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 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 the 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 limit framework – 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 the following risk control activities:

  • Model and tool assurance – ensures that models or tools used for costing, valuation and risk capital determination are based on sound scientific concepts, have been implemented and calibrated correctly, and produce accurate results.
  • Valuation assurance – assesses the quality of valuations for financial instrument prices and reserves.
  • Insurance risk reviews – assess the quality of decision-making in the taking of insurance risks by performing independent evaluations of underwriting, costing, pricing 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.