Speaking to The Insurer TV during #ReinsuranceMonth, Ojeisekhoba said that from the early stages of the pandemic, it became apparent to the group that it needed to put in processes to protect its staff, or as Ojeisekhoba put it, Swiss Re’s “intellectual capital”.
“From the early stages of trying to put in place the right infrastructure to make sure people could work remotely and making sure there were no operational risk related issues, you quickly found out that people were a bit more vulnerable,” he said.
“Their resilience was not nearly as strong. In different cultures, different places it’s easy to talk about it; in other places, it’s not so easy, so it became important for us to say this is something we’ve got to watch out for,” Ojeisekhoba added.
As part of the support process, Swiss Re looked closely at how to have the “right conversations”, education around mental wellbeing, ensuring that managers were coached in identifying warning signs and making sure that the “right resources were in place” and available for those that needed them.
“I think as conditions have got better in some countries and have reverted back [to the norm], we’ve revised our overall policies to make sure that again, at the heart of everything, the wellness of our staff is super-important,” Ojeisekhoba said.
“We cannot fulfil our mission and ambition if our house is not in order and our folks are not feeling like they can perform at their complete best,” he added.
Renewal negotiation dynamics
Moving the discussion towards upcoming renewals, in addition to Covid-19, the reinsurance CEO also cited climate change, boundaries of contract wording, cyber, uncertainty around interest rates and other geopolitical elements as key topics influencing conversations and negotiations in the run-up to 1 January.
“These are all factors I think will have an impact as we go into 2022 – plus the reality of how we engage with each other to have the respective negotiations that are required. It’s a different environment,” said Ojeisekhoba.
“The key element for us certainly at Swiss Re is to make sure that we recognise clearly and fully the risk in the exposure that we’re taking on and we also advise exactly the same to our clients and the clients they are taking on,” he added.
With regards to pricing, adequacy will be a key priority for the Swiss Re reinsurance CEO. Ojeisekhoba also emphasised the importance not to lean too heavily on “retrospective models, but models that contemplate the here and now and what is to come”.