Swiss Re


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Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd
Swiss Re
Native name
Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG[1]
IndustryFinancial services
Founded19 December 1863; 157 years ago (1863-12-19)
HeadquartersZurich, Switzerland
Key people
Christian Mumenthaler (Group CEO)
Walter Kielholz (Chairman)
ProductsReinsurance, insurance, asset management
RevenueUS $49.314 billion (2019)[2]
US$727 million (2019)[2]
Total assetsUS$238.567 billion (end 2019)[2]
Total equityUS$29.251 billion (end 2019)[2]
Number of employees
15,401 (end 2019)[2]

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd,[3] commonly known as Swiss Re, is a reinsurance company based in Zurich, Switzerland. It is the world's largest reinsurer[4].It acquired GE Insurance Solutions in 2006.[5] Founded in 1863, Swiss Re operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Swiss Re was ranked 118th in Forbes 2000 Global leading companies 2016.[6] It was also ranked 313th in Fortune Global 500 in 2015.[7]


On 10/11 May 1861, more than 500 houses went up in flames in the town of Glarus. Two-thirds of the town sank into rubble and ashes; around 3,000 inhabitants were made homeless. Like the fire of Hamburg in 1842, which led to the foundation of the first professional reinsurers in Germany,[8] the great fire of Glarus in 1861 showed that insurance coverage was totally inadequate in Switzerland in the event of such a catastrophe.

The Swiss Reinsurance Company of Zurich was founded on 19 December 1863 by the Helvetia General Insurance Company (now known as Helvetia Versicherungen) in St. Gallen, the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (Credit Suisse) in Zurich and the Basler Handelsbank (predecessor of UBS AG) in Basel. The company's articles of association were approved by the government of the Canton of Zurich on the same day. The foundation capital, which was 15% paid up, amounted to 6 million Swiss francs. The official foundation document bore the signature of the poet Gottfried Keller, who at the time was first secretary of the Canton of Zurich.

Swiss Re was the lead insurer of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks which led to an insurance dispute with the owner, Silverstein Properties. In October 2006, the New York appeals court ruled in favor of Swiss Re, stating that the destruction of the twin towers was a single event rather than two, limiting coverage to 3.5 billion USD.[9]

The UK Admin Re business of Swiss Re began with the acquisition on 1 July 2004 of Life Assurance Holding Corporation. [10]

On 31 October 2008, Swiss Re completed a £762 million acquisition of Barclays PLC's subsidiary Barclays Life Assurance Company Ltd.[11]

In June 2014, the company through Admin Re acquired the UK pensions business of HSBC Life (UK) Limited worth £4.2 billion.[12]

The Admin Re business, which was renamed ReAssure, was eventually sold to Phoenix Group Holdings for £3.2bn in July 2020. [13]

In 2009, Warren Buffett invested $2.6 billion as a part of Swiss Re's raising equity capital[14] Berkshire Hathaway already owns a 3% stake, with rights to own more than 20%.[15] In May 2016, the Fort McMurray Canadian wildfires caused estimated damages of up to 10 billion CAD with Swiss Re having the most exposure among reinsurers, covering 70-80% of the losses.[16]


The Group consists of the following three business units:[17]

  • Reinsurance: Reinsurance is Swiss Re's largest business in income terms, providing about 80 % of gross premiums in two segments: Property & Casualty and Life & Health.
  • Corporate Solutions: Markets insurance to mid-sized and multinational corporations around the world, with over 40 offices worldwide. Offerings range from standard risk transfer covers and multi-line programmes to highly customised arrangements.
  • Life Capital: Accepts closed books of in-force life and health insurance business, entire lines of business, or the entire capital stock of life insurance companies, enabling clients to divest non-core blocks of business, thus reducing administrative costs and freeing up capital.


Swiss Re's leadership consists of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and the Group Management Board.[18] Members of the Executive Committee include Christian Mumenthaler, Chief Executive Officer; Guido Fürer, Chief Investment Officer; John R. Dacey, Chief Financial Officer; Patrick Raaflaub, Chief Risk Officer; Thierry Léger, Chief Underwriting Officer; Moses Ojeisekhoba, Chief Executive Officer Reinsurance; Andreas Berger, CEO Corporate Solutions; Russell Higginbotham, CEO Reinsurance Asia; Jonathan Isherwood, CEO Swiss Re Americas; and Anette Bronder, Chief Operating Officer.

Office locations

The group has offices in over 25 countries. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Swiss Re has offices in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Israel, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. In Asia and Australasia, the group has offices in the following countries: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea. There are also offices in the Americas: in Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Corporate headquarters

Swiss Re is headquartered in Zurich where the parent company's main premises have stood on the shores of Lake Zurich since 1864.

London headquarters

Its London office is located in the 30 St Mary Axe tower, which opened on 25 May 2004. 30 St Mary Axe is claimed to be London's first environmentally sustainable tall building. Among the building's most distinctive features are its windows, which open to allow natural ventilation to supplement the mechanical systems for a good part of the year.

The landmark London skyscraper, designed by architect Norman Foster and popularly known as 'the gherkin', was confirmed sold on 5 February 2007 for over £600 million (US$1.18 billion) to a group formed of IVG Immobilien AG of Germany and Evans Randall of Mayfair.[19]

American headquarters

The American headquarters of Swiss Re is located in Armonk, New York, on a 127-acre (52 hectares) site overlooking Westchester County's Kensico Reservoir. The facility, which houses more than 1,000 employees, was completed in 1999 and expanded in 2004.

Swiss Re also has offices in Alpharetta, Boston, Calabasas, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Wayne, Houston, Kansas City, Manchester, Marlton, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami, Schaumburg, Illinois, and Windsor. Swiss Re has two Canadian offices, in Toronto and Vancouver; Swiss Reinsurance Company Canada was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc. in October 2008, as announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce
  2. ^ a b c d e "Financial Report 2019" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Privacy Policy." Swiss Re. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd ("Swiss Re")[...]" and "Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd, Mythenquai 50/60, 8022 Zurich, Switzerland ("Swiss Re") Disclosure notification in accordance with Article 20 of the Swiss Stock Exchange Act." Swiss Re. 2 August 2007. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Die Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft (Swiss Re) teilt mit,[...]"
  4. ^ Department, P., & 5, N. (2020, November 05). Largest reinsurers worldwide by net premiums 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from
  5. ^ Ligi, Antonio (12 June 2006). "Swiss Re Completes $7.4 Billion GE Insurance Purchase (Update2)". Retrieved 27 June 2006.
  6. ^ "Swiss Re on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Global 500". 21 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 6 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^, S. W. I.; Corporation, a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting. "Swiss Re wins World Trade Center case". SWI Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Swiss Re unit acquiring UK pension business of HSBC Life". London Mercury. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  13. ^
  14. ^ DAVID JOLLY (5 February 2009). "Swiss Re Gets $2.6 Billion From Berkshire Hathaway". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Haig Simonian, Francesco Guerrera (5 February 2009). "Swiss Re turns to Buffett for new funding". The Financial Times.
  16. ^ W. Duggan (2016). "Bernstein's Fort McMurray Insurance Assessment". Benzinga Ratings. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Our structure and operating model".
  18. ^ Swiss Re leadership
  19. ^ "Swiss Re confirms £600m Gherkin sale". Financial Times. 5 February 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2007. Swiss Re confirmed on Monday that it had sold the distinctive Gherkin building in the City of London for £600m to a joint venture between German property group IVG Immobilien AG and Evans Randall, the Mayfair based private investment group.
  20. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Greater Toronto's Top Employers Competition".
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