Global Reinsurance: How Firm a Foundation?


Mike Warner  
Conning, Inc.

Conning Research: Specialization and Focus Drive Superior Performance in Global Reinsurance Market

--Challenges Reshaping Industry

(Hartford, CT) March 5, 2012—As with primary insurance, analysis indicates that diversification can be a detriment to underwriting performance in the $200 billion gross written premium global reinsurance market, according to a new study by Conning Research & Consulting.

“In analyzing the performance of reinsurers globally over the past ten years, it is clear that specialist and pure-play reinsurers have achieved significantly better underwriting performance than diversified and multi-line reinsurers,” said Jerry Theodorou, analyst at Conning Research & Consulting. “Yet reinsurers constantly face pressures to diversify as they grow, mainly because specialists encounter greater volatility in their results than generalists. At some point, for some reinsurers, greater consistency in results may be more important than the opportunity to outperform.”

The Conning Research study, “Global Reinsurance: How Firm a Foundation?” analyzes ten years of performance data to isolate performance drivers and success characteristics of top reinsurers globally. The study presents the landscape for global reinsurance, its pressures, and decision points.

“As both specialist and generalist reinsurers seek growth in emerging and developing markets, they are faced with challenges and decisions that will have profound impact on both the reinsurers and on cedents,” said Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning. “While many of those challenges are not new to the industry, the increased field of operations for so many reinsurers and evolving global risk patterns increase complexity and difficulty in decision-making. The industry has experienced profound change and is poised for more, in response to game-changing regulatory pressures and a growing market for capital market alternatives to traditional reinsurance.”

“Global Reinsurance: How Firm a Foundation?” is available for purchase from Conning Research & Consulting by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting

About Conning Research & Consulting

Conning Research & Consulting is a division of Conning, a provider of asset management and insurance industry research and consulting services to insurers.  Conning Research & Consulting has published independent insurance industry research for 50 years, including market coverage of 30 segments of the industry in addition to industry forecasting and identification and analysis of major strategic issues. As a result of its wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, Conning understands industry challenges and opportunities and provides in-depth analyses on a wide range of industry products and issues. Conning is headquartered in Hartford, CT.