Canadian Underwriter

Munich Re not saying how many Canadian jobs may be cut as part of worldwide staff reductions

March 19, 2018   by Greg Meckbach

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Munich Re, which spent over $4 billion in 2017 for three hurricanes alone, is not saying how many jobs – if any – it is cutting in Canada.

Published reports Thursday quoted Munich Re officials as saying the German reinsurer plans to cut 900 jobs, about half of them outside of Germany.

“There is no further breakdown of the planned cost reductions,” Munich Re spokesperson Stefan Straub told Canadian Underwriter in an email Friday.

“We see potential to reduce the headcount by around 900 [full-time equivalents] worldwide by 2020,” Straub wrote. Munich Re employs about 160 people in non-life insurance in Canada and an additional 210 in life.

Munich Re released Thursday its financial results for 2017, reporting an overall “consolidated result” (essentially the company-wide profit) of $392 million euros, down from 2.581 billion euros in 2016. That result includes not only P&C but also life reinsurance, health and primary insurance.

The euro was trading at $1.58 Friday.

In reinsurance, Munich Re reported 3.7 billion euros in catastrophe losses in 2017, compared to 929 million euros in 2016. The combined ratio deteriorated by 18.4 points, from 95.7% in 2016 to 114.1% last year.

Munich Re’s consolidated result in reinsurance was negative 476 million euros last year, compared to 2.0 billion euros in 2016. The investment result in reinsurance was 1.9 billion euros in 2017, up 19% from 1.6 billion euros in 2016.

Three North Atlantic hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria), “were by far the most expensive loss events of the year” for Munich Re, the company reported. The “overall cost” was 2.7 billion  euros after retrocession.

Other major insurance disasters in 2017 included wildfires in California, which Munich Re said March 15 are expected to cost the company nearly 500 million euros in loss expenditures.