We would like to update our clients and stakeholders about what Korean Re has been doing to keep our people and business safe from the current crisis triggered by COVID-19. The pandemic is wreaking havoc on the livelihood and the economy at an unprecedented scope and scale. Our top priority now is the protection of our employees, our business partners, and our neighboring communities.
Korea, where our head office is located, is cited in the global community as a nation, for its immediate and well-organized reaction to the virus outbreak, and transparent disclosure of infection/death statistics, and innovative and meticulous test execution. Korean Re has been able to move swiftly under its Business Continuity Plan (BCP), which was built upon our experience when we had to deal with Novel Influenza A and MERS in the recent past. Under this BCP, bi-weekly work shift operation was implemented. Half of staff work from home every other week, while the other half commuted choosing one of the three flexible working-hour schemes.
While working in the office, all employees are required to wear masks as well. Business trips and all other face-to-face contacts and meetings are banned. Head office entry/exit point controls and self-quarantine measures have been beefed up to protect our workplace safe from external harms. Also, we have provided masks to all employees and installed sanitizers around the office, while all employees are in full compliance with basic requirement rules for personal hygiene and “social distancing”. Our overseas branches and offices are taking necessary actions following their local authority’s guidelines, and we at the head office have been constantly updated on any specific developments out there. Fortunately, until now, we have seen no infected cases among Korean Re employees.
As of now, the spread of the virus appears to wane in Korea, but we will not let our guards down. Rather, we will keep ourselves more vigilant under the leadership of our contingency management committee. On the business front, multiple approaches are deployed to maintain our stability. In our view, there are no immediate impacts on reinsurance operations both on domestic and overseas businesses as communicable diseases or losses from pandemics are typically excluded from standard policies. Sluggish economic growth and inactive in-person sales of personal lines insurance products may bring top-line growth lower than expected. Many analysts in Korea have positive views on underwriting results given that auto and medical indemnity insurance claims have decreased due to lower hospital visits and less driving.
On the basis of our stress tests, there is no direct impact on investment side, but various measures are being taken to manage market risk proactively. As you know, more than half of our investment portfolio is composed of bond with very limited stock exposure. Korean Re’s investment portfolio is sound and stable, and we will keep monitoring the market’s behaviors and take timely actions when needed for any upcoming changes. Impact on reinsurance side is projected to be very limited. If COVID-19 situation is prolonged, however, our investment yield may go down slightly, but not seriously. Korean Re has a sound bond portfolio, of which fundamentals are robust enough to sustain our risk appetite and tolerance.
Even in cases, worse than the worst-possible financial crisis, let alone the current COVID-19 situation, our capacity is sufficient to fully meet the requirement level of solvency. Korean Re will ensure in our best effort that our clients are to be served with confidence and stability. Our operational direction and shareholder-friendly policy will remain unchanged. Any potential changes related to COVID-19 circumstances will be communicated to all stakeholders as quick as possible. Also, we will closely watch economic indicators which are aligned with our business results, and any impacts likely to come from deterioration will surely be reported to our clients and partners.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We believe that all of us can overcome the present challenge, and get back to our normal life and business. We wish all of you, your loved ones, as well as your employees, good health and strength to carry on.
Your Korean Re Switzerland team
Korean Re Switzerland completes successful 2020 renewal
Korean Re News
Following the receipt of its FINMA license and S&P 'A stable' rating in June 2019 Korean Reinsurance Switzerland AG ("Korean Re Switzerland") has successfully completed its first renewal on 1/1/2020.
Our underwriting team has received more than twice as many new programs compared to the existing book of business. We have successfully grown our portfolio by more than 50% in volume and number of programs while improving the diversification geographically, by line of business and type of reinsurance contract. We further benefitted from very good signings and could prove our reliability as an agile and competent partner for new and renewal business with traditional and innovative reinsurance structures.
All of this has been possible because of our clients, existing and new ones, who have recognized the trusted brand and capabilities of Korean Re and its new European subsidiary. We would like to thank all our clients and business partners for contributing and making this successful renewal possible. We are here to serve you and look forward to building and expanding long-lasting, value-adding business relationships as a true multi-line reinsurer across all lines of business.
