Swiss Re was among the first five foreign reinsurance companies to obtain a license to sell reinsurance in India. The newly licensed entity, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd, India Branch, began its operation effective from 1 February 2017.
In late March, the category 4 tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the northeastern coast of Australia. Wind gusts of up to 263 km/h and widespread flooding in central and southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales led to insured losses of USD 1.3 billion.
Swiss Re has announced plans to strengthen its commitment to Asia by establishing a dedicated regional legal entity in Singapore for its Reinsurance business unit in April. This legal entity is meant to be Swiss Re's regional headquarters for its network of reinsurance operations in Asia.
In June, the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) launched bonds that support the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), which channel first-response surge funding to developing countries facing the risk of a pandemic. This marked the first time that World Bank bonds are being used to combat infectious diseases. It was also the first time that pandemic risk was transferred to the market to cover low-income countries. Swiss Re Capital Markets was the joint structurer and sole book-runner for the cat bond transaction.
A new joint venture was established in Brazil in July: The commercial large-risk portfolio of Bradesco Seguros S.A. was integrated into Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Brasil Seguros S.A. (SRCSB).
In August and September, three category 4+ hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria (HIM) – made landfall in the US. Destruction from the three hurricanes stretched from the Texas coast (Harvey) through West Florida to the Caribbean (Irma and Maria), together causing insured losses estimated to be almost USD 93 billion.
In mid-September, two powerful earthquakes in Tehuantepec and Puebla, Mexico, led to numerous building collapses, claiming a large number of victims and resulting in insured losses of more than USD 2 billion.
Global insured losses from catastrophes in 2017 were estimated to be USD 136 billion, the third highest on sigma records.
In Zurich the first teams started on 25 September working in the new building Swiss Re Next. The offices set a milestone on the path towards Campus Mythenquai, where employees based in Switzerland are brought together.
ReAssure, a market-leading UK closed life book consolidator within the Swiss Re Life Capital Business Unit, reached agreement with Japanese insurance group MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc (MS&AD) for an investment into ReAssure of up to GBP 800 million in October.
The Rockefeller Foundation, Veolia and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions signed a partnership agreement in January to support cities worldwide in the field of climate change adaption and disaster risk reduction. The aim is to speed up recovery in wake of catastrophes and build cities' resilience to broader critical risks.
On 16 April a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Kyushu Island in southern Japan, the strongest quake in Japan since 2011. It was also the largest single insurance loss event globally in 2016, which triggered claims of USD 4.9 billion. On the same day, 16 April, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck offshore near the central coast of Ecuador. It was the deadliest earthquake of 2016 globally with 673 victims.
In April Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, through its partnership with Seguro Confianza, obtained Property licence in Colombia.
Along with the "Swiss Re Next" building, Swiss Re is planning to realise the vision of a "Campus Mythenquai". The planned new building at Mythenquai 20-28 will allow for all Swiss Re employees in Switzerland to be based at a single location.
The wildfire that spread through Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada from May to July was one of the costliest wildfire events in insurance industry history, and the biggest loss the Canadian insurance sector has ever experienced.
From 1 July on Christian Mumenthaler started as CEO succeeding Michel Liès who left Swiss Re after 35 years.
Bertrand Piccard, André Borschberg and Solar Impulse 2 completed the first Round-the-World solar flight on 26 July. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has been part of the project as the official partner and sole insurance provider.
In July heavy floods hit the area of central China, the most devastating along Yangtze River basin. Economic losses were estimated at USD 22 billion, making it the costliest Yangtze River flood event since 1998.
Hurricane Matthew caused devastation across the east Caribbean and southern US in September/October. It was the second costliest insurance loss event in 2016 globally with insured losses of USD 4 billion.
The Group Executive Committee and Board of Directors have approved Mexico City as location for a third Business Solutions Centre (BSC) in October. At the end of 2016 the UK Admin Re business, including the acquired Guardian business, has rebranded to ReAssure.
In February Swiss Re Corporate Solutions obtained its South Africa license and set up a office in Johannesburg. In the course of the year office openings in Madrid, Osaka and a North America marine office based in New York followed.
The biggest disaster of the year was the earthquake on 25 April in Nepal. Up to 9 000 people were killed. Total losses are estimated at USD 6 billion, including damages in India, China and Bangladesh. The Swiss Re Foundation donated CHF 250,000 to support the instant relief efforts in Nepal.
In August an explosion destroyed part of the Chinese port city of Tianjin. With an estimated property loss of between USD 2.5 billion and USD 3.5 billion it is likely to be the biggest insured-loss event of the year and biggest man-made loss event ever in Asia.
