New York - US housing recovery continues to strengthen
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented that the only thing that stands between a moderate US growth next year is a political risk – the fiscal cliff.
New York - Swiss Re places first bonds to combine natcat and mortality risks
Swiss Re has obtained USD 200 million in coverage against North Atlantic hurricane and UK extreme mortality risk through its new Mythen Re programme. The bond issuance is the first time hurricane and mortality risks have been combined into a bond offering.
New York - US housing recovery continues to strengthen
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “The resilience of the US recovery is being bolstered by the gathering strength of the housing market."
Zurich - Swiss Re appoints two new members to the Group Executive Committee
Guido Fürer appointed as Group Chief Investment Officer
John R. Dacey, Head Group Strategy & Strategic Investments, appointed as Chairman Admin Re®
Swiss Re's Board of Directors announces that Guido Fürer, currently Head Chief Investment Office, is appointed as Group Chief Investment Officer of Swiss Re and Member of the Group Executive Committee, effective 1 November 2012. He succeeds David Blumer who has decided to leave the company. Additionally, John R. Dacey, Swiss Re's Head Group Strategy & Strategic Investments, is named as a new Member of the Group Executive Committee, effective 1 November 2012. In addition, John R. Dacey will also become Chairman of Swiss Re's Admin Re® business.
Zurich - New sigma study shows insuring ever-evolving commercial risks
Commercial insurance is a USD 600 billion business globally, the US accounts for 40% of it
Liability insurance is gaining importance compared to property insurance in the rapidly changing mature economies
Contingent business interruption risk is growing due to globalisation even though insurance coverage is low
Commercial insurance growth in high-growth markets is outpacing advanced markets by a factor of two to three
Swiss Re’s latest sigma 5/2012, "Insuring ever-evolving commercial risks", provides new insights into commercial insurance, revealing that demand varies greatly based on industry, company size and jurisdiction. Commercial insurance helps companies to manage risks and find new ways to innovate, grow and stabilise their earnings. It accounted for some USD 600 billion in premiums in 2010, or about 41% of global non-life business.
Zurich - Swiss Re proposes election of Mary Francis to its Board of Directors
Swiss Re's Board of Directors will propose Mary Francis for election to the Board of Directors of Swiss Re Ltd at the next Annual General Meeting on 10 April 2013. If elected, she will join the Board of Directors as a new non-executive, independent member for a three-year term of office. Effective 1 October 2012, she will also join the Board of Directors of Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (SRZ), the principal operating company for Swiss Re's reinsurance business.
Zurich - The scale of longevity risk is too vast for insurers alone
A liquid capital market in longevity risk can ensure long-term funding of people's longer lives, says Swiss Re's newest publication, A mature market: Building a capital market for longevity risk. The report addresses many of the questions posed by investors, regulators and pension funds about whether a longevity capital market is viable and how such a market might work.
Zurich - Corporate Solutions is Official Insurance Provider of Solar Impulse
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, the commercial insurance arm of Swiss Re Group, is joining forces with Solar Impulse, the world’s first purely solar powered airplane able to fly through the night, as its Official Insurance Provider. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions will now support Swiss aviation pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg's ambition to fly around the world powered only by solar energy by becoming the sole insurer of the revolutionary airplane.
Swiss Re will today publish the European Insurance Report 2012 highlighting potential gaps between the insurance industry's product offerings and current consumer demand. The report includes the results of a survey commissioned by Swiss Re among 15,000 consumers in 14 European countries, and comes up with the following key findings:
New York - Improving growth prospects should lift long-term rates by year-end
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “The US economy continues to grow at a modest pace with housing activity supporting growth."
Zurich - Latest sigma study explores how interest rates affect insurers
As large investors, insurers are all impacted by interest rates. Interest rate sensitivity varies greatly by line of business and market.
For life insurers, interest rates primarily affect savings products, where investment income is a key source of profits.
Non-life insurers could react to declining interest rates by raising premium rates to restore profitability.
