Aon Global Risk Consulting, the risk management consulting arm of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), and Optial (UK) Limited have collaborated to create the first truly integrated Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) system for the commercial insurance and reinsurance sector.

The GRC platform facilitates the connection of board level vision and strategy with real day-to-day operational controls and processes, thereby defining and realising a clear operating model that remains proportionate to each undertaking’s specific requirements.

The rich functionality of the Optial solution, combined with the subject matter expertise of the Aon team produced a solution in which a firm’s objectives can be related to its defined risk appetite and associated policies, combined with a comprehensive platform supporting the internal control system and risk register assessments.

The solution addresses the requirements of Solvency II across the various Governance Functions from the Board itself to Risk Management, Compliance and Internal Audit, thus creating a streamlined architecture that fosters interaction across all organisational levels at minimal operating cost. Preparation of the qualitative aspects of the ORSA report and Pillar 3 reporting requirements are also a feature of the new GRC platform.

This integrated GRC solution was first demonstrated in October 2013 at a seminar in Luxembourg to over thirty commercial insurance firms. The feedback was extremely positive with multiple requests for follow up sessions already scheduled, and similar events are being planned across Europe in the coming months.

The result of this partnership is a truly unique offering. Aon’s Solvency II experts can help clients to consolidate all existing elements of their Solvency II Pillar II preparations into a single consistent and proportionate target operating model, bringing what are sometimes expensive Pillar II projects to a conclusion. The team can also provide, whenever necessary, additional enhancements to their GRC platform to ensure it is a true reflection of the firm’s intended System of Governance, making the target operating model a truly dynamic and scheduled operating system.

Chris O’Brien, founder and CEO of Optial commented, "Optial has always provided a functionally rich solution for its clients but the collaboration with the team from Aon adds a whole new dimension of expertise focusing on content and methodology within the insurance sector. The combined team is ideally placed to help those commercial insurers looking to address their Solvency II requirements in an efficient, effective and systematic manner."

Fabrice Frere, Managing Director and co-lead of Aon’s Solvency II Steering Committee commented, "Aon has been helping clients for the last couple of years with Pillar II implementation. The key challenges have always been proportionality, consistency, cost control, and turning responses to Solvency II requirements into a truly dynamic System of Governance so that the undertaking can operate effectively and at limited cost. The collaboration with Optial has been developed to address these challenges in a practical way and our GRC platform is the answer."