Re/insurer of the year: Swiss Re
Finalists: Gjensidige Forsikring, Scor
Swiss Re has placed research and analysis at the heart of its business as it seeks risk pools with potential to grow.
The company is pioneering expansion into emerging markets where penetration of re/insurance is comparatively low. In 2017/18 Swiss Re expects that the low take-up of reinsurance so far, plus improving commodity prices and economic activity in developing economies, to provide non-life premium growth that is at least three times larger than for advanced markets.
It also expects expansion of life reinsurance premiums in emerging markets to be superior, by a factor of around eight to one.
Research & development, undertaken by about 400 employees and aided via ventures with external parties by its newly founded Swiss Re Institute, also position the company as a "key knowledge partner for its clients".
Among its recent initiatives, Swiss Re has launched a pilot insurance programme in China covering the Guangdong province against up to $350m of losses from tropical cyclones and excessive rainfall; a joint venture with Brazil's Bradesco Seguros to create a commercial large-risk insurer in Brazil; and the first parametric reinsurance programme covering Chinese farmers against natural catastrophe risks. It dubbed this the "first anti-poverty insurance deal in China".
Swiss Re has also recently led its sector peers in sustainability, being placed first among its peers according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, for the third consecutive year.