Risk control framework

Swiss Re operates within a clearly defined risk control framework. This is set out in the Group Risk Management Standards and comprises a body of standards that establish an internal control system for taking and managing risk. These standards set responsibilities for risk takers and risk controllers. The risk control framework defines five key tasks, which are the core components of Swiss Re’s risk management cycle:

  • Risk tolerance and appetite assessment of plan – ensures that the risk implications of plans are understood, and determines whether business and investment plans adhere to risk appetite framework (risk appetite and tolerance).
  • Risk identification – ensures that all risks to which Swiss Re is exposed are transparent in order to make them controllable and manageable.
  • Risk measurement – enables Swiss Re to understand the magnitude of its risks and to set quantitative controls that limit its risk-taking.
  • Risk exposure control – allows Swiss Re to control its risk-taking decisions and total risk accumulations, including the passive risk we are exposed to through our operations.
  • Risk reporting – creates internal risk transparency and enables Swiss Re to meet external disclosure requirements.

In addition, Risk Management performs several risk control activities across multiple components of the risk management cycle, in particular:

  • Model and tool assurance
  • Valuation assurance
  • Insurance risk reviews, to assess the quality of decision-making in the taking of underwriting risks by performing independent assessments of costing, pricing, wording and claims handling

Swiss Re has implemented a principle-based integrated internal control system to mitigate identified operational risks including financial reporting and compliance risks, as well as risks that could impair the effectiveness and efficiency of operations. This control system represents a subset of Swiss Re’s risk control framework and is based on international standards established by COSO (the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission). It is applied on multiple organisational levels, including Group, functions, regions and legal entities.