- Swiss Re to create a Digital Market Center using Microsoft’s data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities to transform how risks are predicted, managed and insured
- Microsoft to support Swiss Re in developing go-to-market strategies for new risk management solutions and insurance products based on data insights
- The Digital Market Center’s initial focus will be on connected vehicles and mobility, Industry 4.0 and natural catastrophe resilience
Zurich, Switzerland (Mar. 12, 2020) – Swiss Re and Microsoft Corp. have announced a strategic alliance to further advance insurance innovation and extend financial protection to more people globally. The centrepiece of the strategic alliance is the launch of Swiss Re’s Digital Market Center, which will help develop next-generation, large-scale tools to transform the way the insurance industry predicts and manages risks, as well as how the industry creates tangible products based on Swiss Re’s risk knowledge.
Swiss Re’s new Digital Market Center will draw on Microsoft’s next-generation Azure cloud technologies, internet of things and artificial intelligence capabilities. The first areas of application are planned to be connected vehicles and mobility, industrial manufacturing (”Industry 4.0”), and natural catastrophe resilience. The Digital Market Center will also develop innovative cyber platforms to measure business risks in a digital environment, enabling a new class of risk technology solutions.
Swiss Re’s Digital Market Center will offer insurers a broader understanding of risks and their ripple effects on society, governments and economies. For example, powered by Microsoft’s automotive data capabilities, Swiss Re will be able to develop a much deeper analysis of automotive risks such as a car’s safety performance when using the latest driving assistance technologies. By providing data-driven insights from this type of data, Swiss Re can enable insurers to design innovative new motor insurance products, such as pay-as-you-drive covers.
Swiss Re’s work in this area will go beyond new product creation and provide broader risk insights for complex, interconnected systems. For example, risk managers can get a greater understanding of how the loss of a ship’s cargo may impact global supply chains, or how natural catastrophes will impact a government’s key infrastructure investments. Based on these type of data insights, insurers can develop solutions that proactively mitigate losses before they occur.
As part of the strategic alliance, Swiss Re will transform its internal operating platform by modernising and moving it to the Azure cloud. This move will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the core processes by leveraging the most advanced data processing and AI capabilities at scale.
Thierry Léger, CEO Swiss Re Life Capital, said: “Swiss Re’s alliance with Microsoft will help accelerate the digital transformation of the insurance industry, with benefits across all lines of business. By building digital markets and not just isolated products, we aim to transform the way businesses approach the risks they face. The alliance between Swiss Re and Microsoft presents an exciting opportunity for the insurance industry.”
Anette Bronder, Swiss Re Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “Digital transformation can only be achieved through strong partnerships. The strategic alliance with Microsoft will greatly advance our ability to make our risk expertise available to our clients. At the same time, we can achieve significant efficiency gains for our own internal platforms and processes. This is an important step for Swiss Re’s evolution as a leading data-enabled risk knowledge company.“
Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft, added: “I am looking forward to seeing how this collaboration enables new pathways for innovation in how insurance solutions are built and managed. By combining Swiss Re’s risk expertise with Microsoft Azure, we have the opportunity to deliver greater peace of mind to people and to enrich their experience with the insurance industry.”
Revised oil and gas policy
In 2018, Swiss Re implemented a thermal coal policy as a first step towards a comprehensive carbon steering mechanism. The coal policy is part of its Sustainability Risk Framework established already in 2009. Swiss Re has now also revised the oil and gas policy in the same framework with the aim to reduce Swiss Re’s carbon exposure by stopping support for production of oil and gas that exceeds a defined lifecycle carbon intensity threshold. As a result of this new policy, Swiss Re will gradually cut business support in underwriting and asset management to the world’s 10% most carbon-intensive oil and gas production by 2023. Swiss Re will continue to work with and support the transition of those producers who do not fall under these exclusions.
Further measures to reduce carbon intensity of investment portfolio
As a member of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, Swiss Re has committed to transition its investment portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Swiss Re was one of the first in the industry to switch to ESG benchmarks in 2017. Swiss Re divested from companies with an exposure of more than 30% to thermal coal in 2016 and in 2019 added absolute thresholds for mining companies and power utility generators. Through these measures, Swiss Re has achieved a 50% average carbon intensity reduction in its investment portfolio across credits and listed equities since the end of 2015.
As a further measure, Swiss Re has increased its green, social and sustainable bond target from USD 1.5 billion to at least USD 4 billion by 2024.
Commitment to net-zero emissions from own operations by 2030
For its own operations, Swiss Re has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2030.
Swiss Re has already been focusing on its own CO2 emissions and energy consumption for many years and launched its Greenhouse Neutral Programme in 2003 combining the commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions per employee with offsetting all remaining emissions by purchasing high-quality emission reduction credits.
To reach the target of net-zero emissions by 2030, Swiss Re will further increase its efforts to cut emissions, with a particular focus on business travel. In addition, for every tonne of CO2 that cannot yet be avoided, another tonne will be removed from the atmosphere and stored permanently. To pay for this new way to compensate emissions, Swiss Re will ramp up its internal carbon levy. A stringent price on carbon will incentivise emission reductions, for example through less travel by air.
1. Lifecycle carbon intensity as measured by kilograms of carbon dioxide per barrel of oil equivalent. By 2023, no support will be provided for the 10% most carbon-intensive production.
2. Mining companies producing at least 20 million tonnes of coal per year and power utility generators with more than 10 GW installed coal fire capacity.
About Swiss Re
The Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, working to make the world more resilient. It anticipates and manages risk – from natural catastrophes to climate change, from ageing populations to cybercrime. The aim of the Swiss Re Group is to enable society to thrive and progress, creating new opportunities and solutions for its clients. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the Swiss Re Group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally. It is organised into three Business Units, each with a distinct strategy and set of objectives contributing to the Group’s overall mission. For more information, please visit www.swissre.com.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com.
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SOURCE: Swiss ReTags: Microsoft, partnership, Swiss Re