Speed is one of the qualities used to measure a successful knowledge transfer. Quick solutions and staying one step ahead of the competition is the name of the game. Hannover Re searches systematically for new business opportunities in order to generate sustainable growth and strengthen the company’s profitable development. With a view to identifying opportunities and successfully translating ideas into business, Hannover Re adopts a number of closely related approaches in order to achieve holistic opportunity and risk management. Of significance here is the interplay without overlaps of the various functions within opportunity and risk management, which is ensured by defined interfaces.
Key elements in Hannover Re’s opportunity management include its various market-specific innovations in the Life & Health and Property & Casualty reinsurance business groups (see forecast).
Trends are systematically identified and analysed with the support of external sources and partners and the needs of our clients are anticipated along the entire insurance-related value- added chain. Targeted consideration is given to new business opportunities that promise access to innovative technologies and enhance our appeal in the eyes of customers. To this end Hannover Re cultivates business-related partnerships with accelerators, incubators, company builders, startups and research institutes in order to boost our competitiveness in the insurtech sector and the area of digital solutions. A competence centre has been set up specifically to evaluate the strategic and technical significance of innovative new digital technologies.
A key project initiated back in 2016 went by the name “Journey Re”. It forged a connection to students, university graduates and young professionals with a view to developing new business models for primary insurance and reinsurance and translating the creativity that exists outside the industry into new business opportunities. The project activities were focused on locations in Berlin, Dublin, Boston and Johannesburg. Based on the project results, Hannover Re partnered with investors on the launch of three insurtechs in 2018. The young start-ups have also been recognised with a number of international prizes and awards.
The networking of the innovative minds at work within Hannover Re gives rise to close links with other projects, working groups and bodies, such as with the working group on “Emerging Risks und Scientific Affairs” in regard to emerging risks and opportunities (see “Other risks”). This working group carries out qualitative assessments of emerging risks. As a result, however, not only are the potential risks explored but also any available business opportunities.
Cyber attacks on critical systems are becoming increasingly common. They can cause considerable financial losses and also damage corporate reputations. Not only that, they can severely hamper private and public life, especially if critical infrastructures are impacted – such as the health, transportation / traffic and energy sectors. In such instances supply bottlenecks with lasting effects as well as major disruptions to public safety may ensue. In a networked world the repercussions of cyber attacks are intensifying because the volume of data stored around the world is constantly growing – and in this context it is not only one’s own technical infrastructure that needs to be secured. On the contrary, the trend towards cloud computing is increasingly shifting the focus to third-party infrastructures and the associated network connection. As part of our holistic risk and opportunity management activities, we are also tackling the question of what new insurance products can be developed in order to protect against the relevant threats. Our presence in this market thus goes as far back as 2007 and we have already developed corresponding products.
If a business idea is translated into reality and a new reinsurance product results, the normal procedure – provided the criteria defined for this purpose by Risk Management are applicable – is to work through the so-called new product process. This process is supported by Risk Management at Hannover Re. The process is always worked through if a contractual commitment is to be entered into in a form not previously used by Hannover Re or if a new type of risk is to be insured. If this is the case, all material internal and external influencing factors are examined beforehand by Risk Management (e. g. implications for the overall risk profile or the risk strategy) and evaluated. Risk Management ensures that before it can be used or sold a new reinsurance product must be approved by the Executive Board.