Message from the Group CEO
I am very proud to report on the performance and growth of our Group in 2012, demonstrated convincingly by our net income of USD 4.2 billion. All Business Units contributed to this excellent result, including a strong return on Group investments of 4.0%.
These are my first annual results where I write to you as Group CEO. I am very glad that I can start by sharing such great news. This performance is the result of tireless effort from Swiss Re employees around the globe, to whom I would like to express my most sincere gratitude.
“ With these excellent results behind us we are moving in the right direction on our 2011–2015 financial targets. They remain our top priority and we are working hard to deliver on them.”
Let me run you quickly through their achievements:
The Property & Casualty Reinsurance segment delivered a very strong net income of USD 3.0 billion, represented by a combined ratio of USD 80.7%. The Life & Health Reinsurance segment turned a profit of USD 739 million, though we recognise we still have some work to do on the profitability of this segment. I am pleased by Corporate Solutions’ net income of USD 196 million, or 142% higher than in 2011, making good on the growth aspirations we had for this segment when we put a stronger emphasis on the direct corporate business. Admin Re® underwent significant structural changes in 2012 with the sale of its US business, demonstrating the capital agility that was one of the key ideas of our corporate reorganisation. Admin Re® delivered net income of USD 183 million.
With these excellent results behind us we are moving in the right direction on our 2011–2015 financial targets. They remain our top priority and we are working hard to deliver on them. Return on equity was 13.4%, and our earnings per share were USD 11.85 or CHF 11.13.
By working together we can achieve the best: that is the title of this year’s annual report and effective shorthand for this year’s accomplishments. It is also a good summation of the value Swiss Re provides to its clients.
Across our Group we are harnessing the power of partnership to meet the challenges of business. In South Korea we have worked with Cigna /LINA to develop insurance that covers the cost of cancer treatment for people over the age of sixty. In China we have gone even further, teaming up with local insurers to deliver insurance that covers similar risks for people of all ages – a first in the market. We have become the official insurance provider for Solar Impulse, which aims to become the first solar-powered aircraft to fly around the world. In Vietnam and Mexico we are working together with governments to protect lives and livelihoods.
These examples of partnership and collaboration are equally powerful as examples of our commitment to building value over the long term – appropriate for 2013, as we celebrate Swiss Re’s 150th anniversary at a number of events around the globe.
To continue to perform and grow we will add even more focus to two crucial areas: on talent development and on our high growth markets. And success in the latter depends on success in the first. By 2015 we aim to generate 20%–25% of our revenues from high growth markets. For this endeavour we need talented people – people endowed with the right skills and languages, as well as agility and the passion to perform. The development and management of our human capital in these markets will be key to success.
Our targets are ambitious, and conditions before us are challenging. Nevertheless we remain confident we can meet and exceed our goals, recognising that opportunities for risk management are practically limitless, provided we harness the power of collaboration. If the achievements of 2012 are any indication, we are moving in the right direction.
Zurich, 21 February 2013
Michel M. Liès
Group Chief Executive Officer