Board and senior management responsibility
Board of Directors
At Swiss Re’s highest governance level, the task of overseeing implementation of our commitment to corporate responsibility has been assigned to a committee of the Board of Directors (BoD): It is one of the responsibilities of the Chairman’s and Governance Committee to monitor the Group’s strategic priorities with regard to enabling sustainable progress.
More specifically, the Board’s Investment Committee reviews Swiss Re’s Asset Management related activities and, as part of this, receives regular updates on Group Asset Management’s responsible investing approach. The Board’s Finance and Risk Committee defines the Group Risk Policy, reviews risk capacity limits, monitors adherence to risk tolerance, and reviews all top risk issues and exposures, including those with a specific sustainability dimension.
Group Executive Committee
While the BoD is responsible for defining overall strategic direction and overseeing its implementation, the Group Executive Committee (Group EC) owns and approves sustainability-relevant policies, action plans etc.
The Group EC sets and monitors risk capacity limits (including for natural catastrophes), and determines product policy and underwriting standards. As part of its mandate, it approves Swiss Re’s sustainability policies – eg the thermal coal policy introduced in 2018 – and owns the further development of Swiss Re’s sustainability strategy. The Group EC members have explicit tasks related to sustainability, which include but are not limited to the following:
- The Group Chief Risk Officer (CRO) is responsible for providing the BoD and Group EC with independent assurance that all of Swiss Re’s risks are being appropriately modelled, governed and managed, and that adequate controls are in place. As part of executing these responsibilities, the Group CRO is charged with establishing the Group’s Risk Management Framework for all risk categories, including sustainability and emerging risks.
- The Group Chief Investment Officer (CIO) has overall responsibility for Group Asset Management and its investment result, and with that also for the consistent integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects along the investment process. The Group CIO is responsible for investment decisions within the strategic asset allocation implementation, including those related to responsible investing and is informed of ESG updates through various channels including the Asset Management Investment Committee.
- The Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for the Group-wide Finance function with a focus on steering and achieving the company’s financial targets. He also has accountability for Swiss Re’s investor relations and public disclosures, including the Group Annual Report (including eg Climate-related Financial Disclosures).
- The Group Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO) is responsible for steering capital to the most attractive areas in underwriting that are of strategic importance for the Group’s underwriting, and providing research and development that improves both capital allocation and risk selection.
- The Group Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for the Group-wide Operations functions. This responsibility includes overseeing, besides Communication and Human Resources, the Corporate Real Estate & Services (CRES) division, Global Sourcing and IT. CRES steers and monitors the reduction of Swiss Re’s environmental footprint and is in charge of Swiss Re’s Greenhouse Neutral Programme to reduce our own CO2 emissions.
On an operational level, various divisions, departments and units across the Business Units and corporate functions are involved in implementing Swiss Re’s commitment to corporate responsibility in daily business.
The Sustainability, Emerging and Political Risk Management unit drives the development of Group risk policies and related strategic projects and coordinates communication, dialogue and engagement efforts across the Group in close coordination with the respective units. In addition, the unit is responsible for producing Swiss Re’s Corporate Responsibility Report, which is reviewed by senior management and approved by the BoD.
Enhanced Group sustainability strategy
Recently, we have reviewed our approach to corporate responsibility and formulated an enhanced Group Sustainability Strategy. This will also be reflected by Swiss Re’s sustainability governance and future reporting.