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Innovative data & tech enhances mutual value creation for Swiss Re: Eric Schuh

12th September 2019 - Author: Luke Gallin

The use of advanced technology and leading data-analytics supports Swiss Re’s innovation efforts as the global reinsurer keeps clients’ needs at the heart of everything it does, according to Eric Schuh, Global Head of P&C Solutions, Swiss Re.

eric-schuh-swiss-reBeing one of the largest reinsurers on the planet, Swiss Re has an enormous client base and has relationships in all corners of the world with companies of various shapes and sizes, with a focus on many different industries.

Today, the risk landscape is changing at a rapid pace and is being supported by things like advanced technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and improved data-analytics, all of which challenge reinsurers to adapt and innovate in order to remain relevant.

For Swiss Re, client centricity is key, and speaking with Reinsurance News, Eric Schuh explained that “everything” the reinsurer does “is with our clients and their needs in mind.”

He continued to note that the reinsurer’s focus on client centricity is no different when it comes to the firm’s innovation efforts.

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“Some key client needs focus on adapting and responding to market dynamics such as digitisation and technological advances. Others center on growth strategies with developing and launching new products and solutions and targeting a better value proposition in existing or new customer channels or about entering new geographical markets fast and successfully. And then there is of course the wide field of how to best make use of data analytics, as we’re showcasing in great detail at the Rendezvous this year.

“Some of these solutions can be ready-to-use tools or approaches that we can just “plug & play”, others are tailored solutions that we co-create with clients. The output is sometimes a technological solution, sometimes a process, or simply: data-driven business insights,” said Schuh.

Data is increasingly important across various parts of the risk value chain and is helping ceding companies to better understand their exposures, and ultimately purchase protection more effectively.

Schuh told Reinsurance News that a lot of the work Swiss Re does with its clients is around enriching their portfolio data with external sources of data, as well as with modelling, structuring and analysing that data to highlight both loss drivers and potential growth areas.

“Our broad and global expertise allows us often to conduct some benchmarking to give our clients guidance where they stand compared to their peers. Again, some tools can be applied and other solutions will be tailored, but in any event we expect to improve the client’s customer experience and value chain performance, as well as to create actionable insights for the client’s portfolio that lead to increased market share or higher profitability, i.e. a better business performance,” said Schuh.

Advanced analytics enables greater insight into clients for reinsurance giants such as Swiss Re, which in turn supports innovation and the development of more bespoke and importantly effective solutions.

“We’ve had more than one case where the initial work with a client led to follow up initiatives and longer term cooperations. Also, many of the solutions and tools in our portfolio can be combined: for example risk visualization with a parametric offering. This leads to a myriad of possibilities to not “just” provide insights and steering to our clients, but also to turn this into real process improvements or even tools at our clients’ disposal. 

“Last but not least, some of the most established platforms also benefit from client input. For example, the addition of a new product or other features added to our SwiftRe® global facultative platform are often driven by client demand. In the end, innovation rarely happens in a vacuum, but mostly in a market and together in partnerships. Mutual value creation is the raison-d’être for these partnerships between our clients and us,” said Schuh.

For Swiss Re and also the broader reinsurance industry, relationships play an important role and Schuh continued to explain how solutions can help to make relationships with clients more ‘sticky’ for Swiss Re.

“For some of our ready-now solutions, clients appreciate the convenience and ease of using a Swiss Re solution that is calibrated to the client’s need, of course. This can allow for quick market launches and joint risk-taking. So, the “stickiness” is a mutual benefit and we’re following each other’s fortune. Also for tailor-made solutions, what can create “stickiness” is the process of working alongside our clients through every stage, from research and ideation to prototyping, piloting and internal and external deployment. We’ll genuinely solve a business challenge or engage in a new opportunity together.

“As most of our solutions are part of our broader reinsurance relationship, we also tie them into the many other areas where our clients trust Swiss Re as a long-term partner who will always be on its toes and innovate and share its knowledge,” said Schuh.

With so many clients around the world of different shapes and sizes and with a broad range of needs, Swiss Re is tasked with innovating at numerous levels in order to provide a relevant and effective service to its clients.

The rise of technology and the use of advanced analytics supports the company’s focus on meeting the needs of its clients, and Schuh explained that in terms of analytical assistance to help the management of businesses, there are perhaps some more common demands from clients.

“In the Property & Casualty business, our Portfolio Insights suite for interactive risk visualization for portfolio steering and targeted growth is popular. In addition, there is also significant demand for our tailored and cutting-edge data analytics work, including more and more also behavioural economics.

“There are other analytics platforms such as CatNet® and the Cyber Analytics Platform, as well as automated tools such as SwiftRe®, our online risk placement, claims and accounting platform, and our parametric end-to-end platforms with dynamic pricing capabilities, just to name a few. 

“And finally, we should also mention our large Automotive business, from telematics to ADAS risk scoring, another key area where we apply advanced analytics tools and capabilities,” said Schuh.

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