Talanx is reorganising its outgoing reinsurance.
HDI Reinsurance (Ireland) is designed to increase the company’s retention considerably, chief executive, Herbert Haas, said. The Irish company was set up in 2009 but is only now being used by Talanx as the major internal reinsurer. “We want a mechanism where Italian motor business and German life insurance balance each other out to a degree,” he added.
At present, all Talanx units buy reinsurance cover separately. In future, they will cede business to the Dublin outfit, which will keep part of it and retrocede other tranches.
Christian Hinsch, head of the industrial primary operation, said in his segment Talanx has a retention ratio of 47%. “This is partly owing to the fact we are fronting for international partners such as RSA and for captives,” he said. But Haas and Hinsch want this figure to be closer to 70%.
“We can use HDI Reinsurance to bring our retention up to this level,” Haas said. “This is part of our strategy to improve our profitability.”
Retrocession by the group’s large reinsurer, Hannover Re, will not be channelled through the Irish operation, the company said.
In 2010, the group earned €520m ($686.2m), more than double the €216m of 2010 and only just below the record €526m profit of 2009. Talanx achieved this result despite catastrophe losses of €1.17bn, compared with €758m in 2010.
Haas claimed the figures had not been brightened up to help the planned flotation. “We would have achieved the same result even if we had no plans to become listed,” Haas said.
Premium income rose 4% in 2011 to €23.7bn. The company took a €67m hit from Greek government bonds, €12m from writedowns and €43m from the sale of Greek sovereign debt in spring 2011.