S&P's ratings and outlooks on the European subsidiaries of Swiss Re remain unchanged following today's announcement
Standard & Poor's ratings and outlooks on the European subsidiaries of Zurich-based global reinsurer Swiss Reinsurance remain unchanged following this morning's announcement by the group with regard to the future reorganisation of its European legal structure. All entities are rated 'AA-' with a stable outlook.
Swiss Re intends to form three legal entities, based in Luxembourg, to serve as future risk carriers for most of its reinsurance and insurance business in the EU, operating via branches. Standard & Poor's understands that it is Swiss Re's intention to fully transfer all existing reinsurance and insurance liabilities and assets from its current subsidiaries to the new carriers, as well as to write future business via the new entities. The move is driven by capital efficiency, compliance, and reporting requirements, and the desire to avoid duplication of existing entities. Swiss Re is aiming to have the new structure in place by mid-2009.
In light of the importance of Europe to the group and our current classification of all affected subsidiaries as core, Standard & Poor's expects to consider the three new Luxembourg-based group carriers as core to Swiss Re and assign ratings accordingly. We also expect that Swiss Re will very carefully manage the transition of carriers for affected business.
If Swiss Re is successful in immediately and cleanly transferring all reinsurance and insurance liabilities and assets from the existing to the new carriers upon the latter's activation, Standard & Poor's will maintain its core status on the ratings on Swiss Re's existing carriers upon transfer, before likely withdrawing the ratings at the group's request. If reinsurance and insurance liabilities and assets are not fully transferred, Standard & Poor's will lower its ratings on the concerned existing subsidiaries to 'BBB', reflecting their run-off status.