The Annual Shareholders Meeting of Wisconsin Reinsurance Corporation (WRC) was held April 25, 2018, at Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The meeting provided a setting for 141 shareholders and guests to review the operations of WRC for the past year and hear plans for the future.
President Terry Wendorff called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. Following the invocation and preliminary business, Chairman of the Board, George Tipler introduced the current board of directors and provided an overview of the WRC initiatives that contributed to the sixth consecutive year of underwriting profit. Chairman of the Nominating Committee Jeff Dusek then presented the following nominees for three-year terms as directors:
Howard Schwartz – Ellington Mutual Insurance Company
Mark Splinter – Mutual of Wausau Insurance Corporation
Bruce Thomas – Heartland Mutual Insurance Association
The nominees were unanimously elected to serve a three-year term of office.
After the election, Ann Carlson, Vice President of Finance and Corporate Treasurer, presented the 2017 Annual Financial Report for The WRC Group. Todd Lentz, Senior Vice President of Reinsurance reported on the reinsurance operations of WRC and Lisa Russell, 1st Auto Executive Vice President, presented an overview of 1st Auto’s planned operations for the coming year.
Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Ted Nickel was the guest speaker. Commissioner Nickel provided an update of the activities within the OCI department. He mentioned that the department has seen an increase in transactions as more companies are showing interest in doing business in Wisconsin.
Commissioner Nickel encouraged the mutuals to continue helping the small- and medium-sized farms who face the “silent catastrophe” from the April storm activity. He said that it will be months before the full impact of the loss from these storm activities can be assessed.
President Wendorff wrapped up the business meeting with a report on the operations of The WRC Group for 2017. In his report, President Wendorff summarized the operations in terms of where WRC is; what WRC is doing; and where WRC is going.
He attributed the financial success of The WRC Group to:
- Although there were more severe storms this year, the impact was at a local level.
- Based on our 2011 experience, WRC redesigned its reinsurance program. The reinsurance program responded as expected to adversity without jeopardizing operations.
- The board, management, and mutuals worked as a team to bolster the successful results. President Wendorff commented “What you do reflects in what we do. We are a reflection of you.”
- The work done by WRC’s staff was recognized as an important element in the success of 2017.
He added that profitability is important for funding future operations. Since demutualizing in 1991 our stock prices have steadily increased and WRC has paid $10.5 million in dividends. The goal is to build regular dividend payment to our stockholders.
The following changes to WRC‘s reinsurance program in 2017 helped reduce the financial impact from the storm activities:
- We increased the capacity of the per-risk program to allow us to write more individual risk programs.
- We added capacity to our liability program and CAT aggregate.
President Wendorff highlighted the tasks that our clients should focus on going forward:
- Corporate governance
- Technology and cyber security
- Purchasing a cyber-liability policy
- Adjust marketing due to changing demographics
He concluded his report reinforcing that WRC collectively gets strength from its clients. He thanked the clients, WRC board of directors, and The WRC Group staff for their contributions toward the success of The WRC Group.