Swiss Re’s latest sigma 4/2012, "Facing the interest rate challenge", explores how interest rates affect insurers and explains why a rapid rise in or sustained low interest rates can be a challenge. Life insurers are more impacted than non-life insurers, but even within life insurance, interest rate sensitivity varies by product, with savings business being the most affected. Consequently, life insurers must re-price their guarantees and also adjust their product offerings to mitigate their exposure to interest rate risk. Non-life insurers need to raise premium rates to compensate for low investment yields.
Monte Carlo - Swiss Re expects re/insurance prices to increase moderately
An increased focus on economic capital due to new solvency rules and rising pressure on investment returns from record-low interest rates are major factors driving re/insurance pricing, Swiss Re says at the annual Les Rendez-vous de Monte Carlo meeting. With prices expected to increase moderately, Swiss Re is prepared to support clients on a sustainable basis as well as to deploy more capital to those areas that offer the most attractive returns.
Zurich - Cost of floods has more than doubled in the last 10 years
Swiss Re flood publication finds that insured flood losses have increased from USD 1–2 billion in 1970 to USD 15 billion in 2011
Industry facing challenges in maintaining insurability for floods
Global manufacturing hubs revealed as potential hot spots for flood losses
Swiss Re launches flood app with interactive content on flood risks
Flood losses are increasing at an alarming rate while the insurability of floods provides unique challenges for the industry, according Swiss Re's latest report, "Flood – an underestimated risk: Inspect, inform, insure". Coinciding with the release of the publication is the release of a flood app, which packages Swiss Re's flood expertise into an entertaining and interactive medium for iPads.
New York - Americans underinsured by USD 20 trillion
In its latest expertise publication, "The mortality protection gap in the US", Swiss Re reveals that American lives are either uninsured or underinsured by staggering dimensions. The study also shows an alarming rate of decline in protection from life insurance among US families.
Zurich - Swiss Re completes the sale of its Admin Re® US business
Swiss Re has completed the sale of its Admin Re® US business to Jackson National Life Insurance Co. The transaction was announced on 31 May 2012 and results in an estimated loss on sale of USD 0.4 billion.
Zurich - Swiss Re Corporate Solutions opens office in the Netherlands
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions today announced the opening of an office in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, to reinforce its presence in the Benelux region. The office will provide insurance solutions to large and upper-middle market corporations domiciled in the region, offering a broad range of property, casualty and industry-specific products.
Zurich - New Swiss Re publication insights future of Italy's insurance market
According to Swiss Re’s latest expertise study, "The Italian insurance market: opportunities in the land of the Renaissance", Italy stands at the crossroads of economic and social change, and therefore offers interesting opportunities for the insurance industry. The expected scaling down of the government's role in the provision of social benefits will mean that more individuals will have to make their own arrangements for risk protection and retirement financing. The insurance industry must brace itself to help fill the widening protection gap.
New York - Philip K. Ryan appointed Chairman of SR America Holding Corp
Swiss Re today announced the appointment of Philip K. Ryan as Chairman of the Swiss Re America Holding Corporation board, effective 1 October 2012. In this function, he succeeds Walter A. Bell, who has served as the holding company board's chairman since 2 September 2008.
Zurich - Swiss Re reports net income of USD 83 million
Swiss Re reports a net profit of
USD 83 million for the second quarter of 2012. The result is impacted by the sale at a loss of USD 1.0 billion of the Admin Re® US business. Property & Casualty Reinsurance delivered a strong result while Life & Health Reinsurance net income benefited from realised gains. Group return on investment was a very good 4.5%.
New York - Growth should strengthen again in the second half of the year
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “The US economy slowed in the second quarter, but is likely to be stronger in the second half of the year."
Sao Paulo - Swiss Re now operates as a Local Reinsurer in Brazil under new leader
Margo Black today assumes her position as Swiss Re’s Head of Reinsurance for Latin America South and President of Swiss Re Brasil Resseguros SA.¹ She starts at a historic moment for the company, which last month received approval from SUSEP (Superintendence of Private Insurance) to operate in Brazil as a local reinsurer.
