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 accompanying financial statements of Swiss Re Ltd (the ‘Company’), which comprise the income statement, balance sheet and notes (pages 287 to 297), for the year ended 31 December 2019.
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 judgment, 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 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 2019 comply with Swiss law and the Company’s Articles of Association.
Report on 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 judgment, 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.
The impairment assessments of investments in subsidiaries and affiliated companies are based on the selected valuation model that reflects specific characteristics of the investment and corresponding assumptions as model inputs.
The impairment assessment is considered a key audit matter due to the considerable judgment in the assumptions and adjustments applied to the valuation model as well as the materiality of this account to the Company.
How our audit addressed the key audit matter
In relation to the matter set out opposite, our substantive testing procedures included the following:
- Evaluating the model used by the Company to determine a market value.
- Assessing whether the assumptions used are reasonable.
- Understanding judgments applied by the Company for each investment to ensure they are in accordance with our own expectation based on our knowledge of the business and industry.
Based on the work performed, we consider the methods and assumptions used by the Company to be appropriate.
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, 18 March 2020