MiCRO expands into Central America, effort to be led by Carlos Boelsterli

MiCRO (Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation) is a specialty reinsurance company formed to design and deliver innovative insurance solutions for the low income population. Its vision is to empower those living in poverty to manage their financial risks in a sustainable and fair manner, while also engaging the global investment markets to kick in when disaster strikes to activate a swifter recovery.

Swiss Re started supporting MiCRO in 2011. At that time, the purpose was to provide women with small businesses in Haiti with natural catastrophe cover. The concept is now being broadened and expanded to Central America, a region especially prone to natural disasters. Carlos Boelsterli has been seconded to lead the effort. Carlos succeeds Melanie Slack who was recently appointed Swiss Re's Head of Life & Health Products Asia, and will be instrumental in leading MiCRO's foray into Central America.

MiCRO CEO Carlos Boelsterli

Strong partnerships supporting expansion

The Central America Disaster Microinsurance Expansion (CADME) project is supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the German Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), and has expected support from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Under CADME, MiCRO will work with local partners to design and implement catastrophe microinsurance products against the consequences of natural disasters, events that can deepen and sustain poverty for small-holder famers and other members of the low-income population.

Leader in risk management

MiCRO aims to become a leader in risk management solutions for these under-served, highly vulnerable populations. Conscious of the fact that catastrophe microinsurance products are only part of the solution and that there is a need to build up local capacity, MiCRO will also facilitate a platform where international, regional and national entities involved with risk management strategies can share best practices and introduce promising new solutions.

Exciting opportunity

Carlos takes over his new position on September 1st and will be based in Miami.  

Carlos has been with Swiss Re for almost 25 years, most recently as Region Head in the Miami office. Prior to this, he had various client management functions and also headed the Swiss Re offices in Mexico and Colombia. Carlos, a Colombian and Swiss national, speaks Spanish, English and German.

"I am excited about this new opportunity. Practically every time there is a natural catastrophe we get to see the enormous need for insurance solutions for highly exposed and vulnerable segments of the population. The challenges to make it work at a significant scale are also great, so effectively channeling resources of MiCRO and its partners towards the development of sustainable solutions will be a very interesting and rewarding experience given its potential to make a real difference in people's lives." said Carlos Boelsterli.

Reto Schnarwiler, Head Americas and EMEA of Global Partnerships, added: "I am very pleased that Swiss Re found such an experienced and committed candidate for this pioneering but challenging role. And I would like to thank Melanie for her valuable contributions to and leadership of MiCRO."

About MiCRO

MiCRO is a specialty reinsurance company formed to design and deliver innovative insurance solutions for the low income population. MiCRO’s vision is to empower those living in poverty to manage their risks in a sustainable and fair manner by bridging the divide between global markets and the most vulnerable. MiCRO utilizes an innovative structure and approach to risk transfer by combining the capital efficiencies of the international reinsurance market with development and donor capital to holistically address the insurance coverage needs of those who are economically active, yet exposed to natural catastrophe and without access to risk management tools.

Published 13 August 2014

Investing in Microinsurance

On the sidelines of Monte Carlo, Swiss Re said it would contribute to a new private equity fund, which has raised USD 200m for investment in insurance and financial services aimed at low-income consumers...

Read the whole story

Swiss Re and USAID support Dominican...

Swiss Re and USAID are working together to offer farmers in the Dominican Republic weather-based insurance for the first time as part of a new climate resilience pilot project.

Read the whole story