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building upon Gen Re’s unique platform in order to profitably grow our current and future client relationships

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Kara Raiguel 

President & CEO
General Re Corporation

For 2016 we managed to produce an underwriting profit in a challenging market, with a combined ratio of 96.6% on $5.6 billion of premium.

It has been an eventful first year for me at Gen Re. I am sure it is always a challenge for anyone stepping into a role at a company from the outside – especially one that will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. (Not to be outdone, Cologne Re will be celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2021.) The significant changes taking place in our industry, which will cause all reinsurers to take stock of their strategies and re-evaluate their plans, made the last year even more challenging. But two things have made my transition into the job far easier than it otherwise would have been, and I owe thanks for them.

First, I am grateful to our clients and the relationships that Gen Re enjoys with the companies that have put their trust in us to deliver not just the payment when the losses occur, but the services and support that have been the hallmark of Gen Re’s business. We are working hard to expand and improve what we deliver to our clients, and our unique distribution model means that those improvements come mostly from direct communications to and from our clients. I thank them for their continuing support and trust. And on this point, I must offer well-deserved praise to our associates for building that trust. As I’ve said, it is a time of change throughout our industry, and Gen Re is no exception. But there is a key constant at Gen Re that has been refined over the last century: a world-class team of associates who continue to stand ready to build and broaden mutually beneficial relationships with our clients.

we are working hard to expand and improve what we deliver to our clients

Second, I owe thanks to my predecessor, Tad Montross. When he retired, he handed over an organization with $13.5 billion of capital, a rock-solid balance sheet, and a culture of deep underwriting knowledge and integrity. Tad and the team of associates at Gen Re have fiercely protected and fostered these assets, which means that we can now focus on how best to harness them in a dynamic and fluid marketplace – a far more enjoyable challenge than dealing with deficiencies in these essential reinsurer assets.

This leads me to my number one (and number two and number three) priority:  building upon Gen Re’s unique platform in order to profitably expand our client relationships.

We have hit the ground running in pursuit of this priority. We have ramped up our conversations with active and prospective clients to explore what they value most in a reinsurance partner. Based on the feedback we received, we are taking several steps:

  • We are reviewing our product offerings and, where we can, broadening our risk appetite through expanded capacities.
  • We are revising target margins.
  • We are increasing the structural flexibility of our products in order to enhance the competitiveness of our offerings.
  • We have reorganized our business units, and are empowering our business leaders to make more decisions locally, enabling us to more efficiently meet our clients’ unique needs.
our clients can look to Gen Re as a trusted partner that will help them navigate the uncertainties of the future

While these actions do not mean we can say “yes” to all requests (especially given the current market conditions), they do mean we are working even harder to find solutions that work for our clients and Gen Re. Clients can, and should, expect that from a reinsurer that prides itself on direct communication and distribution. In fact, I want to expand the ways our clients can look to Gen Re as a trusted partner that will help them navigate the uncertainties of the future, and demonstrate to prospective clients why they should feel the same way. We can scale the services to suit the client, from those interested only in our Fort Knox capacity to those interested in capacity “plus” (such as more servicing, more long-range planning, etc.).

quantitative, analytical and technical expertise that our clients can leverage is a priority investment for Gen Re

Finally, we began an expense reduction initiative that I would like to instill in our corporate culture over the long term. We are focused on the continual improvement of internal efficiencies to maximize value for our clients. We will not compromise or erode the quality of the products and services that we deliver to our clients. Rather, we are striving to deliver services that are faster, better, less expensive and generally of more value to our partners. Quantitative, analytical and technical expertise that our clients can leverage is a priority investment for Gen Re. Each of our businesses has a unique story to tell, and I encourage you to reach out to the Gen Re team to learn more.

not only long-term relationships, but long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial

Most reinsurers say they want a partnership, but their commitment of support and knowledge stops when a binder is signed. Gen Re’s approach is modeled on more continuous communication and knowledge sharing throughout the life of the contract. This kind of approach leads to not only long-term relationships, but long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial.

