Global reinsurer Swiss Re has announced that its reinsurance business unit has received approval from the South African Prudential Authority to expand the license of its existing subsidiary to include property & casualty (P&C) business.
The approval enables Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Limited to become a composite entity that can service L&H and P&C business, completing Swiss Re’s ambition to re-domicile its South African P&C business operations onto the continent.
Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Limited is to be renamed Swiss Re Africa Limited, and will have the status of a subsidiary of Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd, Zurich.
Based in Cape Town, Swiss Re Africa Limited will be led by Thys Nieuwoudt, with operations under the new license taking effect as of May 1st, 2018.
Jean-Jacques Henchoz, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swiss Re Reinsurance EMEA, said: “Our expansion in South Africa lays the basis for Swiss Re to upscale its market strategy in Africa. By shifting the center of gravity of our African business back to Africa, we are sending a clear signal that we believe insurance in Africa has a strong future. Swiss Re will be a force for enabling the industry to capitalise on the opportunities in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.”
Swiss Re states that the move enables it to extend its service offering for P&C reinsurance capacity, while also unlocking access to the reinsurer’s product solutions and tailored capital management services in the region.
The reinsurer says that the African continent is an excellent strategic fit for the company, and the new license allows South African clients to access the full strength of P&C capabilities.
Tavaziva Madzinga, Market Executive Middle East & Africa for Swiss Re, added: “Our existing service to short-term insurers in South Africa is consistently ranked as best in class by clients and brokers. With this move, we take the next step and unlock the full potential of Swiss Re’s capabilities for South African and Southern African clients. This is a vote of confidence for African insurance and a clear signal to the rest of the continent that Swiss Re is backing growth in the region.”