Swiss Re to disband Life Capital after selling ReAssure, names underwriting boss

The logo of insurance company Swiss Re is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd WIegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss Re SRENH.S will disband its Life Capital business unit after wrapping up the sale of its British ReAssure business later this year, the reinsurer said on Friday, adding the unit's head, Thierry Leger, will become its new chief underwriting officer.

Leger on Sept. 1 will replace Edi Schmid, who Swiss Re said would be leaving for personal reasons and taking on an advisory role. Phoenix Group Holdings PHNX.L bought Swiss Re's ReAssure business for about $4.1 billion (£3.3 billion) late last year, and the deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020.

Swiss Re said in April it had swung to a net loss in the first quarter of 2020 as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak began to bite and as its Life Capital division posted a $261 million loss linked to the share price of Phoenix Group, which is paying for ReAssure in cash and shares.

The Zurich-based insurer said the disbanded unit’s remaining businesses would be internally reorganised, with its elipsLife corporate life and health business joining its corporate solutions division and its digital insurance platform iptiQ becoming a standalone unit.

“The changes announced today will position Swiss Re well for the next chapter of the Group’s strategic development,” Chief Executive Christian Mumenthaler said.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by John Miller