Adopting IFRS for the Insurance Industry - Perspectives from Ernst & Young's Global Insurance IFRS Leader

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As the SEC moves ahead with a "building blocks" strategy for transitioning to the new IFRS accounting model, Ernst & Young's Global Insurance IFRS leader James Dean offers his perspective on how the insurance industry has reacted.

James Dean, Ernst & Young Global Insurance IFRS Leader spoke at our May 2008 IFRS Conference in New York about IFRS and the future of financial reporting in the United States and around the world.

As global insurers explore the transition to the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) accounting model, Ernst & Young's Global Insurance Leader James Dean offers his perspective on how the insurance industry has reacted. Today's video release contains Dean's remarks on how the insurance industry is "something of a guinea pig" for the new accounting principles. Dean was speaking at a May 2008 Ernst & Young IFRS conference on a panel featuring speakers from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

"There is a big concern that the IASB is trying to build an insurance standard in a vacuum. It is the first piece of work the IASB's taken on which it is not converting something. … Having said that, they've got these huge projects in the background on the conceptual framework, on revenue recognition, on the liability measurement" says Dean. "And with all these moving parts, what you end up with is the insurance contracts debates being something of a guinea pig. And they like it. They enjoy testing out ideas on insurance to see if something as challenging as our industry can survive some of the principles they'd adopt for everybody."

Dean has served the financial services industry in both an audit and advisory capacity for more than 25 years. He leads Ernst & Young's global IFRS team in the insurance sector, which involves ongoing dialog with the IASB and industry groups.

View video comments from James Dean

Read additional insights from Ernst & Young's IFRS conference

About Ernst & Young's Global Insurance Center:
In today's globally competitive and highly regulated environment, managing risk effectively while satisfying an array of divergent stakeholders is a key goal of insurance firms. Ernst & Young's Global Insurance Center ( brings together a worldwide team of professionals to help you achieve your potential - a team with deep technical experience in providing assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The Center works to anticipate market trends, identify the implications and develop points of view on relevant industry issues. Ultimately, it enables us to help you meet your goals and compete more effectively. It's how Ernst & Young makes a difference.

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