"Swiss Re is set to upscale its Property & Casualty operation in Southern Africa. The South African Prudential Authority has approved Swiss Re's application to expand the license of its existing subsidiary, Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Limited, to become a composite entity that can service both Life & Health as well as Property & Casualty business", the reinsurer announced in a statement.
Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Limited will be renamed to Swiss Re Africa Limited and will have the status of a subsidiary of Swiss Reinsurance Company Limited, Zurich.
Under the leadership of Thys Nieuwoudt, Swiss Re Africa Limited will be based in Cape Town, delivering strong service into the important insurance hub in Johannesburg as well as Southern African markets. Operations under the new license take effect as of 1 May 2018.
The reinsurer mentioned the move allows Swiss Re Africa Limited to extend its service offering to Property & Casualty reinsurance capacity, as well as unlocking access to Swiss Re's product solutions and tailored capital management services in the region. At the same time, "the African continent, and the Southern African region in particular, provides an excellent strategic fit for Swiss Re, with growth increasingly driven by technological innovations that play to Swiss Re's strengths - such as mobile distribution, smart analytics and parametric insurance solutions".
"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 capitalize on the opportunities in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent", said Jean-Jacques Henchoz, CEO Swiss Re Reinsurance EMEA.
"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 South African insurance and a clear signal that Swiss Re is backing growth in the region", added Tavaziva Madzinga, Market Executive Middle East & Africa for Swiss Re.