Report of the statutory auditor
Report of the statutory auditor
to the General Meeting of
Swiss Re Ltd
Report of the statutory auditor on the financial statements
As statutory auditor, we have audited the financial statements of Swiss Re Ltd (the “Company”), which comprise the income statement, balance sheet and notes for the year ended 31 December 2017.
Board of Directors’ responsibility
The Board of Directors is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with the requirements of Swiss law and the Company’s Articles of Association. This responsibility includes designing, implementing and maintaining an internal control system relevant to the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. The Board of Directors is further responsible for selecting and applying appropriate accounting policies and making accounting estimates that are reasonable in the circumstances.
Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with Swiss law and Swiss Auditing Standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.
An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgement, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers the internal control system relevant to the Company’s preparation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control system. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of the accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.
In our opinion, the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2017 comply with Swiss law and the Company’s Articles of Association.
Report on a key audit matter based on the circular 1/2015 of the Federal Audit Oversight Authority
A key audit matter is a matter that, in our professional judgement, was of most significance in our audit of the financial statements of the current period. The matter was addressed in the context of our audit of the financial statements as a whole and in forming our opinion thereon, and we do not provide a separate opinion on this matter.
Impairment assessment of investments in subsidiaries and affiliated companies
Key audit matter
The Company applies individual valuations of investments in subsidiaries and affiliated companies in accordance with Swiss Law.
In performing impairment assessments of investments in subsidiaries and affiliated companies, management uses considerable judgement in determining valuation-method inputs. Management applies a consistent market value method for each investment and applies adjustments to the model based on specific characteristics of the investment.
The impairment assessment is considered a key audit matter due to the considerable judgement in the valuation model and inputs and adjustments applied.
How our audit addressed the key audit matter
In relation to the matter set out opposite, our substantive testing procedures included the following:
- Evaluating management’s method and assumptions to determine a market value.
- Assessing whether the model applied for each subsidiary is reasonable, including any adjustments applied.
- Understanding judgements applied by management for each investment to ensure they are in accordance with our own expectation based on our knowledge of the business and industry.
- Engaging our internal valuation specialists to assist in the testing of key assumptions and inputs.
On the basis of the work performed, we consider the methods and assumptions used by management to be reasonable. We agree with their conclusion that the book values for all investments in subsidiaries are recoverable.
Report on other legal requirements
We confirm that we meet the legal requirements on licensing according to the Auditor Oversight Act (AOA) and independence (Article 728 CO and Article 11 AOA) and that there are no circumstances incompatible with our independence.
In accordance with Article 728a paragraph 1 item 3 CO and Swiss Auditing Standard 890, we confirm that an internal control system exists which has been designed for the preparation of financial statements according to the instructions of the Board of Directors.
We further confirm that the proposal for allocation of disposable profit complies with Swiss law and the Company’s Articles of Association. We recommend that the financial statements submitted to you be approved.
Auditor in charge
Zurich, 14 March 2018