New York - Long-term rates should rise by year-end
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “The US economy has been weak recently, but is likely to strengthen in the second half of the year."
- UK Life Assurance Protection Gap increases to GBP 2.4 trillion in 2011
- Term and Health Watch 2012 finds overall industry resilience and optimism despite economic headwinds
- Increase in UK critical illness (+3.1%) and new whole policies (+7.9%) but falls in sales of new term assurance (-3.4%) and income protection policies (-0.2%)
- Report highlights need for greater clarity in communication to build consumer trust as a key issue in the coming year
Swiss Re today releases its annual snapshot of the level of new individual protection business, Term & Health Watch 2012. The report finds an overall stable view of the long-term protection market with insurers and intermediaries optimistic of future growth despite the economic headwinds of the last year. Increases in new critical illness sales and whole life business offset a decline in new term assurance sales and income protection policies. The report describes an increase in the UK Life Assurance and Income Protection Gaps over the past ten years and calls for greater clarity in messaging from the government to consumers regarding how welfare reforms will impact their personal circumstances.
Zurich - Swiss Re sells US Admin Re® company (REALIC) to Jackson National Life
- Swiss Re sells its US Admin Re® holding company (REALIC) to Jackson National Life Insurance for USD 0.6 billion in cash
- Swiss Re’s total cash proceeds from the sale including a pre-closing dividend will be USD 0.9 billion which is expected to be paid to Swiss Re Ltd
- Transaction follows the strategic priority of unlocking capital and monetising value in Admin Re®, supporting Swiss Re's financial targets
- Swiss Re remains committed to being a recognised force in the closed life book business with focus on UK and Continental Europe
Swiss Re announces the sale of its US Admin Re® business (REALIC) to Jackson National Life Insurance, subject to regulatory approval. Admin Re® expects an estimated US GAAP loss of USD 0.9 billion related to the transaction, which will be booked in the second quarter 2012. The US GAAP loss will be finalised at closing.
London - Swiss Re announces GBP 1.4 billion longevity insurance cover
- Longevity insurance contract covers GBP 1.4 billion (USD 2.2 billion) of liabilities and almost 17 000 members of one of AkzoNobel's UK pension funds
- Swiss Re solidifies position as re-/insurer of choice for longevity
Swiss Re has completed a GBP 1.4 billion longevity insurance contract with one of the UK pension funds of Akzo Nobel N.V., written through Swiss Re's UK subsidiary ReAssure Ltd. The agreement reinforces Swiss Re's position as a leader in the longevity market, where it remains the only insurer to have successfully deployed large net capacity to take on longevity risk directly from a pension fund.
Swiss Re today announced the appointment of Margo Black as Head of Reinsurance for Latin America South and President of Swiss Re Brasil Resseguros, S.A.1, further deepening the leadership of its Latin American operations.
Zurich - Swiss Re obtains USD 400 million in natural catastrophe protection
Swiss Re Ltd. secures USD 400 million in natural catastrophe coverage through a newly-formed issuer Mythen Ltd., a flexible programme that allows Swiss Re to cede wind risks in both the United States and Europe to the capital markets. The new programme is the latest in a series of catastrophe bonds that Swiss Re has issued since 1997 and a demonstration of Swiss Re's commitment to transferring natural catastrophe risk to capital markets.
Zurich - Swiss Re reports first-quarter Group net income of USD 1.1 billion
Swiss Re reports very strong first-quarter net income of USD 1.1 billion in comparison to a loss of USD -665 million in the year-earlier period. This result was driven by strong underwriting, good investment performance and lower-than-expected major natural catastrophe claims in the period. The three Business Units – Reinsurance, Corporate Solutions and Admin Re® – each positively contributed to the Group result.