Swiss Re's business unit Admin Re® has agreed to acquire Guardian Holdings Europe Limited, the holding company for operations trading under the name Guardian Financial Services from private equity company Cinven for GBP 1.6 billion. The acquisition extends Admin Re®'s position as a leading closed life book consolidator in the UK, with over four million policies in force.
During the COP21 climate negotiations in December in Paris world leaders and governments reached a landmark agreement, charting a new course to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and prepare societies for the changes still to come. Swiss Re actively supported the negotiation process and assists countries, businesses and communities to realise this commitment.
Despite the harsh winter in the United States, 2015 overall was the hottest year on record. Heatwaves claimed a number of lives all over the world, while long stretches of high temperatures and lack of rainfall caused drought and wildfires in many regions. In contrast, regions such as India and the UK experienced extreme precipitation events. The Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank brought very heavy rainfall across central and northern UK in December. The insured losses from the floods were preliminarily estimated at around USD 2 billion.
Swiss Re's Group Strategic framework was updated in December 2015. It was also announced that, as of 1 January 2016, all areas of the Group that manage open and closed life insurance books would be combined under a new Business Unit called Life Capital.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and owners of Compañía Aseguradora de Fianzas S.A. Confianza ("Confianza") sign an agreement in February under which Corporate Solutions will acquire a 51% stake in Confianza. This arrangement will provide Colombian corporate clients local access to Swiss Re's commercial insurance products and services.
In March Swiss Re extends its longevity reinsurance expertise to Aviva as part of the largest such transactions completed to date. Since 2007, Swiss Re has established a strong track-record providing longevity protection for insurers and pension funds in both the public and private sectors.
After more than 6 years in his role as Group Chief Financial Officer and 14 successful years at Swiss Re overall, George Quinn leaves Swiss Re. David Cole, then Swiss Re Chief Risk Officer, takes over from George Quinn on 1 May 2014.
In July Swiss Re Corporate Solutions agrees to buy the Chinese subsidiary of RSA Insurance Group PLC, Sun Alliance Insurance (China) Ltd. The deal will allow Swiss Re to offer corporate insurance directly from the mainland China.
The foundation stone for Swiss Re Next was laid in a formal ceremony in September. With this symbolic act, representatives of the City of Zurich, the general contractor and the building owner set an important milestone in the realisation of the new office building. Swiss Re Next is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2017.
Swiss Re Admin Re® announces the sale of its US subsidiary Aurora National Life Assurance Company to Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA) in October. According to John R. Dacey, Swiss Re's Group Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of Admin Re® "This transaction is an important step in Swiss Re's strategy. Admin Re® will continue to focus on the UK, where we have signed a transaction with HSBC earlier this year."
Swiss Re is named as the insurance industry sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for 2014. This is the eighth time since 2004 that Swiss Re has led the insurance sector in these rankings. The award highlights Swiss Re's long-term commitment to sustainable business and the efforts to continuously and progressively embed sustainability into key business processes and operations.
Early in the summer, massive flooding occurred in the upper Danube basin and along the Elbe. Damage was particularly severe in Germany. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland also suffered. The total economic loss was estimated to be USD 16 billion. The strengthening of flood protection measures in recent years helped contain the damage. But still, insured losses of USD 4 billion made this event the biggest flood loss in Europe ever.
Unusually strong hail storms throughout Germany in July caused significant losses in the country. Around 100 000 buildings and 50 000 vehicles were damaged. The same weather pattern also caused hail damage in France, resulting in overall insured losses of USD 3.8 billion combined.
Under the anniversary motto "Open minds – connecting generations", Swiss Re aimed to foster a dialogue about risks and how society and generations are to tackle them in the future. For this purpose – and to celebrate the anniversary – Swiss Re hosted a series of events in various cities around the globe, starting in Zurich on 30 August 2013.
On 24 September, during the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, President Bill Clinton announced a global Commitment to Action for the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge. The Commitment to Action, led by The Rockefeller Foundation and shared by Swiss Re and other organisations, will support at least 100 cities to hire a Chief Resilience Officer and create a resilience strategy.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions' wholly-owned subsidiary Swiss Re International SE set up a branch office in Singapore in October.
In November, Swiss Re announced that it had agreed to acquire a 14.9% stake in Brazilian insurer SulAmérica: This move was in line with Swiss Re's strategy to invest in high growth markets. In the same month, Swiss Re invested USD 493 million for a 4.9% stake in New China Life.
