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Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd
Swiss Re
Native name
Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG[1]
IndustryFinancial services
PredecessorPrudentia, AG für Rück- und Mitversicherungen Edit this on Wikidata
Founded19 December 1863; 158 years ago (1863-12-19)
HeadquartersZurich, Switzerland
Key people
ProductsReinsurance, insurance, asset management
RevenueUS $49.314 billion (2019)[2]
US$727 million (2019)[2]
Total assetsUS$238.567 billion (end 2019)[2]
Total equityUS$29.251 billion (end 2019)[2]
Number of employees
15,401 (end 2019)[2]

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd,[3] commonly known as Swiss Re, is a reinsurance company based in Zurich, Switzerland. It is the world's largest reinsurer, as measured by net premiums written.[4] Swiss Re operates through offices in more than 25 countries and was ranked 118th in Forbes Global 2000 leading companies list in 2016.[5] It was also ranked 313th on the Fortune Global 500 in 2015.[6]


On 10–11 May 1861, more than 500 houses went up in flames in the town of Glarus, Switzerland. Two-thirds of the town was reduced to rubble and ashes and around 3,000 inhabitants were made homeless. Like the fire of Hamburg in 1842, which led to the foundation of the first professional reinsurers in Germany,[7] the great fire of Glarus in 1861 showed that insurance coverage was inadequate in Switzerland in the event of such a catastrophe.

The Swiss Reinsurance Company of Zurich was founded on 19 December 1863 by the Helvetia General Insurance Company (now known as Helvetia Versicherungen) in St. Gallen, the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (Credit Suisse) in Zurich and the Basler Handelsbank (predecessor of UBS AG) in Basel. The company's articles of association were approved by the government of the Canton of Zurich on the same day. Its initial capital amounted to 6 million Swiss francs. The official foundation document bore the signature of the poet Gottfried Keller, who at the time was first secretary of the Canton of Zurich.

Swiss Re was the lead insurer of the World Trade Center at the time of the September 11 attacks, which led to an insurance dispute with the owner, Silverstein Properties. In October 2006, the New York appeals court ruled in favor of Swiss Re, stating that the destruction of the twin towers was a single event rather than two, limiting coverage to $3.5 billion.[8]

It acquired the GE Insurance Solutions property/casualty business in 2006, which made Swiss Reinsurance Co. the world's largest reinsurer.[9]

In 2009 Warren Buffett invested $2.6 billion as a part of Swiss Re's equity capital raise after Swiss Re lost 6 billion francs in its financial market operations in the Global Financial Crisis.[10] Berkshire Hathaway already owns a 3% stake, with rights to own more than 20%.[11]

In May 2016, the Fort McMurray Canadian wildfires caused estimated damages of up to CAD10 billion, with Swiss Re having the most exposure among reinsurers.[12]

Swiss Re's Admin Re subsidiary began with the acquisition on 1 July 2004 of Life Assurance Holding Corporation in the UK.[13] On 31 October 2008, Swiss Re completed a £762 million acquisition of Barclays PLC's subsidiary Barclays Life Assurance Company Ltd.[14] In June 2014, the company, through Admin Re, acquired the UK pensions business of HSBC Life (UK) Limited worth £4.2 billion.[15] The Admin Re business, which was renamed ReAssure, was eventually sold to Phoenix Group Holdings for £3.2bn in July 2020.[16]

In February 2022, it was announced Swiss Re had acquired Champlain Reinsurance Company (Champlain Re) - a Swiss based run-off reinsurance captive of Alcan Holdings Switzerland AG, a member of Rio Tinto Alcan, in a legacy transaction.[17] Later that month, Swiss Re declared a net profit of 1.6 billion USD, in a bounce back from previous losses in 2020. Still, the exposure to COVID-19 in America was excessive; together with increased damages from natural catastrophes, profits were well below the 1.8 billion USD estimate. Swiss Re was able to make up for some of its losses due to its increased property business. At the same time, the board of directors assured investors that the company is only minimally exposed to losses during the Ukraine crisis.[18]


The Group consists of the following three business units:[19]


Swiss Re's leadership consists of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and the Group Management Board.[20] Members of the Executive Committee include Christian Mumenthaler, Chief Executive Officer; Guido Fürer, Chief Investment Officer; John R. Dacey, Chief Financial Officer; Patrick Raaflaub, Chief Risk Officer; Thierry Léger, Chief Underwriting Officer; Moses Ojeisekhoba, Chief Executive Officer Reinsurance; Andreas Berger, CEO Corporate Solutions; Russell Higginbotham, CEO Reinsurance Asia; Jonathan Isherwood, CEO Swiss Re Americas; and Anette Bronder, Chief Operating Officer.

