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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

The Big Restructuring

The Big Restructuring

(p.336) Chapter 20 The Big Restructuring
The Value of Risk

Harold James

Peter Borscheid

David Gugerli

Tobias Straumann

Oxford University Press

In the mid 1990s, Swiss Re made a radical shift in its strategy and elected a CEO not from reinsurance but from a management consulting background. The new strategy was to free up capital and divest holdings in direct insurers. The proceeds were reinvested in growing the life and health business, developing financial services, and further globalizing the property and casualty operations. Swiss Re also took the lead in developing alternative risk transfer solutions such as insurance linked securities. A worldwide branding strategy together with the increased visibility from building landmarks such as the Swiss Re Tower in London, known as the Gherkin, 9/11 and exceptionally severe hurricanes such as Katrina brought the company global headlines. In an attempt to get better investment returns, Swiss Re was taken unawares by the defaulting of two credit default swaps during the recent financial crisis, but swiftly recovered.

Keywords:   strategy, insurance linked securities, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Gherkin building, financial crisis

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