The coming years will be an especially important time for Gen Re to demonstrate the service-oriented strengths of its direct distribution model. The industry has undergone a protracted period of circumstances that, sooner or later, must result in signs of stress: overcapitalization, overconcentration of that excess capital in a few players, limited Cat activity, and the enhanced ability these circumstances lend to brokers to talk pricing down to below rational levels. Gen Re will have the financial strength to shine as the signs of stress become more apparent. We also have to have an organizational structure that will allow us to nimbly capitalize on our direct business model, and demonstrate – client by client – how we can quickly and efficiently meet their needs – especially when stress makes their needs harder to meet.

The opportunities ahead are truly exciting. With so much uncertainty on so many fronts – political, economic, regulatory and climatic, to name a few – opportunities abound for those who work hard, underwrite creatively and intelligently, and cultivate relationships carefully.

Kind regards and best wishes for 2017,

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Financial Summary

GENERAL RE CORPORATION

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

(amounts in millions of U.S. dollars)

2016 2015
Total Investments
23,214 28,152
INVESTMENTS
21,817 23,805
CASH & CASH Equivalents
1,397 4,347
TOTAL ASSETS
34,376 35,714
UNDERWRITING RESERVES
18,160 19,001
Shareholders’ Equity
13,099 13,544
DIVIDENDS
1,160 1,150
RETURN ON EQUITY
7.0% 5.7%
Net Premiums Written*
5,629 5,889
Life/Health
3,069 3,164
Property/Casualty
2,560 2,725
Net Premiums Earned*
5,637 5,975
Life/Health
3,068 3,169
Property/Casualty
2,569 2,806
Underwriting Result*
190 132
Life/Health
73 -18
Property/Casualty
117 150
Combined Ratio*
96.6% 97.8%
Life/Health
97.6% 100.6%
Property/Casualty
95.4% 94.7%
Total Investment Income
1,275 918
Net Investment Income
706 790
Realized Gains/Losses
569 128
Net Income
931 796

*Amounts per Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, which excludes the impact of the intercompany loss portfolio and quota share retrocessional

Financial Strength Ratings

A.M. Best


A++

Moody's


Aa1

Standard & Poor's


AA+

Leadership Team

NORTH AMERICA PROPERTY & CASUALTY MANAGERS

Berto Sciolla

The Mutual Practice – Treaty

Bob Jones

Regional & Specialty Companies – Treaty

Martin Leitch

National & Multinational Companies – Treaty

Christopher J. Brock

Casualty Facultative

Patrick Carroll

Property Facultative

International Property & Casualty Managers

Emmanuel Brouquier

 France, Belgium, Nordic Countries, Middle East

Achim Bosch

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Israel, Central & Eastern Europe

Adolfo Martinez

Spain, Portugal

Pietro Toffanello

UK, Ireland, Italy, Sub-Saharan Africa

Andrew Flitcroft

Australia, New Zealand

Daniel Castillo

Latin America

Rainer Schürmann

Asia

Takashi Ishii

Japan

GLOBAL UNDERWRITING & CLAIMS MANAGER

CHIEF DATA & ANALYTICS OFFICER

NORTH AMERICA LIFE & HEALTH MANAGERS

Vincent A. DeMarco

President and CEO, General Re Life Corp.

William Casill

Chief Actuary

James M. Greenwood

Risk Management

Guizhou Hu

Chief of Decision Analytics

Joe Atamaniuk

Marketing & Account Management

INTERNATIONAL LIFE & HEALTH MANAGERS

Dr. Winfried Heinen

Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, General Reinsurance AG

Jeremy Poole

Chief Actuary

Astrid Kahl

International Underwriting and Claims

Andres Webersinke

Australia/New Zealand

Dirk Nieder

Northeast Asia

Tuan Miang Chua

ASEAN, China, HK and India

Friedrich Müller

Europe

Ulrich Pasdika

Research & Development and Region Germany

Dr. Alfredo Fetter

Latin America and Mediterranean

Peter Temple

UK, Ireland and South Africa

The people behind the promise®