Global reinsurance giant Swiss Re has cited a “very strong” capital position and has maintained that its businesses remain “well-positioned for the future” as part of its 2022 Annual Report.
The report was published ahead of the reinsurer’s upcoming Annual General Meeting of shareholders (AGM) on 12 April 2023, for which it has proposed an ordinary dividend of USD 6.40 per share for the 2022 financial year.
At the AGM, Swiss Re is also proposing to elect Vanessa Lau and Pia Tischhauser as new Board members for a one-year term, as Renato Fassbind and Susan L. Wagner will not stand for re-election.
As part of its annual report, Swiss Re calculated that its total economic net worth (ENW) as a company had decreased to $31.1 billion by the end of 2022, compared with $34.5 billion at the close of the previous year.
This result, it said, was impacted by the war in Ukraine, reserve adjustments for economic inflation, the decline in global equity markets and credit spread widening, elevated natural catastrophe losses, updates to the internal pandemic risk model and inflation scenarios, as well as Life & Health Reinsurance assumption updates.
Providing a partial compensation was the strong EVM profit on new business, driven by solid margins in Life & Health Reinsurance, as well as strong new business performance by Property & Casualty Reinsurance and Corporate Solutions.
However, Swiss Re also noted that its capital positions remains strong with a groupwide Swiss Solvency Test (SST) ratio of 294% as of 1 January 2023.
And in line with its capital management priorities, Swiss Re says it remains committed to pursuing “profitable growth opportunities” and considers itself to have a “positive business outlook.”
Accordingly, it has proposed a dividend of USD 6.40 that is roughly in line with its 2022 dividend of CHF 5.90.
“Although 2022 was a challenging year, our very strong capital position allows us to fulfil our commitment to the shareholders,” said Swiss Re’s Chairman Sergio P. Ermotti. “We are confident that our businesses are well-positioned for the future, and the new targets for 2023, announced last month, reflect our ambition to drive profitability and create shareholder value.”
Swiss Re reported net income of $472 million for the full year 2022 compared with $1.4 billion a year earlier, as the impact of economic inflation on expected claims impacted its P&C businesses, and large natural catastrophe losses exceeded expectations at $2.7 billion.
In addition to the proposals for the election of Lau and Tischhauser, the agenda for Swiss Re’s 2023 AGM includes a proposal for the re-election of Sergio P. Ermotti as Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors for a one-year term of office.
It also includes a proposal for the re-election of the other members of the Board of Directors for a one-year term of office and for the re-election of the members of the Compensation Committee and for the election of Jay Ralph as a new member of the Compensation Committee.
Additionally, shareholders will vote to approve the compensation of the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Committee, as well as a consultative vote on the 2022 Compensation Report.
On Fassbind and Wagner’s move to step down from the Board, Ermotti commented: “On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank Sue and Renato for their great dedication and commitment to Swiss Re over many years. They both contributed strongly to our company’s strategic development. Their guidance and governance expertise will be thoroughly missed. We wish them all the best for the future.”