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The Value of RiskSwiss Re and the History of Reinsurance$
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Harold James, Peter Borscheid, David Gugerli, and Tobias Straumann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689804.001.0001

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(p.236) (p.237) Chapter 11 Introduction
The Value of Risk

Harold James

Peter Borscheid

David Gugerli

Tobias Straumann

Oxford University Press

In the introduction to the history of Swiss Reinsurance Company Tobias Straumann describes the main challenges the company encountered throughout its 150 years of history. He lists underwriting and investment as the two main existential risks. But also the small home market which forced the company to do international business from the very start required complex management skills. He identifies four eras to best describe the history of Swiss Re: 1. from establishment until the Great Depression; 2. 1939 to 1945 which was marked by stagnation and a defensive business strategy; 3. the post-Second-World-War period until 1990, dealing with difficulties in keeping the technical business profitable and the adoption of a diversification strategy; and, 4. a final period shaped by globalization.

Keywords:   corporate strategy, underwriting risk, investment risk

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