Pollner, John Daniel

Private and Financial Sector Development Department, Europe and Central Asia Region
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Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
bank insolvency and resolution tools; catastrophe insurance and financial instruments; private/funded pension systems; structured finance and securitization (capital markets); Latin America; Eastern Europe; Central/East Asia
Private and Financial Sector Development Department, Europe and Central Asia Region
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Last updated January 31, 2023
John Pollner is Lead Financial Officer (Financial & Risk Markets) in the Private and Financial Sector Department of the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank.  He specializes in policy analysis and projects in the new EU member states involving banking insolvency/bankruptcy, resolution and restructuring, capital market development and securitization, private sector pension reforms & annuities markets, and catastrophe insurance programs for hedging fiscal losses from natural peril risks, the latter area where he pioneered the design and use of risk transfer mechanisms.  Mr. Pollner is a national of both the US and Chile, and has an MBA / Finance degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Managing Catastrophic Disaster Risks Using Alternative Risk financing and Pooled Insurance Structures
    ( 2001-05) Pollner, John D.
    This report examines the constraints and opportunities in implementing a catastrophe insurance system which can resolve the key obstacles impeding broader implementation of a risk funding approach. The four main pillars in such a strategy involve: 1) strengthening insurance sector regulatory requirements and supervision; 2) establishing broad-based pooled catastrophe funding structures with efficient risk transfer tools; 3) promoting public insurance policies linked to programs for loss reduction in the uninsured sectors; and 4) strengthening the risk assessment and enforcement of structural measures such as zoning and building code compliance. The report is structured as follows: chapter 1 examines the characteristics of the global insurance and reinsurance market and its links with Caribbean insurers and policyholders Chapter 2 examines the domestic Caribbean insurance market structure and institutions, and their commercial practices Chapter 3 discusses how structural mitigation and vulnerability reduction measures can prove to be cost-effective investments that can dramatically reduce exposure risks on properties. Chapter 4 analyzes the modalities of risk transfer for potential financial losses. Chapter 5 demonstrates innovations being developed for catastrophe risk management. Chapter 6 examines risk management options. Chapter 7 concludes by demonstrating the financial feasibility and sustainability of operating and managing catastrophe risks under a sub-regional pool.
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    Catastrophe Risk Management : Using Alternative Risk Financing and Insurance Pooling Mechanisms
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-02) Pollner, John D.
    Residual stochastic risks from catastrophic natural events can be addressed through insurance pooling and risk transfer mechanisms that provide the basis for financial protection and instill strong incentives for reducing vulnerability. To reduce the economic stress after disasters, the author shows, World Bank instruments could be used to support initiaitves to help correct market imperfections in catastrophe insurance. He takes a step-by-step approach to showing how both risk pooling structures and alternative catastrophe coverage mechanisms (long-maturity risk financing facilities, weather-indexed contracts, and capital market instruments) can achieve better risk protection and financing terms--enough to allow the expansion of insurance coverage of public assets and private property. The author examines the insurable assets (private and public) in eight countries in the easternmost part of the Caribbean and, by quantifying the portion of the premium and risk used to fund catastrophe losses, shows that through pooling and the use of credit-type instruments for catastrophe coverage, governments and uninsured property owners or enterprises (with insurable assets) could expect to improve their terms of coverage. Neither local insurers nor reinsurers would suffer in profitability. The risk management options the author examines could lead to real benefits for all participants (buyers and sellers) in insurance markets. But four factors are essential for ensuring the integrity of any participatory insurance scheme for providing risk management in disaster-prone areas such as the Caribbean: 1) stronger regulatory requirements and supervision in the insurance sector; 2) Broad-based, pooled catastrophe funding structures with efficient risk transfer tools; 3) Public insurance policies linked to programs for loss reduction in uninsured sectors; and 4) Stronger risk assessment and enforcement of such structural measures as zoning and compliance with building codes.
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    Financial and Fiscal Instruments for Catastrophe Risk Management : Addressing Losses from Flood Hazards in Central Europe
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-07-05) Pollner, John
    This report addresses the large flood exposures of Central Europe and proposes efficient financial and risk transfer mechanisms to mitigate fiscal losses from natural catastrophes. In particular, the Visegrad countries (V-4) of Central Europe, namely, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic, have such tremendous potential flood damages that reliance on budgetary appropriations or even European Union (EU) funds in such circumstances becomes ineffective and does not provide needed cash funds for the quick response and recovery needed to minimize economic disruptions. The report is primarily addressed to the governments of the region, which should build into their fiscal planning the necessary contingent funding mechanisms, based on their exposures. The report is addressed to finance ministries and also to the insurance and securities regulators and the private insurance and capital markets, which may all play a role in the proposed mechanisms. An arrangement using a multi-country pool with a hazard-triggered insurance payout mechanism complemented by contingent financing is proposed, to better manage these risks and avoid major fiscal volatility and disruption.
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    Using Capital Markets to Develop Private Catastrophe Insurance
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1999-10) Pollner, John D.
    The global catastrophe insurance market exhibits inherent cyclical risks. Disaster-prone countries can improve their protection against catastrophic risk and premium volatility by using capital markets to boost the capacity of the private sector to absorb and spread the risks -- both domestically and internationally. This Note proposes two mechanisms for more efficient management of catastrophic risk: pooled insurance coverage supported by liquidity and credit enhancement facilities, and hazard-indexed bonds to securitize risk.
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    Structured Finance in Latin America : Channeling Pension Funds to Housing, Infrastructure, and Small Businesses
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) Cheikhrouhou, Hela ; Gwinner, W. Britt ; Pollner, John ; Salinas, Emanuel ; Sirtaine, Sophie ; Vittas, Dimitri
    The report covers several types of structured finance with such capital market instruments as mortgage-backed securities, structured bond issues for infrastructure financing, securitization of small and medium enterprises (SME)-related assets, and securitization of loans to SMEs. The report also covers factoring and leasing, which can be important sources of finance for SMEs and can be pooled and packaged into marketable securities and sold to pension funds. The report does not cover other types of structured finance, such as exchange trade funds, structured notes with capital protection, or structured financing outside capital markets, such as bank syndications. Chapter 1 focuses on private pension fund investment management and the role of structured bonds. Chapter 2 focuses on the increasing use of structured finance for housing in Latin American countries. Chapter 3 deals with the less developed yet promising area of structured bonds for infrastructure financing. Chapter 4 focuses on the use of structured bonds for SME finance, still in the experimental stage. The report discusses the role of the government in supporting small and medium loan securitizations through partial guarantees (as in Spain) to share the risk of borrower default and through the development of an SME securitization conduit (as in Germany).