Insurance giant Swiss Re is widening its reinsurance offering in South Africa, re-domiciling its Southern African property & casualty business onto the continent.
The firm announced that the South African Prudential Authority has approved its application to expand the license of Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Limited. With the green light, the existing subsidiary now becomes a composite entity that can service both life & health and property & casualty business.
To be renamed Swiss Re Africa Limited, the unit will have the status of a subsidiary of Swiss Reinsurance Company Limited, Zurich.
“Our existing service to short-term insurers in South Africa is consistently ranked as best in class by clients and brokers,” said Tavaziva Madzinga, market executive Middle East & Africa for Swiss Re. “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.”
Based in Cape Town and headed by Thys Nieuwoudt, operations under the new license took effect this month.
“Our expansion in South Africa lays the basis for Swiss Re to upscale its market strategy in Africa,” said Jean-Jacques Henchoz, chief executive of Swiss Re Reinsurance EMEA. “By shifting the centre 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.”