Armonk - Farmers Exchanges announce $500 million surplus note facility
The Farmers Exchanges are pleased to announce the successful renewal of their contingent surplus loan note facility. The $500 million facility was oversubscribed with a range of bank and non-bank lenders participating in the transaction.
The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Oliver Wyman, has released a joint report, Rethinking Financial Innovation, Reducing Negative Outcomes While Retaining the Benefits. The report explores the topic of innovation in the financial services industry and its effect on the wider economy. Given that financial services are so vital in underpinning economic growth, the report also focuses on specific ways in which financial innovation can change the nature of risk and uncertainty. It makes recommendations as to how risk management mechanisms can be modified to reduce the likelihood of negative outcomes.
New York - Long-term rates should rise by year-end
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “A strengthening US economy should push up the yield on the 10-year Treasury note this year and next."
London - Swiss Re's annual Group Watch report shows positive growth in the UK
- Group Watch 2012 reports 2.9% new premium growth for Group Risk in the UK in 2011
- Introduction of auto-enrolment to begin to impact the industry in 2012
- Group risk benefits and the employer channel continue to play a strong role in UK benefit provision with 40% of all insured death benefits and 75% of long-term disability income benefits provided through insured schemes
In-force group risk premiums rose by 2.9% in 2011, reversing the negative trend of the past two years according to Group Watch 2012 report, which Swiss Re releases today. In-force sums assured across all product lines increased and there was growth in key areas, most noticeably "flex" and voluntary cover. The report, which also analyses views on key issues from all major product providers and intermediary firms, highlights changing employer roles, regulatory changes and the implementation of auto-enrolment as influencing factors on the sector in 2012 and 2013.
London - Swiss Re reiterates Group targets at London Investors' Day
Swiss Re reiterates the focus on its 2011 - 2015 financial targets at its London Investors' Day today and says it is well positioned to benefit from unique business opportunities. The new structure enables Swiss Re to achieve better accountability and transparency and to improve decisively its capital management by redeploying capital to opportunities that offer higher returns.
Zurich - Swiss Re shareholders approve proposed resolutions
- Swiss Re shareholders approve all resolutions put forward
by the Board of Directors
- Shareholders approve an increased dividend of CHF 3.00
- Robert Henrikson newly elected to the Board of Directors
- Group CEO Michel M. Liès highlights strategy plans and
positive outlook for the future
At Swiss Re's Annual General Meeting held today in Zurich, Swiss Re's shareholders approved all resolutions put forward by the Board of Directors. This included a payment of an increased dividend of CHF 3.00¹ per share. Shareholders elected Robert Henrikson as a new member to Swiss Re's Board of Directors.
Zurich - USD 240 million of insurance-linked securities on behalf of Allianz SE
Swiss Re Capital Markets has structured and successfully placed USD 240 million of insurance-linked securities issued by Blue Danube Ltd. ("Blue Danube"), on behalf of a subsidiary of Allianz SE. The securities cover North Atlantic hurricane, including Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as US and Canada earthquake risks.
Zurich - sigma on natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2011
Last year saw the highest economic losses in history, at USD 370 billion
The insurance industry weathered 2011 soundly despite experiencing the second-largest insured losses ever, at USD 116 billion
2011 also brought the highest insured earthquake losses, at USD 49 billion
Flooding in Thailand resulted in the highest insured losses ever for a single flood event, at USD 12 billion
Swiss Re’s latest sigma study reveals unprecedented economic losses of USD 370 billion from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2011. Despite immense insured losses of USD 116 billion (a 142% increase over the previous year) arising from record earthquake and flood losses, the insurance industry weathered the year well and played a key role in risk management and post-disaster recovery financing.
New York - First catastrophe bond to combine the risks of two reinsured parties
Swiss Re Capital Markets today announced the securitization of USD 200 million in multi-peril annual aggregate indemnity protection via Combine Re Ltd. (“Combine Re”), a newly-established catastrophe bond vehicle. This is the first catastrophe bond combining the risk of two reinsured parties into a single transaction and marks an important innovation in better enabling insurers to access the catastrophe bond market.
