statement expressing "shock" and "distress" over the Spitzer findings. In November 2004,she met with the New York State Insurance Superintendent to answer inquiries on contingency fees.In December 2004,then board member and currentRIMS president Janice Ochenkowski met withthe Massachusetts Attorney General's Office to answer inquires on contingency fees.
In January 2005, RIMS board member Michael Gaona testified before the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Insurance with Mr. Spitzer and others, calling for reform. In August 2005, then RIMSvicepresident Janice Ochenkowskitestified before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs' Subcommittee on Financial Management, the Budget and International Security, expressed RIMS' continued concern for "deceptive practices" on the part of brokers and called for appropriate penalties or fines.
As conditions changed in the investigation and subsequent settlements, RIMS revised its statement again as mentioned in my previous letter.
In future coverage, I hope your publicationrethinks the approach thatfactsget in the way of a good story.A simple Google search reveals much of theinformation mentioned above. Many of these activities were covered in the tradepress, including R&I.
Still, to the dismay ofR&I readers,it's clear that you feelmaking a statement is more important than making an accurate statement.
Member of the Board of Directors
Risk and Insurance Management Society Director, Division of Risk Management
Montgomery County, Maryland
December 1, 2008
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