Swiss Re expands African operations and gives vote of confidence to a stronger African insurance industry

Swiss Re's Reinsurance Business Unit has strengthened its African business through its newly approved license for Property & Casualty (P&C) business in South Africa. The move completes Swiss Re's ambition to re-domicile its Southern African Property & Casualty business onto the continent and sends an optimistic signal to African insurance markets. The move will allow Southern African clients to access the full strength of Swiss Re's Property & Casualty capabilities including innovative technological solutions and tailored transactional business.

Swiss Re is set to upscale its Property & Casualty operation in Southern Africa. The South African Prudential Authority has approved Swiss Re's application to expand the license of its existing subsidiary, Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Limited, to become a composite entity that can service both Life & Health as well as Property & Casualty business. Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Limited will be renamed to Swiss Re Africa Limited and will have the status of a subsidiary of Swiss Reinsurance Company Limited, Zurich.

Jean-Jacques Henchoz, CEO Swiss Re Reinsurance EMEA, says: "Our expansion in South Africa lays the basis for Swiss Re to upscale its market strategy in Africa. By shifting the center of gravity of our African business back to Africa, we are sending a clear signal that we believe insurance in Africa has a strong future. Swiss Re will be a force for enabling the industry to capitalize on the opportunities in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent."

Under the leadership of Thys Nieuwoudt, Swiss Re Africa Limited will be based in Cape Town, delivering strong service into the important insurance hub in Johannesburg as well as Southern African markets. Operations under the new license take effect as of 1 May 2018.

The move allows Swiss Re Africa Limited to extend its service offering to Property & Casualty reinsurance capacity, as well as unlocking access to Swiss Re's product solutions and tailored capital management services in the region.

The African continent, and the Southern African region in particular, provides an excellent strategic fit for Swiss Re, with growth increasingly driven by technological innovations that play to Swiss Re's strengths - such as mobile distribution, smart analytics and parametric insurance solutions.

Tavaziva Madzinga, Market Executive Middle East & Africa for Swiss Re says: "Our existing service to short-term insurers in South Africa is consistently ranked as best in class by clients and brokers. With this move, we take the next step and unlock the full potential of Swiss Re's capabilities for South African and Southern African clients. This is a vote of confidence for South African insurance and a clear signal that Swiss Re is backing growth in the region."

Swiss Re
The Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, working to make the world more resilient. It anticipates and manages risk – from natural catastrophes to climate change, from ageing populations to cyber crime. The aim of the Swiss Re Group is to enable society to thrive and progress, creating new opportunities and solutions for its clients. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the Swiss Re Group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally. It is organised into three Business Units, each with a distinct strategy and set of objectives contributing to the Group’s overall mission.

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