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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.242) Chapter 12 Establishment
The Value of Risk

Harold James

Peter Borscheid

David Gugerli

Tobias Straumann

Oxford University Press

Swiss insurers in the 1860s were forced to share risks they could not cover themselves with their competitors. As this was not possible without sharing substantial information about clients and business they often sought reinsurance capacity with insurers outside the country. Moritz Grossmann from Helvetia Insurance thus proposed the creation of a Swiss reinsurer mainly in order to prevent capital outflow. He also saw ample opportunity for acquiring insured risks from the thriving economy of Switzerland and its export industry. Also, German states were setting up reinsurers and it was felt that Switzerland should be prepared to be self-sufficient in this respect. The company was eventually founded in December 1863 with capital from the leading bank Credit Suisse and some insurance companies.

Keywords:   Moritz Grossmann, foundation, capital outflow, reinsurance capacity, 1860s Swiss economy

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