Your Korean Re Switzerland team
Korean Re Switzerland Underwriting Team
Korean Re News
As of 1 November 2019 Korean Re Switzerland's underwriting team is fully staffed and ready for the renewal.
Δ From left to right: Karam Jo (Senior Underwriter), Michael Hinz (Deputy CUO), Nicolas Weisskopf (Underwriter), Felix Rubin (Senior Pricing Actuary), Marion Vantorre (Underwriter), Evelyn Gaus (Underwriter)
Korean Re Switzerland at 2019 Baden-Baden Reinsurance Meeting
Korean Re Events
Korean Re Switzerland's underwriting team held meetings with clients and partners at the upcoming reinsurance conference in Baden-Baden to discuss and prepare for the upcoming 1/1 renewal.
Δ "Baden-Baden Reinsurance Meeting", from 20th until 24th October 2019
Launching Korean Re Switzerland at 2019 RVS in Monte Carlo
Korean Re Events
Korean Re held a reception at the occasion of the launch of its new European subsidiary Korean Re Switzerland. Group CEO Mr. Won underlined that Korean Re is now in a better position to work closely with clients and partners in Europe. Korean Re expects the new subsidiary to become a major European hub for its overseas business.
Δ From left to right: Karam Jo (Senior Underwriter), Marion Vantorre (Underwriter), Michael Hinz (Deputy CUO), Markus Eugster (CEO)
Markus Eugster, CEO of Korean Re Switzerland, emphasized the continuity and consistency the subsidiary will provide, building on the excellent European network and business Korean Re has been building over the last 20 years.
Markus Eugster and Michael Hinz also attended panel discussions, for further details please refer to the following links:
Korean Re Switzerland AG obtains ‘A’ rating from S&P Global Ratings
Korean Re News
▪ Korean Re Switzerland AG got off to a good start as it obtained ‘A’ rating from S&P Global Ratings
▪ The Swiss subsidiary is expected to play a critical role in the group’s strategy to grow its overseas business
Korean Re Switzerland AG (Korean Re Switzerland) received local currency long-term issuer credit and financial strength ratings of ‘A’ from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P Global Ratings). This has opened the way for successful operation of Korean Re Switzerland, which got off the ground in June 2019.
Δ financial strength ratings of ‘A’ from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P Global Ratings)
S&P Global Ratings assigned the ‘A’ rating to Korean Re Switzerland with the stable outlook on June 28, 2019 and said that it viewed the Swiss entity as a core subsidiary of Korean Re, which is expected to play a critical role for the parent group to expand it reinsurance business in Europe.
With the rating announcement, S&P Global Ratings said that Korean Re Switzerland is set to receive strong support from the group in operations, underwriting, reinsurance and risk management. The rating agency also shared a view that the Swiss subsidiary is fully integrated with the group in terms of operations and is integral for the group’s strategy to grow its overseas business. The ‘A’ rating means a great deal to Korean Re Switzerland because a good credit rating is one of the most important elements for a new entity in attracting profitable business. Korean Re welcomed the news that its Swiss subsidiary obtained the ‘A’ rating. CEO Jong-Gyu Won of Korean Re said, “It is definitely great news, which heralds a good start for Korean Re Switzerland. I expect our new entity to become a major hub that brings growth to our international business.” Korean Re plans to increase the portion of its overseas business to 80 percent by 2050 under Vision 2050, which was announced in 2014. Currently, Korean Re’s overseas business accounts for 24.7 percent of its total revenue (gross written premiums), and no other domestic financial company in Korea beats that figure. This clearly reflects Korean Re’s strong commitment to growing its overseas business based on the recognition that expanding into the global market is not a matter of choice but a matter of survival. Indeed, Korean Re has made great strides in expanding its global presence. In 2015, it entered the Lloyd’s market in London – a global insurance hub by establishing Korean Re Underwriting Ltd. It also opened a branch in Labuan, Malaysia in 2017 and a branch in Dubai, the UAE in 2018. Most recently, Korean Re Switzerland started operations in June 2019, with the aim of expanding Korean Re’s presence in Europe – the world’s second largest single insurance market after the United States.
