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Annual Report 2018

Risk transfer

To efficiently manage capital across the Group and ensure that risk-taking in individual legal entities is well diversified, the Group employs internal retrocession and funding agreements. These serve to improve the fungibility of capital and consequently Group-wide diversification. In addition, the Group aims to maximise the amount of funds available centrally by optimising the excess capital held within its subsidiaries and branches.

Swiss Re also manages and mitigates insurance risk through external retrocession, insurance risk swaps or by transferring risk to capital markets through insurance-linked securities, industry loss warranties or other derivatives. This provides protection against extreme catastrophic events, further diversifies risk, stabilises economic results and releases underwriting capacity.

In addition, Swiss Re uses financial market derivative instruments as well as financial market securities to hedge financial market and credit risks arising from investments and insurance liabilities. Interest rate risk from insurance liabilities is managed through investments in fixed-income instruments whose pricing is sensitive to changes in government yields, such as government bonds.