Zurich - Nairobi project wins International ReSource Award 2012
A project in Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, wins the ReSource Award 2012. The project focuses on water management by building educational elements on sanitation, environmental stewardship and watershed management into an innovative participatory design process.
Zurich - Swiss Re announces proposals for shareholder approval
The Swiss Re Board of Directors proposes the approval of a dividend for 2011 of CHF 3.00 per share, an increase from CHF 2.75 in 2010, which reflects the continuing improvements in the Group's capital base and strong profitability for 2011. The Board of Directors further recommends Robert Henrikson to be elected to the Board for a three-year term. Shareholders will be invited to vote on these and other proposals at the Annual General Meeting to be held on Friday, 13 April 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland.
New York - Fed forecasts should help calm markets in 2012
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “The Fed's Operation Twist, coupled with ongoing forward looking statements, appears to be successfully keeping the yield on the 10-year note near 2%.”
Zurich - Swiss Re Corporate Solutions is expanding its Marine insurance
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions today announced the expansion of its Marine insurance footprint in Continental Europe through the formation of two dedicated underwriting teams in Zurich and Genoa, which will be led by Patrizia Kern-Ferretti and Andrea Cupido, respectively.
Zurich - Swiss Re reports strong net income of USD 2.6 billion for 2011
Swiss Re reports strong net income of USD 2.6 billion for the full-year 2011, despite an exceptional natural catastrophe burden. By focusing firmly on its core businesses and the implementation of its strategy, the Swiss Re Group is well positioned to outperform and to capture unique growth opportunities in 2012.
Zurich - Understanding profitability in life insurance
While life insurers have a good value proposition for their policyholders, they lack an easy and understandable way to explain to other stakeholders how they create value and earn profits. Swiss Re’s latest sigma study, “Understanding profitability in life insurance”, discusses the need to arrive at a standard framework for communicating the value and performance of life insurance companies.
New York - Fed forecasts should help calm markets in 2012
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “Weak economic activity, moderating inflation and fiscal tightening will keep the Fed on hold through mid-2013, perhaps longer.”
Zurich - Swiss Re's BoD appoints Michel M. Liès as new Group CEO
Swiss Re's Board of Directors appoints Michel M. Liès, currently Chairman Global Partnerships at Swiss Re, as new Group Chief Executive Officer as of 1 February 2012. Michel M. Liès succeeds Stefan Lippe.
The Board of Directors also announces that Moses Ojeisekhoba will join Swiss Re as CEO Reinsurance Asia and Regional President Asia, effective 15 March 2012. Martyn Parker, currently CEO Reinsurance Asia, will return to Europe.
- Much of the world is still vastly underinsured against earthquake risk, study finds
- Underinsurance often due to low risk awareness in earthquake-prone areas
- Earthquake models should consider secondary-loss factors more comprehensively
According to Swiss Re’s latest expertise publication “Lessons from recent major earthquakes”, several big earthquakes resulted in a devastating number of fatalities and injuries and have caused widespread property damage over the past two years. The cumulative catastrophic impact of earthquakes on society is overwhelming. Seismic events caused economic losses of over USD 276 billion in
2010 – 2011, yet highly earthquake-prone countries remain underinsured.
London - Economic and social turmoil risk reversing the gains of globalization (Partner News Release)
The world’s vulnerability to further economic shocks and social upheaval risk undermining the progress that globalization has brought, warns the World Economic Forum in its Global Risks 2012 report, the seventh edition, published today.
The Risk Dialogue Magazine is a newsletter exploring future risk topics, featuring multimedia articles from the Swiss Re Institute's events and insights from our global network of experts.
Our sigma publication series provides comprehensive information on the international insurance markets and analyses of economic trends and strategic issues in re/insurance and financial services.
Swiss Re Publications
Our publications share our expertise on issues of concern to our clients, the re/insurance industry and society - from food, health, longevity and financial security to managing climate and natural disaster risk.