Q: Business Strategy. How has your business changed in 2015 to respond to recent challenges? What potential changes are on the horizon for your firm for 2016?
Bill Donnell, President of U.S. Property/Casualty, Swiss Re
Underwriting matters, and we will continue to stick to prudent underwriting principles. The current market conditions are certainly softer than we have seen in recent years, and we’ve witnessed some companies chase business at unrealistic rates and terms. While in the short term that may work, history has shown that it doesn’t work in the long term.
We will maintain strong client relationships. This is and always will be a people business. We aim to be a strong partner with our clients, not just be seen as a capacity provider.
We will continue to innovate, particularly in ways that benefit our clients. Understanding and listening to our clients helps us provide customized and innovative solutions.
We’ve always been a company that looks at not only the risks of today but also the risks of tomorrow, and at this point in time the risk landscape is changing quickly. Who would have thought 10, 15, 20 years ago that we would be talking about drones, cyber, driverless cars and more? Thankfully, we invest heavily in identifying emerging risks, and this will stand us in good stead not just for 2016 but far beyond that.
(Editor’s Note: Donnell is set to leave Swiss Re on Dec. 7 to become president and CEO of the National Council on Compensation Insurance.)
Tad Montross, Chair and CEO, General Re Corp.
Our business strategy has not changed. We are committed to being direct and developing performance-based relationships with our clients. We live and breathe underwriting and want to bring insights and expertise to our clients. We are investing in technology to insure we can harness decision analytics, drive down the cost of the transaction and connect more seamlessly with our clients.
Mike Krefta, Chief Underwriting Officer, Hiscox Re
We’ve always taken the view that the changing reinsurance market is more an opportunity to us rather than a threat. Over the last 18 months we have significantly diversified the business and now generate more than a third of our income away from the property-catastrophe space.
Our specialty division has grown to provide solutions for a range of classes such as terrorism and cyber. We have also recently combined Hiscox’s Bermuda and London casualty reinsurance team under the Hiscox Re brand and expect to see significant growth in that area over the next few years.
That’s not to say that we’re ignoring the potential within property lines, and we’ve worked hard to develop a range of new products to meet our clients’ changing needs. Additional income from these new products alone has topped $50 million in new premium.
We’ve also embraced the opportunities that alternative capital presents, and our Kiskadee ILS platform has also recently broken through $600 million in assets.