On 19 December 2013, the day of its official 150 year anniversary, Swiss Re unveiled a new brand strategy and logo. Swiss Re also presented a book of its history and of the industry overall. Published in German and English, it traces the evolution of the company from a small start-up in a tiny office in Zurich's old city into an industry giant with more than 11,000 employees in over 60 locations.
Swiss Re's Board of Directors appointed Michel M. Liès as new Group Chief Executive Officer as of 1 February 2012.
Also that year, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions took some important steps in its expansion. The Marine insurance footprint in Continental Europe was strengthened through the formation of two dedicated underwriting teams in Zurich and Genoa. In addition, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions received an insurance licence to operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre and an office in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, was opened to reinforce the presence in the Benelux region.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions also joined forces with Solar Impulse as its official insurance provider, thus supporting Swiss aviation pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg's ambition to fly around the world in an aircraft powered only by solar energy.
In March, Swiss Re Capital Markets announced the first catastrophe bond combining the risks of two reinsured parties into a single transaction. This marked an important innovation in better enabling insurers to access the catastrophe bond market.
On 18 June 2012, Swiss Re received final approval to register its local reinsurer Swiss Re Brasil Resseguros SA from the Brazilian regulator SUSEP.
In August, Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation (MiCRO) – a reinsurance company formed in March 2011 with the support of Swiss Re – announced a significant payout to Haiti's largest microfinance institution Fonkoze following Tropical Storm Isaac. These funds were transferred to hundreds of female microentrepreneurs who lost their homes or inventories due to the storm.
In September, Swiss Re completed the sale of its Admin Re® US business to Jackson National Life Insurance.
Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in the US on 29 October 2012, caused high winds and storm surge, resulting in extensive flooding and loss of life and property. Before it hit the US, Hurricane Sandy struck the Caribbean and The Bahamas. Estimates for the total damage were about USD 70 billion, with USD 35 billion in insured claims, making it the second-most expensive storm after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In November, Swiss Re obtained USD 200 million in coverage against North Atlantic hurricane and UK extreme mortality risk through its new Mythen Re programme. The bond issuance was the first time hurricane and mortality risks had been combined into a bond offering.
The devastating floods in Queensland state on 9 January that forced evacuation in Brisbane cause insured losses of USD 2.3 billion.
A new holding company, Swiss Re Ltd., is established in place of the current Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. It compromises three legally separated Businesss Units: Reinsurance, Corporate Solutions and Admin Re®. Effective 20 May 2011, Swiss Re Ltd will be the holding company of Swiss Re group of companies.
The magnitude 6.3 earthquake which strikes Christchurch region of South Island of New Zealand on 22 February 2011 causes economic losses of USD 12 billion.
On 11 March 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Honshu, Japan. It was the largest known - in terms of magnitude - to have ever hit the country, costing the insurance industry an estimated USD 35 billion. The event causes strong ground motions in the northeastern prefectures of Japan. The earthquake also triggered a tsunami which causes a substantial loss of life and extensive damage in coastal areas. Failures in cooling systems of the Fukushima nuclear power plant led to explosions, severe damage to nuclear reactors and the release of radioactivity into the environment.
In April and May two massive tornado events in the United States cause nearly USD 14 billion in claims and the losses of more than 400 lives. In August Hurricane Irene cost the Industry nearly USD 5 billion in property damage.
In the period from May to October 2011, Northern and Central Thailand are hit by heavy monsoon rainfalls which are intensified by the remnants of five typhoons in the second half of the period. Insured losses amount to USD 8 to 11 billion.
2010 saw some of the most devastating earthquakes in the last couple of years. The costliest event in 2010 is the earthquake in Chile (8.8 on Richter scale, 521 victims) on 25 February with insured losses in amount of USD 8 billion. The earthquake in New Zealand on 3 September measures 7.0 on Richter scale and cost insurers around USD 2.7 billion.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April is followed by an environmental catastrophe and cost insurers USD 1 billion.
Swiss Re establishes a new leadership structure to strengthen the company's core capabilities and market presence with focus on three key areas: Reinsurance, Corporate Solutions - the new name for all Swiss Re's insurance-related offerings - and AdminRe(R).
Swiss Re wins the "Asia Life Reinsurer of the year" for the third year in a row in October.
Standard & Poor's (S&P) upgrades Swiss Re's outlook from "stable" to "positive".
In December, Swiss Re participates for the second time in a row in the UN's annual Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico as an official member of Switzerland's country delegation.