Speaking at the opening of the second XL Capital Group Congress, a global risk conference focused on One World Without Borders, Mr. O'Hara challenged nearly 400 attendees to look beyond the numbers relating to catastrophes such as hurricanes and earthquakes to the human tragedies that they represent.
He said: "Society depends on us for more than just the payment of claims…it's all about adding value, about raising awarness of the issues, helping prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. We would like to see an industry-based coordinated approach to Corporate Social Responsibility planning being adopted, which could make better use of scarce resources in our risk industry."
Mr. O'Hara suggested that in the longer term there could be a new role for companies, which could help shape a new global governance model and see more companies becoming partners in global problem solving.
"What's needed are leaders committed to changing the way society organizes itself and the way we approach social problems. These leaders will be doing more than giving food or money away. They will be teaching the world to reorganize itself along more long-term sustainable lines," he said.
"We are here to discover new perspectives," Mr. O'Hara concluded. "I would like us to apply ourselves to finding out if there is a better way of creating and spreading prosperity."
During the conference, a diverse range of international speakers and panelists will critically examine major economic, political, and social issues with the aim of helping Congress attendees gain a better understanding of the changing face of risk and its evolving impact on the business world.
Speakers scheduled for the Congress are: Richard von Weizsäcker, President of Germany (1984-1994); José María Aznar, Prime Minister of Spain (1996-2004); The Rt. Hon. Lord Christopher Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University, last British Governor of Hong Kong (1992-1997) and former EU Commissioner; Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International; Steve Forbes, President and CEO Forbes Inc., Editor-in-Chief Forbes Magazine; Alan Brown, CIO Schroders plc; Peter R. Fisher, Chairman of BlackRock; Neil Ostrer, Co-founder of Marathon Asset Management Ltd; Joachim Fels, Morgan Stanley; Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (1998-1990, 1993-1996); and Jonathan Aiken, former CNN Anchor and current Communication Director, Red Cross.
An official Congress website containing speaker profiles, location details and other general information can be accessed at www.xlcongress.com/berlin.
XL Capital Ltd, through its operating subsidiaries, is a leading provider of insurance and reinsurance coverages and financial products and services to industrial, commercial and professional service firms, insurance companies and other enterprises on a worldwide basis. As of March 31, 2006, XL Capital Ltd had consolidated assets of approximately $58.8 billion and consolidated shareholders' equity of approximately $8.5 billion. More information about XL Capital Ltd is available at www.xlgroup.com.