Korean Re opens a reinsurance subsidiary in Switzerland
Korean Re News
- Korean Reinsurance Switzerland AG ("Korean Re Switzerland") becomes operational on June 1, 2019
- The Swiss entity is Korean Re’s second subsidiary in Europe following the Korean Re Underwriting Ltd. , the corporate member at Lloyd’s of London.
- It will play a critical role in effectively implementing Korean Re's growth strategy in Europe. In July 2018, Korean Re has established an independently capitalized reinsurance subsidiary in Zurich - Korean Reinsurance Switzerland AG.
Δ From left to right: Jazmin Seijas (CFO KRSA), Markus A Eugster (CEO KRSA), Jong-Gyo Won (CEO Korean Re), Reinhard Thoenissen (Independent Board Member KRSA)
Following a year of intensive project work, the subsidiary will become operational in June 2019, one and a half year after the world’s tenth largest reinsurer decided to create a new European base in Zurich at the end of 2017. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has granted Korean Re Switzerland the authorization to operate as a reinsurance company with effective date of 1 June 2019. As of the date of licensing, Korean Re Switzerland will write reinsurance business in non-life lines such as property, casualty, and specialty in European countries. Korean Re Switzerland is also expected to receive a rating from Standard and Poor's which will be announced in due course. Europe is one of the most important insurance markets in the world, accounting for 30% of global market premium. Switzerland in particular has become a leading global reinsurance hub with an excellent regulatory environment and insurance ecosystem. The new Swiss subsidiary is expected to help Korean Re expand its business in Europe and diversify its global business portfolio in a way that enhances its business performance.
Markus A. Eugster, CEO of Korean Re Switzerland, said, “Together with our teams I look forward to leading the growth of Korean Re's successful European business by offering consistency and continuity to our clients and partners.” Korean Re has been making an all-out effort to increase its global market share since it announced Vision 2050 in 2014 as a long-term strategy to boost its global growth. CEO Jong-Gyu Won of Korean Re has always stressed the importance of going global since he took office in 2013. Under his leadership, Korean Re has made great strides in expanding its global presence. In 2015, it entered the Lloyd’s market in London by establishing Korean Re Underwriting Ltd. It also opened a branch in Labuan, Malaysia in 2017 and a branch in Dubai, the UAE in 2018. The Swiss entity is Korean Re’s second subsidiary in Europe following Korean Re Underwriting Ltd. ,the corporate member at Lloyd’s of London. The Swiss subsidiary will play a critical role in effectively implementing Korean Re's growth strategy in Europe. CEO Won said, “I am pleased to see another progress in our efforts to expand into the global markets. It will be a major breakthrough in our struggle to overcome the challenge of limited domestic market growth. With the opening of the Swiss subsidiary, we can better serve our European clients and are confident that our long-term growth strategy will prove to be successful.”
Korean Re to set up a Subsidiary in Switzerland by June 2019
Korean Re News
Korean Re announced its plans early January 2018 to establish a subsidiary in Switzerland by June 2019 with the aim of growing its business in the European market.
The company expects the volume of its European business to increase from the current USD 200 million to over USD 300 million by 2025. Europe is the second largest insurance market in the world, after North America, with a global market share of around 30 percent.
Switzerland, in particular, is at the center of the European reinsurance industry, with 59 reinsurers from across the world operating in the country.
Δ Korean Re's Global Presence
The new entity in Switzerland will be Korean Re’s second base in Europe following the one established at Lloyd’s of London in the UK in 2015. The company entered the Lloyd’s market by establishing Korean Re Underwriting Ltd. in London through a collaborative partnership with Beazley plc. Given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and a potential decline of the London insurance market as the international insurance hub, Korean Re will rely on the Swiss entity to continue with its business expansion strategy in Europe and to ensure continuity for its EU business after Brexit. Korean Re has focused on global business expansion to explore new market opportunities. It recently opened two branches on the Malaysian federal territory of Labuan and in Dubai, the UAE, which started operation in July 2017 and January 2018 respectively. In China, Korean Re is awaiting license approval for its Shanghai branch from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.