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iPMI Magazine successfully rebranded to iPMI Global in 2023 and has moved to a new home on the internet. To visit the brand new international private medical insurance business intelligence platform, please go to www.ipmiglobal.com

Submit News, Articles and Case Studies To iPMI Magazine

iPMI Magazine provides premium and freemium content delivery solutions specifically tailored to the international private medical insurance market.

Using the latest technology, iPMI Magazine delivers critical iPMI business communications to an eclectic worldwide readership, from international medical payor to global service provider. 

iPMI Magzine News classifications include:

Write to ipmi[at]ipmimagazine.com to learn more, or to submit content. 

About iPMI Magazine

Due to the nomadic nature of the international private medical insurance (IPMI) industry, iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service for worldwide insurance and assistance professionals who need to understand the impacts of insurance and healthcare policy, regulatory, and legislative developments.

Over 40,000 senior level business decision makers, in over 120 countries, rely on iPMI Magazine to stay 1 step ahead of the risk and on the inside track of international PMI. Covering business travellers, high net worth individuals, expatriate and leisure travel markets, iPMI Magazine is the only international news source covering the most exciting sector of international health insurance: international private medical insurance.

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Peak Re Appoints Clarence Wong As Chief Economist

Peak Reinsurance Company Limited (“Peak Re”), a global reinsurer based in Hong Kong, has appointed Mr. Clarence Wong as Chief Economist effective from 16 Nov 2020, highlighting Peak Re’s commitment to strengthen its service in Asia and around the globe.

Reporting directly to Mr. Franz Josef Hahn, Chief Executive Officer of Peak Re, Mr. Wong will be responsible for delivering strategic insights on economic, insurance and emerging risk to the company and its key stakeholders. He will also oversee the development of thought-leadership content for Peak Re.

Mr. Wong has more than two decades of experience in the insurance and reinsurance market. Prior to joining Peak Re, he worked at Swiss Re since 1999, where he last served as the Chief Economist, Asia and oversaw the company’s research initiatives around the Asia-Pacific region. Before that, he spent 9 years at HSBC’s economic research department, worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in its management consulting arm, and in the R&D department of Hutchison Trading Ltd.

Commenting on the new appointment, Mr. Hahn said, “We are delighted to welcome Clarence on board, as we look to provide stronger analysis and insights for our key stakeholders.

While Asia’s insurance landscape continues to grow and evolve, it is important for us to understand the strategic implications of economic environments in which we operate and make better decisions by understanding the impact of our choices.

I am confident that Clarence will be a significant addition to our team, particularly with his wealth of knowledge and expertise in the global reinsurance markets.”

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Peak Re Announces The Successful Issuance Of $250 Million Perpetual Subordinated Guaranteed Capital Securities

Peak Reinsurance Company Limited, a Hong Kong-based global reinsurer, has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Peak Re (BVI) Holding Limited, has successfully completed the issuance of USD250 million of perpetual subordinated guaranteed capital securities (the “Securities” or the “Transaction”) at 5.35 per cent.

The Securities are rated Baa2 (hyb) by Moody’s, and unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Peak Re which is currently rated A3 (stable) by Moody’s. Peak Re’s inaugural capital securities issuance will strengthen its capital base and increase its underwriting capacity.

The Transaction garnered a final orderbook of USD 1.1 billion and represents 4.4 times over-subscription. It marks the first public capital instrument in perpetual hybrid format issued by a Hong Kong-based global reinsurer. The demands also demonstrated the strong interest that high quality global investors have for investment grade hybrid capital securities, and their confidence in Peak Re’s business outlook.

Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Franz Josef Hahn, Chief Executive Officer of Peak Re, said, "The Transaction marks a significant milestone for Peak Re. The Securities will enable the Company to diversify its capital structure, and bring additional capacity to the reinsurance market from international investors. Our business has shown resilience to the current pandemic, and with the hardening of the reinsurance market, the new capital will enable Peak Re to capture the growth opportunity ahead.”

Ms. Cathy Chen, Chief Financial Officer of Peak Re commented, “The success of this Transaction reflects the confidence of investors in our vision and strategies, and their recognition of the Company’s achievements. This is a key step for the Company to ensure sustained growth and deliver our founding promise: to support the needs of communities and emerging middle-class societies in Asia and beyond. I would like to thank the team for their contribution and hard work to make this achievement possible.”

The Joint Lead Managers for the Transaction are Citi and HSBC.

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How To Submit News, Articles and Case Studies To iPMI Magazine

iPMI Magazine provides premium and freemium content delivery solutions specifically tailored to the international private medical insurance market.

Using the latest technology iPMI Magazine can deliver critical business communications to an eclectic worldwide readership from international medical payor to provider. 

News classifications include:

Write to ipmi[at]ipmimagazine.com to learn more or to submit content. 

