Risk management

We fully embed risk management in our business to enable controlled risk-taking and efficient, risk-adjusted capital allocation.

Risk management ensures an integrated approach to managing current and emerging threats. Embedded throughout the business, our Risk Management function ensures that our strategic planning and limit setting conform to Swiss Re’s Group-wide risk tolerance. It is also deeply involved in capital cost assessment, large transaction approvals, portfolio monitoring and performance measurement. Its objective is to enable controlled risk-taking and the efficient, risk-adjusted allocation of capital.

Controlled risk-taking requires a strong and independent risk management organisation, as well as comprehensive risk management processes to identify, assess and control the Group’s and the Business Units’ risk exposures. We base our risk management on four guiding principles, which we strive to apply consistently across all risk categories throughout the Group and our three Business Units:


Key risk management bodies and functions



Board of Directors







 Finance and Risk Committee

 Audit Committee















Group Executive Committee



Group CRO

















 Group Risk and
 Capital Committee





 Corporate  Solutions  CRO


 Admin Re®  CRO
















 Group Asset-Liability























 Group Products and
 Limits Committee












Central Risk Management Units
Identification, assessment, control and reporting of insurance, financial market, credit, liquidity, operational, and other risks








 Group Regulatory Committee























Risk management organisation

The Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for the Group’s governance principles and policies, including the Group Risk Policy, which establishes both the guiding principles of risk management as well as the overall risk tolerance of the Group.

The Board mainly deals with risk management through two committees:

The Group Executive Committee (Group EC) implements the risk management framework via the following sub-committees:

The Group Chief Risk Officer, who is a member of the Group EC, reports directly to the Group CEO as well as to the Board of Directors’ Finance and Risk Committee. The Group Chief Risk Officer is a member of the four Group EC committees, serving as the chairman of both the Group Risk and Capital Committee and the Group Regulatory Committee. In addition, the Group Chief Risk Officer leads the Group’s Risk Management function, which is responsible for risk oversight and control across the Group.

The Group Risk Management function is structured with global departments providing shared services such as Risk Reporting, as well as dedicated departments for the Reinsurance, Corporate Solutions and Admin Re® Business Units.

All of these departments have dedicated Chief Risk Officers who report directly to the Group CRO, with a secondary reporting line to their respective Business Unit CEOs. They are responsible for risk oversight in their respective Business Unit, including identifying, assessing and controlling risks as well as establishing the proper risk governance to assure proper execution of these activities.

For Swiss Re’s major legal entities, the Business Unit CROs are supported by designated legal entity CROs who are responsible for overseeing specific risk management issues that arise at the legal entity level.

The global departments support both the Group CRO and the Business Unit CROs in discharging their oversight responsibilities. They do so by providing specialised risk category expertise and accumulation control, risk modelling and reporting services, regulatory relations management and central risk governance framework development. In addition, the global departments lead the oversight of Group liquidity and capital adequacy and support the establishment of the Group frameworks for controlling these risks throughout the Group.

Actuarial management is also an integral part of Risk Management, ensuring independent assessments of reserving adequacy.

Senior managers of business and corporate units are responsible for managing operational risks in their areas of activity, based on a centrally coordinated methodology. Their self-assessments are reviewed and challenged by operational risk specialists in partnership with the dedicated risk management units. Risk management experts also review Swiss Re’s underwriting decision processes.

The Group’s risk management activities are also integrally supported by Group Internal Audit and Compliance. The Group Internal Audit department carries out independent, objective assessments of the adequacy and effectiveness of internal control systems. It evaluates the execution of processes within Swiss Re, including those within Risk Management.

The Compliance function is principally responsible for overseeing Swiss Re’s compliance with applicable laws, regulations, rules, and the Code of Conduct, as well as managing compliance risk. It serves to assist the Board of Directors, the Group EC and management in discharging their respective duties to effectively identify, mitigate and manage compliance risks.

Risk tolerance and limit framework

Swiss Re’s risk tolerance is an expression of the extent to which the Board of Directors has authorised the Group and Business Units’ executive management to assume risk. It represents the maximum amount of risk that Swiss Re is willing to accept within the constraints imposed by its capital and liquidity resources, its strategy, its risk appetite, and the regulatory and rating agency environment within which it operates. Risk tolerance criteria are specified for the Group and main operating Business Units – Reinsurance, Corporate Solutions and Admin Re® – as well as for the major legal entities.

A key responsibility of Risk Management is to ensure that Swiss Re’s risk tolerance is applied throughout the business. In particular, the Group’s risk tolerance forms the basis for risk management in our business planning process. Both our risk tolerance and risk appetite – the amount of risk we seek to take – are clearly defined and are translated into a consistent limit framework across all risk categories. The limit framework is approved at Group EC level through the Group Risk and Capital Committee. The individual limits are established through an iterative process to ensure that the overall framework complies with our Group-wide policies on capital adequacy and risk accumulation.