CCR Re puts emphasis on partnerships as it looks to deploy greater capacity at 1.1

Cedants are increasingly seeking long-term partnerships after many were left with mixed feelings following the shift in reinsurer appetite at renewal, according to CCR Re’s Laurent Montador, who highlighted the critical role that building and maintaining relationships with insurer and broker partners will play in the company's future success.

Speaking at the annual industry gathering in Baden-Baden, CCR Re’s deputy CEO said there was a recognition that many cedants had been left “hurting” in the wake of 2023 renewal as the market reacted strongly after years of losses and continuously decreasing rates.

“Reinsurance plays a key for cedants in executing their business plans and in allowing them room to grow but this growth as well as inflation were not anticipated,” Montador explained.

“In the run-up to 1.1 we’re seeing that cedants really want to have long-term partnerships with their reinsurers – they want to know that their reinsurers are willing to support their strategies, continuing to offer capacity in the medium to long term and will not react too heavily.”

Montador said that CCR Re – which has benefited since 2020 from a stable A rating from AM Best and S&P – is focused on being a “partner of choice” and is in a position to provide capacity with aligned partners in a flexible way.

“Reinsurers recognise the importance of maintaining that long-term partnership spirit with their clients – for us, that is front and centre. We truly value those relationships and want to be a partner of choice for our clients,” Montador continued, stressing that a client-centric approach and greater flexibility does not mean under-pricing.

“There needs to be an appreciation that flexibility on the behalf of reinsurers does not mean undervaluing our offering or failing to meet our return on capital. Cedants have to understand that we need to be profitable in order to continue being the partners that they want us to be and to provide capacity in the long term.”

Montador added that insurers are increasingly valuing speed of response from reinsurers. He said cedants are now more than ever searching for a combination of efficiency and responsiveness, with an emphasis placed on an ability to find “entrepreneurial solutions” at renewal.

The executive was speaking shortly after the completion of CCR Re's acquisition by a mutual consortium consisting of SMABTP and MACSF. The deal, which formally closed in early July, valued the previously state-owned firm at close to €1bn ($1.06bn).

Under the transaction, the mutual insurers also completed a capital injection of €200mn into the reinsurer, fully financed by the consortium. The deputy CEO noted that the new capital will be deployed widely at renewal giving priority to established partners.

Montador said that CCR Re – which last month reported a first-half undiscounted combined ratio of 94.6 percent – remains on track to achieve its €2bn GWP target, but stressed that maintaining and building partnerships will remain a core part of its growth strategy.

”We want to maintain the strategy that we have successfully pursued in previous cycles. We will continue to prioritise prudent underwriting and to write business that we understand and that we feel we can make a real impact in.

“The ambition of being the partner of choice means listening to the needs of cedants and working with them closely to find new ways of being more relevant. We will continue this across the European market, and are increasing our efforts in our chosen growth regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America.”