Everything I see points to hardening: Christian Mumenthaler, CEO, Swiss Re

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In a recent Artemis Live video interview, Christian Mumenthaler, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swiss Re, explained that he expects reinsurance prices will continue their firming trend at the January 2022 renewal season.

christian-mumenthaler-swiss-re-ceo-interview-september-2021Mumenthaler joined us recently to discuss the state of the reinsurance market and how Swiss Re has fared over the last year, also providing us with an update on alternative capital and insurance-linked securities (ILS) activities at the company, plus giving an outlook on some of the issues expected to be priorities over the coming months.

All of our Artemis Live video interviews can be accessed directly from our YouTube Channel, including interesting conversations with leaders of the ILS and reinsurance industry, as well as group discussions on the topics that matter.

One of the topics we discussed was reinsurance rate adequacy and his view on where the market currently stands.

Mumenthaler said that he’s encouraged by the fact reinsurers and ILS managers have pushed for rate rises at consecutive renewals, but questions where we’re truly at a point of rate adequacy yet.

“We shouldn’t forget that there were lots of losses in the industry the last few years, so the pricing levels were clearly unsustainable and if you stay unsustainable forever there’s not going to be any capital backing you.

“So, I’m really pleased that the industry overall has taken the right steps and we’re back into an acceptable area.

“I think we just need now to watch out for the long-term sustainability of these prices because, in the end, it’s capital at work, we have shareholders and we need to earn their return,” he explained.

Recent events underscore the need for the firming to continue though and Mumenthaler explained that Swiss Re’s view is that additional rate is required.

Mumenthaler said that, “I clearly think prices need to and will harden further. I think what happened in Europe is a stark reminder of the issues that are at hand, including climate change and its impact on secondary perils.”

Adding that, “Everybody could see it. Our clients could see it, their clients could see it, but also our investors could see it and clearly in the investor community there’s concerns around all of that which will put pressure on the whole insurance and reinsurance industry to earn the appropriate returns.”

Another recent event has only served to add further impetus to the call for more rate, with Mumenthaler calling hurricane Ida “a stark reminder of where we are.”

Looking ahead to the key reinsurance renewals at January 2022, which traditionally the market begins preliminary discussions and negotiations on at this time of year, Swiss Re’s Mumenthaler clearly sees the need for further rate gains to be made.

“I think with all these events this year, I doubt the mood will be to further softening at the end of the year. Everything I see points to further hardening,” he explained.

The full video interview is embedded below and can also be viewed in full, along with previous Artemis Live video interviews, over on our YouTube channel.

You can also listen in audio to our interviews by subscribing to the Artemis Live podcast here.

We will continue to bring you these interviews with leaders of the ILS and reinsurance industry on an ad-hoc basis, as and when our time and that of our contacts allow.

All of our Artemis Live video interviews have a focus on reinsurance, ILS and the efficiency of risk transfer and can be accessed directly from our YouTube Channel.

You can also listen in audio to these interviews by subscribing to the Artemis Live podcast here.

We’re offering sponsorship opportunities for our broadcasts, including pre-roll adverts or simply sponsor the entire series, as well as facilitating one-off sponsored webinars and virtual events including roundtables, to help companies access our market-leading audience. Please get in touch to discuss.

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Artemis Live - ILS and reinsurance video interviews and podcastView all of our Artemis Live video interviews and subscribe to our podcast.

All of our Artemis Live insurance-linked securities (ILS), catastrophe bonds and reinsurance video content and video interviews can be accessed online.

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