About iPMI Magazine

Due to the nomadic nature of the international private medical insurance (IPMI) industry, iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service for worldwide insurance and assistance professionals who need to understand the impacts of insurance and healthcare policy, regulatory, and legislative developments. Over 40,000 senior level business decision makers, in over 120 countries, rely on iPMI Magazine to stay 1 step ahead of the risk and on the inside track of international PMI. Covering business travellers, high net worth individuals, expatriate and leisure travel markets, iPMI Magazine is the only international news source covering the most exciting sector of international health insurance: international private medical insurance.

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Swiss Re Estimates Its Fourth Quarter 2018 Claims Burden From Large Natural Catastrophes At USD 1.0 Billion; Large Man-Made Losses Caused Additional USD 0.3 Billion Of Claims

Swiss Re estimates its preliminary claims burden from recent natural catastrophes in the fourth quarter of 2018 at approximately USD 1.0 billion, mainly affecting Reinsurance, and net of retrocession and before tax.

Swiss Re anticipates claims from the Camp and Woolsey fires in California to be USD 375 million. The claims burden from Hurricane Michael is expected to be USD 150 million. Swiss Re's estimate for Typhoons Jebi and Trami increased by USD 320 million in Q4 2018, net of retrocession and before tax. The total number of claims for natural catastrophes also includes smaller events, such as the Sydney hailstorm on 20 December 2018. In addition, multiple large man-made disasters are expected to generate approximately USD 0.3 billion in claims for the fourth quarter. Swiss Re expects a combined claims burden from natural catastrophes and large man-made disasters of USD 2.9 billion for the full year 2018. For the whole industry in 2018, Swiss Re estimates global insured losses of USD 81 billion.

Both Californian fires, the Camp fire and the Woolsey fire, broke out on 8 November 2018. Due to very dry weather conditions, the fires spread quickly. The Camp fire destroyed the town of Paradise, being one of the deadliest and most destructive fires on record in the US. Over 52 000 people were evacuated from the Camp fire. The Woolsey fire in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties was also very destructive, prompting the evacuation of more than 295 000 people. Both fires raged over a week, claimed over 85 lives and destroyed thousands of acres and over 20 000 buildings. Swiss Re expects an overall industry loss for both fires of USD 16 billion.

Hurricane Michael made landfall just northwest of Mexico Beach, Florida, in the afternoon on 10 October 2018 as a strong category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph and even higher gusts. Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew (1992). Swiss Re expects an overall industry loss for Hurricane Michael of USD 8.5 billion.

Swiss Re's estimate for Typhoons Jebi and Trami increased by USD 320 million in Q4 2018, leading to a total loss burden from major Japan events in 2018 of USD 1.2 billion, net of retrocession and before tax. Swiss Re expects an overall industry loss for the Japan events of USD 12 billion.

The last quarter of 2018 was also impacted by several large man-made disasters, including, among others, a major satellite loss, a large industrial fire in Germany and a further increase in the estimated claims of the Ituango dam flooding, causing expected combined claims of USD 0.3 billion. This claims burden is expected to be roughly equally distributed between the Corporate Solutions and Reinsurance Business Units.

"The last quarter of 2018 was severely impacted by natural catastrophes. In the US, Hurricane Michael was the strongest storm to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and in California, wildfires caused great damage as they also spread to urban areas", says Edouard Schmid, Swiss Re's Group Chief Underwriting Officer. "We are working closely with our clients to ensure affected people and communities are supported and able to get back on their feet as soon as possible."

According to preliminary sigma estimates, global insured losses from catastrophes for the whole industry were USD 81 billion in 2018, the fourth highest on sigma records.

The foregoing estimates are subject to a higher than usual degree of uncertainty and may need to be subsequently adjusted as the claims process continues.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings Of Austral Resseguradora S.A. And Austral Seguradora S.A.

AM Best has a affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “bbb+” of Austral Resseguradora S.A. (Austral Re) and Austral Seguradora S.A. (Austral Seg). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Both companies are domiciled in Brazil, and are collectively referred to as Austral.

The ratings reflect Austral’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Austral Re is registered as a local reinsurer in Brazil, which positions the company for greater accessibility to business when compared with reinsurers licensed in the country as admitted or occasional. Austral Re’s operations focus on high growth areas, such as life, health, property, motor and surety risks, while Austral Seg mainly writes oil and gas, marine hull, surety and DPVAT risks. In addition, Austral has begun to implement a wide-ranging risk management program while maintaining a solid retrocessional strategy to safeguard capital and mitigate downside risk. The group continues to build out a business profile as an agile player able to provide a range of (re)insurance solutions.

Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is Brazil’s highly competitive (re)insurance market as home-grown and global (re)insurers continue to vie for market share. In addition to the highly competitive market conditions, Austral also must weather significant macroeconomic challenges in Brazil over the short and medium term. The group’s reinsurance program generally is placed with highly rated counterparties as it remains dependent on reinsurance to provide additional market capacity.

AM Best will continue to follow Austral’s operating performance, risk-adjusted capitalization and the execution of its business plan and risk management program. Factors that could lead to positive rating action include a sustained trend of very strong risk-adjusted capital, superior results when compared with its peer group over the medium term and strong brand recognition in Brazil and other markets where the companies operate. Factors that could lead to negative rating drivers include poor operating results when compared with its peers and large losses, significant deterioration of Brazil’s economy or a sovereign downgrade that could negatively impact the group, or a material decline in risk-adjusted capital.

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RGA Elects New Member To Board Of Directors

Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated has announced the appointment of Steven C. Van Wyk to its Board of Directors. He will begin his service as an independent director on February 1, 2019. The addition of Mr. Van Wyk increases the size of RGA’s Board of Directors to 12 members.

“Steve has an accomplished career leading IT operations at major financial services organizations and global companies,” said Anna Manning, President and Chief Executive Officer, RGA. “His proven experience in IT transformation, innovation and digital consumer engagement will serve the RGA board well as we seek to capitalize on the rapid advances in technology impacting the insurance industry.”

“The depth of Steve’s IT and operations experience will augment the board’s ability to advise and support business initiatives across the company,” said J. Cliff Eason, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “His aptitude for resolving complex issues, developing innovative solutions, and identifying cost improvements will provide great value to the board.”

With more than 30 years of IT and operations experience, Mr. Van Wyk has demonstrated leadership in structuring, building, and improving IT organizations. His diverse background includes senior positions in the financial services, energy, and manufacturing sectors as well as extensive international experience. Currently, he is Chief Information Officer and Head of Technology & Innovation at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC) in Pittsburgh. Prior to PNC, Mr. Van Wyk was Global CIO for ING Groep N.V., a multinational banking and financial services corporation.

Mr. Van Wyk holds degrees in Business Management and Accounting from the University of Central Iowa. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor. In addition, Mr. Van Wyk also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN).

Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA), a Fortune 500 company, is among the leading global providers of life reinsurance and financial solutions, with approximately $3.3 trillion of life reinsurance in force and assets of $63 billion as of September 30, 2018. Founded in 1973, RGA is recognized for its deep technical expertise in risk and capital management, innovative solutions, and commitment to serving its clients. With headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri and operations around the world, RGA delivers expert solutions in individual life reinsurance, individual living benefits reinsurance, group reinsurance, health reinsurance, facultative underwriting, product development, and financial solutions. To learn more about RGA and its businesses, visit the company’s website at www.rgare.com.

 

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Gunther Saacke To Step Down As CEO Of Qatar Re

Gunther Saacke has informed the Board of Directors of Qatar Re of his intention to step down as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Company at the next Board meeting, scheduled for March. With regret, the Board of Directors has accepted his decision. Gunther Saacke will be leaving the Company later on in the year.

Michael van der Straaten, Chief Underwriting Officer for Long Tail and Specialty Classes, will be appointed as acting Chief Executive Officer.

Khalifa Al Subbay, Group CEO & President of Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), Qatar Re’s parent company, said, "On behalf of QIC, I would like to thank Gunther for his outstanding and significant contribution to Qatar Re. Under his strong strategic and operational leadership Qatar Re has developed into a formidable franchise, placed among the global Top 30, and is recognized as a modern and reliable reinsurer around the world. In the challenging environment of recent years Gunther has brought to bear his tremendous following in the market. He has been instrumental in building and inspiring our teams and has greatly supported the very substantial and dynamic development of our Group."

Gunther Saacke, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Re, said, "I believe that this is an appropriate time for the Company to benefit from the perspectives of a new leader. I would like to express my appreciation to colleagues, customers and the many partners around the world with whom I have worked over the past 6 years. Qatar Re is a great company with outstanding prospects as a reliable force to be reckoned with in the ever changing global market. While the market conditions remain challenging, I am confident that our talented, highly dedicated people, our promising pipeline and strong underwriting management will deliver significant value in the years ahead. I wish Mike every success in his new role and am sure he will make a major contribution."

Qatar Re, licensed as a Class 4 Insurer by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, is a global multi-line reinsurer writing all major property, casualty and specialty lines of business. Qatar Re serves its clients through teams of seasoned underwriting and finance professionals combining in-depth technical and business expertise with industry experience across all markets. Through its headquarters in Bermuda, branch offices in Zurich, the Dubai International Financial Centre and London, Qatar Re is close to the world’s major reinsurance markets and the core operations of its clients. Qatar Re is backed by a parental guarantee from Qatar Insurance Company S.A.Q. (QIC) and benefits from QIC’s substantial and growing capital base. Qatar Re is rated “A/Stable” by S&P Global and “A (Excellent)” by A. M. Best.

