Message from the Chairman and Group CEO on COVID-19 pandemic
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Dear shareholders, clients and partners,
We are living through a difficult time for society and our economies. The crisis around the COVID-19 pandemic has left no one untouched. The virus is not only claiming human lives — it is subjecting individual countries and the global political order to extraordinary stress rarely seen in peacetime. But these challenges only reinforce our resolve to continue working towards Swiss Re’s vision – making the world more resilient.
For more than 150 years Swiss Re’s financial strength and deep expertise have enabled us to support our clients through many global crises, and today this is no different. We have an experienced global crisis management set-up and all the necessary measures in place to keep our business running without interruption, while still protecting the health and safety of our employees and their families.
We are using a proprietary pandemic model to assess scenarios and enable active monitoring. We continue to handle claims, renew contracts, share our knowledge and innovate. With our robust infrastructure and agile working capabilities, we are devoting all our resources to help our clients and partners navigate the current circumstances.
While it is too early to estimate the impact of the current crisis on Swiss Re, at this point we assess it as being absolutely manageable. We are exposed to claims through both our Life & Health and Property & Casualty businesses, and our investment portfolio will be affected by the current market dislocation. But we have an industry-leading capital position with significant financial flexibility and a conservative investment portfolio with hedges in place that effectively, if partially, mitigate the economic impacts of falling equity prices and widening credit spreads. And we continue to manage our capital with the prudence that current volatility calls for.
We are confident that we will make a positive contribution in this crisis, thanks to our deep risk knowledge, close client relationships and capital strength. Swiss Re’s own business remains resilient in the current environment and is needed now more than ever. As the global economy, governments and society weather this situation, Swiss Re will continue to be the strong partner you can rely on.
Walter B. Kielholz Christian Mumenthaler
Chairman of the Board of Directors Group CEO