The General Meeting resolves to establish a separate foundation for the welfare of employees of Swiss Re and its subsidiary companies. The new institution assumes the task of caring for active and retired members of staff as well as for the widows and orphans of deceased employees.
Charles Simon, an employee of Swiss Re since 1895, is appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors, a position he occupies for 23 years until 22 June 1942, eleven days before his death.
Expansion of the company's organisation continues. Legal provisions in the United States compel Swiss Re to establish, in addition to the Prudentia, a second company, the Reinsurance Company Zurich; this is renamed General Re in 1924 and European General in 1929.
On an autumn morning in 1918, Swiss Re entrances are blocked as a result of the general strike. Although the disturbers of the peace disperse without resistance when the infantry move in, the management orders the creation of a voluntary guard made up of employees to protect the buildings for the next three days.
In the autumn of this year major companies in Zurich are compelled, in view of the shortage of coal, to curtail the midday break. From 25 October 1917 continuous working hours are also introduced at Swiss Re. A kitchen is installed on the top floor of the office building to provide catering facilities. At first, lunch is served by the female office employees.
From the point of view of Group policy, the acquisition of a majority shareholding in the Mercantile & General Insurance Company, London, founded in 1907, is just as important as the opening of the United States Branch in 1910. Partnership with this leading English reinsurance company, which later also operates on an international scale, proves to be extremely valuable.
From 1914-1919 Swiss Re, in conjunction with the Red Cross, is instrumental in providing valuable aid in the exchange of prisoners of war.
Swiss Re celebrates its 50th anniversary. The official festivities are held on 15 May 1914. Since its foundation, it has managed to earn a reputable position among the world's leading reinsurers and has developed into an internationally active group owning subsidiary companies, holdings and a branch. The company's investment-related foreign presence is restricted to England and the United States. Two years earlier, Swiss Re for the first time employed more than 200 people.
Swiss Re's international relations pose new difficulties. These are not so much pure insurance problems but rather related to investment policy, exchange and currency stability, foreign exchange transfers and Group organisation. Thanks to a cautious reserve policy, the company manages to emerge from the First World War without having suffered major set-backs.
Building work is completed on a spaciously designed new office building on Zurich's Mythenquai. The move to the outskirts of the town takes place on 20 October 1913.
Just before midnight on the night of 14/15 April 1912, the 'Titanic', believed to be unsinkable, collides with an iceberg south-east of Newfoundland and sinks with the loss of 1517 lives. As the map of loss events shows, Swiss Re is also affected by this accident but is able to withstand the burden.
Swiss Re enters the Latin America market and signs the first contract with a company in Argentina.
Swiss Re's United States Branch is set up in 1910.