For further information about Qatar Re, please visit their website at www.qatarreinsurance.com

 

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Stormy Currents Emerging For MENA Reinsurers

Insurance markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have continued to grow, with increased demand for products over the past decade driven by a period of high oil prices that has funded infrastructure development and increased commercial activity, and the introduction of compulsory covers, particularly for medical health care and liability risks.

However, many Middle Eastern economies are now facing challenges as a result of the low oil price environment, with lower revenue increasing pressure on government finances. This has resulted in governments reconsidering their fiscal stances, with the adoption of a value-added tax regime in the process of being rolled out across the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and increasing restraint on government spending on infrastructure.

A new special report published by A.M. Best, titled, “Stormy Currents Emerging for MENA Reinsurers,” states that while domestic markets remain important to MENA reinsurers, in a global reinsurance world, they are also looking further afield for diversification in order to stabilise earnings against the uncertainties and volatility of their local markets.

Mahesh Mistry, senior director of analytics, said: “The profile of the region’s reinsurers has not changed materially over the past few years, and they concentrate on prudent underwriting and risk selection in order to maintain profitability. However, given the pressure on rates experienced in core product lines, coupled with the higher frequency of property losses, MENA reinsurers have gradually reduced their exposure to MENA markets, and supplemented revenues by focussing more on Asian and African markets, where pricing is more attractive.”

The report states that while reinsurance markets in the MENA region are competitive, for international reinsurers, they are also considered to be a source of expansion. This is owing to a range of factors, including continued market liberalisation, and the majority of markets being open with few restrictions on reinsurance operations.

Yvette Essen, director of research and report author, said: “Many of the region’s markets are perceived to be attractive as they have benign exposure to natural catastrophe events in comparison with other more mature insurance markets. Reinsurers are drawn to the prospect of establishing geographically diverse underwriting portfolios without encountering the significant earnings volatility driven by natural catastrophe exposure. Regional and international reinsurers are seeking less catastrophe-prone business to complement their existing portfolios.”

The report notes all A.M. Best-rated reinsurers domiciled in the MENA region are generally well-capitalised. It states that while balance sheet strength is strong for rated MENA reinsurers, underwriting profitability remains the main concern, with many companies delivering marginal to weak performance. Therefore, reinsurers in the region are dependent on investment income to generate earnings. While investment yields are low, pressure to improve underwriting margins is growing, and any failure to improve technical performance is likely to put greater pressure on ratings as this weakness gradually erodes balance sheet strength and the profile of the companies.

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Arch Reinsurance Ltd. Announces Formation of Arch Underwriters (Gulf) Limited

Arch Reinsurance Ltd. , Bermuda (Arch Re), is pleased to announce the formation of Arch Underwriters (Gulf) Limited (AUGL) to be based in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), UAE, subject to final approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). AUGL will have underwriting authority for Arch Re, which holds a financial strength rating of ‘A+’ from Standard & Poor’s.

AUGL will supplement Arch Re’s existing operating entity in the DIFC, Gulf Reinsurance Limited (Gulf Re). Arch Re completed the acquisition of Gulf Re in May 2015 from its joint venture partner, the Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC). As part of that process Arch Re put in place the following two reinsurance arrangements to demonstrate its full commitment to Gulf Re:

  • A Loss Portfolio Transfer Agreement whereby Arch Re assumes 100% of all liabilities in respect of business written by Gulf Re prior to 30 September 2014.
  • A Quota Share Agreement whereby Arch Re assumes 90% of all liabilities in respect of business written by Gulf Re after 1 October 2014.

All existing Gulf Re clients and brokers will be provided the opportunity to renew, through AUGL, with the more highly rated paper of Arch Re Bermuda.

“When we stepped back and considered the best value proposition to Gulf Re’s GCC clients of, it made sense to provide Arch Re’s A+ rated balance sheet directly to our cedants, given Arch Re’s 100% ownership of Gulf Re, “ said Shankar Majrekar, AUGL’s Senior Executive Officer.

AUGL will benefit from the local knowledge and experience of the current Gulf Re underwriting team, which will continue to service all the in-force business of Gulf Re in a seamless manner from its offices situated in the DIFC. AUGL’s objective will be to maintain and build on existing client relationships.

Gulf Re’s paid up capital of USD 70 million and DFSA license will be maintained by Arch Re until all policyholder liabilities are settled.

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Medical, Healthcare, Expatriate And Travel Insurance

A guide to leading international medical, healthcare, expatriate and travel insurance underwriters, companies, providers, operating within leisure, expatriate and corporate travel business markets, globally.

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