Risk culture

Swiss Re fosters and maintains a strong risk culture to promote risk awareness and discipline across all its activities. This risk culture stands for the risk- and control-related values, knowledge and behaviour shared by all employees. Its principal components are summarised in a framework that builds on the Group Code of Conduct as well as on key risk management principles in the Group Risk Policy.

The risk culture framework serves to influence appropriate risk-taking behaviour in four key aspects, which are assessed annually for all employees in the performance and compensation process:

  • Leadership in providing clear vision and direction
  • Consideration of risk-relevant information in decision-making
  • Risk governance and accountability of risk takers as well as transparent flow of risk information
  • Embedding of risk management skills and competencies

Swiss Re’s risk culture provides the foundation for the efficient and effective application of its Group-wide risk management framework. Group Risk Management reinforces the risk culture by ensuring risk transparency and fostering open discussion and challenge in the Group’s risk-taking and risk management processes.

Key risk takers across Swiss Re are a particular focus in promoting good risk- and control-related behaviours. The relevant positions are identified in a regular process, and those who hold them are subject to additional behavioural objectives and assessments.

Risk culture is directly linked to Swiss Re’s performance management, which is based not only on business results but also on behaviours. Swiss Re’s compensation framework aims to foster compliance and support sensible risk-taking. Swiss Re also has a range of incentive programmes that reflect the long-term nature of its business by rewarding sustained performance rather than short-term results. This helps to align shareholder and employee interests.

Swiss Re’s compensation principles and framework are captured within the Swiss Re Group Compensation Policy. The Group’s Finance and Risk Committee conducts a regular risk assessment for all changes to this policy.