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Swiss Re reveals new strategy

Swiss Re unveiled a new “four-pillar strategic framework” an investors’ forum in Zurich last week.

Group CEO Michel Liès says the insurance environment is “challenged” by low interest rates, industry consolidation and volatility in high-growth markets. The new strategic framework has been to designed to “to seize new and emerging opportunities and tackle existing challenges”.

The four “core pillars” of Swiss Re’s new strategic framework are: to systematically allocate capital to risk pools and revenue streams; broaden and diversify the client base to increase access to risk; optimise resources and platforms to support capital allocation; and emphasise differentiation.

Mr Liès says the reinsurer’s reputation as a “knowledge company” is a key differentiator.

“The company has about 300 employees working on research and development alone,” he said.

“Swiss Re’s clients benefit from these leading-edge research tools and insights, for example, in more informed pricing of life and health risks.”

Swiss Re says business units will be responsible for “bringing the framework to life”.

As announced in October, the reinsurer will launch its Life Capital business unit on January 1.

The unit will manage all closed and open life and health insurance books, including the Admin Re business and, subject to regulatory approval expected early next year, the newly acquired Guardian Financial Services business in the UK. The unit will manage 4.5 million life policies.

In addition to its extensive closed-book life business, Life Capital aims to broaden Swiss Re’s access to open-book primary life and health business, for example by partnering with distribution partners such as primary insurers to offer new consumer products.

“We’ve looked extensively at our opportunities and challenges and we believe our strategic framework equips us very well to address changes with greater agility and selectively capture opportunities for profitable growth,” Mr Liès said.

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