Painting a picture that has resonated throughout conversations in the German spa town, Briones described prolonged low interest rates in unison with downward pressure on capacity in loss-affected lines as the key drivers of tough trading conditions.

“First, if you look at the economy, we are under a record-low interest rate environment, which is challenging for all of us. On top [of that], we are facing a slowdown of the economy,” she said.

Briones continued: “If you look at the markets, on the one hand, we do see rate increases, especially in lines of business where bigger losses occurred in the past,” pointing towards commercial lines, which has witnessed significant capacity cuts in recent months.

“Given the low interest rate environment, we expect insurers to focus more on technical profitability,” she rounded off.

A final challenge is the rapidly changing desires of customers, on the back of an ever-increasing digital landscape, to which insurers must adapt.

“Given all these challenges, business models have to be adapted and as always, those companies who adapt best will be the winners of tomorrow.”

Determined to help clients navigate a brave new world, Briones spoke to Swiss Re’s capabilities that extend beyond that of traditional risk transfer.

“We provide capacity; however we bring more to the table,” she said. “We provide global markets knowledge, we support product development projects with our clients – be it for closing the nat cat protection gap, be it in personal accident, or with parametric products.”

Equipped to harness the power of data and analytics for their clients, Briones envisions a bright future for Swiss Re’s partners.

“Overall, despite the challenging environment we’re in, we’re optimistic and we’re looking forward to working with our clients.”

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