Swiss Re officially opens Swiss Insurance Training Centre Hong Kong to mark its 50th year in Asia-Pacific
18 May 2006, Hong Kong
Leading global reinsurer Swiss Re has officially opened the Swiss Insurance Training Centre (HK), to mark the company's 50th year in Asia-Pacific. The Centre provides state-of-the-art courses for insurance and reinsurance professionals from throughout the region.
Mr Frederick Ma, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, joined the officiating guests at the opening ceremony at SITC (HK) in Hong Kong's Cyberport. He said, "The opening of SITC Asia-Pacific campus will help to reinforce Hong Kong's position as a regional insurance hub and support our continuous effort to upgrade our insurance human resources."
He added, "The fact that nowadays over 40% of SITC's student base in its Zurich centre actually come from Asia is what is behind Swiss Re's decision to open a new campus in Asia. It is also a testimony to the growing significance and opportunities of the Asia insurance market.."
With the support of Swiss Re, a leading world reinsurer and pioneer of many advanced insurance and risk management concepts, Mr Ma added that the SITC (HK) campus would be able to enrich Hong Kong's insurance human resources training with practical insurance experience and international insurance expertise. "This will no doubt help to keep Hong Kong at the forefront of insurance training, thereby strengthening and enhancing our position as an international insurance hub," Mr Ma said.
Mr Wang Guo Liang, Chairman of China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) and Vice President of the Insurance Institute of China also sent his congratulations to SITC (HK). Mr Wang said, "China's insurance industry has continuously sustained 30% growth over the past few years. Swiss Re and CPIC share the same belief that in order to keep abreast in this competitive environment, top priority has to be placed on education and training to enhance the professionalism of our staff and industry as a whole. Not only will CPIC professionals benefit from the newly set up Hong Kong campus by SwissRe, fellow insurance and reinsurance professionals will gain from the vast portfolio of courses on offer."
Mr Mike Rowse, Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, congratulated SITC (HK) on the opening of its first Asia-Pacific campus in Hong Kong, and Swiss Re on its 50th anniversary in Hong Kong. He said, "We are excited about SITC's decision to choose Hong Kong for its first international campus outside of Switzerland. This is an important recognition of Hong Kong's leading position as Asia's insurance hub. The addition of regional training institutes like SITC will not only enhance our standard of professional services, but also strengthen our attractiveness to industry players and talented people. I would like to thank Swiss Re for its long-term commitment to using Hong Kong as its regional base."
Located in Hong Kong's world-class high-tech Cyberport complex, the 2000 square metre plus training facility has a capacity to accommodate 125 trainees at any given time . SITC (HK) takes full advantage of the complex's high-tech infrastructure to enhance learning activities by complementing classroom based training with computer-based learning.
SITC is dedicated to the training of insurance professionals at various career levels. Classroom learning is open to members of the insurance industry. Most courses are residential, ranging from the Discovery programme designed for new entrants to the industry, to advanced technical courses in life and non-life insurance underwriting, including workshops in marine, engineering, medical and other specialist topics, as well as leadership development programmes for senior managers.
Mr Pierre Ozendo, Swiss Re Group Executive Board member, said in his opening remarks, "This new facility is an expression of gratitude to a region that has been our home for 50 years. To Swiss Re, this learning centre symbolises our continued commitment to the region, to the insurance industry here, and importantly, to the people who will succeed us as leaders in the future."
Mr Ozendo was formerly CEO of Swiss Re's Asia Division and was appointed as head of the company's influential America's Division in January 2006. His successor, fellow Swiss Re Executive Board member Mr Martyn Parker, was also at the Cyberport event, and said, "The SITC (HK) is part of our partnership with our clients We aim to jointly develop our companies and our industry. It is of direct benefit to our clients in providing their staff with the skills to grow the size and profitability of their business; business we are proud to share through our reinsurance agreements. "
The first class of trainees, including 50 hailing from insurance companies in China, India, and Indonesia, were among those attending today's ceremonies.
SITC (HK) shares premises with the Swiss Re Academy, the company's internal training and development arm. In addition, Swiss Re will use the new Cyberport facility as BCM (business continuity management) and disaster recovery sites for the company's Asia-Pacific operations.
Founded in Zurich in 1863, Swiss Re opened its first office in Hong Kong in 1956. Over the past 50 years, the company has established a strong network of 12 offices in Asia-Pacific through its regional headquarters in Hong Kong. The company now employs more than 1,000 staff in Asia-Pacific.
The Swiss Insurance Training Centre (SITC) is one of the world's leading insurance training centres with over 40 years' experience in developing technical and managerial skills of national and international insurance professionals at various stages of their careers.
Swiss Insurance Training Centre (SITC), founded in Zurich by Swiss Re, is dedicated to the training of insurance professionals at various career levels from all over the world. Since opening its doors in 1961, more than 5,000 participants have attended SITC's residential courses to enhance the knowledge and skills indispensable to their careers in the insurance industry.
SITC continues serving as a multicultural platform and inspiring learning environment. With over 40% of its student base coming from Asia, Hong Kong has been chosen as the Asia-Pacific hub for insurance training.
For more on the SITC and SITC (HK), please visit http://www.sitc.ch
SITC (HK) Is operated by Swiss Re Hong Kong Branch.
Notes to editors
Swiss Re is one of the world's leading reinsurers and the world's largest life and health reinsurer. The company operates through more than 70 offices in over 30 countries. Swiss Re has been in the reinsurance business since its foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863. Swiss Re offers a wide variety of products to manage capital and risk. Traditional reinsurance products, including a broad range of property and casualty as well as life and health covers and related services, are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re currently has the following ratings: (i) from Standard & Poor's: long-term counterparty credit, financial strength and senior unsecured debt ratings of "AA (CreditWatch negative)", and a short-term counterparty credit rating of "A-1+", (ii) from Moody's: insurance financial strength and senior debt ratings of "Aa2" (on review for possible downgrade), and a short-term rating of "P-1" and (iii) from A.M. Best: a financial strength rating of A+ (superior) (under review with negative implications).
Swiss Re has been associated with Asia since 1913, and now has more than 1,000 staff in Asia-Pacific. The company's Asian headquarters are in Hong Kong. In 2006 Swiss Re celebrates 50 years since it opened its first offices in Asia Pacific.