Office locations

The group has offices in over 30 countries. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Swiss Re has offices in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Israel, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. In Asia and Australasia, the group has offices in the following countries: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea. There are also offices in the Americas: in Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Corporate headquarters

Swiss Re is headquartered in Zurich where the parent company's main premises have stood on the shores of Lake Zurich since 1864.

London headquarters

Its London office is located in the 30 St Mary Axe tower, which opened on 25 May 2004. The landmark London skyscraper, designed by architect Norman Foster and popularly known as "the gherkin", was sold in February 2007 for over £600 million (US$1.18 billion) to IVG Immobilien AG of Germany and the Evans Randall property investment firm.[21] 30 St Mary Axe is claimed to be London's first environmentally sustainable tall building. Among the building's most distinctive features are its windows, which open to allow natural ventilation to supplement the mechanical systems for a good part of the year.

American headquarters

The American headquarters of Swiss Re is located in Armonk, New York, on a 127-acre (52 hectares) site overlooking Westchester County's Kensico Reservoir. The facility, which houses more than 1,000 employees, was completed in 1999 and expanded in 2004.

Swiss Re also has offices in Alpharetta; Boston; Calabasas; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Wayne; Houston, Kansas City, Manchester, Marlton; New York City; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Miami; Schaumburg, Illinois; Westlake Village, California; Washington, D.C.; and Windsor. Swiss Re has two Canadian offices, in Toronto and Vancouver; Swiss Reinsurance Company Canada was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada, Inc., in October 2008, as announced by the Toronto Star.[22]

See also


  1. ^ "Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce".
  2. ^ a b c d e "Financial Report 2019" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Privacy Policy." Swiss Re. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd ("Swiss Re")[...]" and "Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd, Mythenquai 50/60, 8022 Zurich, Switzerland ("Swiss Re") Disclosure notification in accordance with Article 20 of the Swiss Stock Exchange Act." Swiss Re. 2 August 2007. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Die Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft (Swiss Re) teilt mit,[...]"
  4. ^ Department, P., & 5, N. (2020, November 05). Largest reinsurers worldwide by net premiums 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from
  5. ^ "Swiss Re on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Global 500". 21 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  7. ^ Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Swiss Re wins World Trade Center case". SWI Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  9. ^ Ligi, Antonio (12 June 2006). "Swiss Re Completes $7.4 Billion GE Insurance Purchase (Update2)". Retrieved 27 June 2006.
  10. ^ DAVID JOLLY (5 February 2009). "Swiss Re Gets $2.6 Billion From Berkshire Hathaway". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Haig Simonian, Francesco Guerrera (5 February 2009). "Swiss Re turns to Buffett for new funding". The Financial Times.
  12. ^ W. Duggan (2016). "Bernstein's Fort McMurray Insurance Assessment". Benzinga Ratings. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Swiss Re unit acquiring UK pension business of HSBC Life". London Mercury. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Swiss Re completes sale of ReAssure to Phoenix Group - Reinsurance News". 23 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Swiss Re acquires Champlain Re in legacy deal - Reinsurance News". 18 February 2022. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Swiss Re takes $4 billion hit from Covid and natural disasters" Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Our business - Swiss Re".
  20. ^ "Our leadership | Swiss Re".
  21. ^ "Swiss Re confirms £600m Gherkin sale". Financial Times. 5 February 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2007. Swiss Re confirmed on Monday that it had sold the distinctive Gherkin building in the City of London for £600m to a joint venture between German property group IVG Immobilien AG and Evans Randall, the Mayfair based private investment group.
  22. ^ "All jobs at Swiss Reinsurance Company - Reasons for Selection, 2009 Greater Toronto's Top Employers Competition".