Interview with Mr. G.L.N. Sarma, Chief Executive Officer, Hannover Re India Branch

Q1. Hannover Re is one of the leading provider of reinsurance solutions. Please give an overview of the International operations of the company.

Hannover Re, with gross premium of more than EUR 17 billion, is the third-largest reinsurer in the world.

We transact all lines of property & casualty and Iife & health reinsurance and are present on all continents with roughly 3,300 staff. Established in 1966, the Hannover Re Group today has a network of more than 140 subsidiaries, branches and represent-ative offices worldwide.

The rating agencies most relevant to the insurance industry have awarded Hannover Re outstanding financial strength ratings: Standard & Poor’s “AA—” (Very Strong) and AM. Best “A+” (Superior).

Q2. What potential do you see in the Indian Reinsurance market

We feel that there is definitely excitement in the market. It is new for everyone, so it is naturally is challenging. Setting up India Branch is an investment into India and transferring of knowledge in many areas. This is a positive development for the market. The Market is expecting new products to be developed and introduced in collaboration with the local reinsurers and this would help expand the market size.  There are many lines of business that  are growing exponentially and reinsurers can certainly take part into this growth areas.

Q3. Is the Indian market mature enough to become Reinsurance Hub in Asia or it will take some more time.

Indian market has the potential to become Reinsurance Hub in Asia.  However, it requires few initiatives from stakeholders to be ready as a Hub.

Q4.  Which are the major areas where you will be underwriting reinsurance business and areas you foresee having maximum growth

We are into all the lines of business. Agriculture and Health are the maximum growth areas.

Q5. Indian market has been very competitive in terms of pricing. As an Reinsurer what challenges do you face in underwriting in this sensitive price market.

We are extremely client focused in delivering services with alternative solutions to our client needs while sticking to our core underwriting philosophy. We also pride ourselves on our speed of response to client requests.

Q6. How has been your operating performance in last fiscal and what has been your financial strength

Being a Branch of Global Reinsurance Company, we certainly leverage the strength of our parent company.  It has been an extremely busy and exciting time with the renewals. As the market is growing the need for reinsurance capacity has grown.  All the players were finding their feet with the new regulatory processes. We also needed to make sure that we had the required support for our clients on short notice. We are fortunate, that the underwriting team that we have recruited for Branch, are well known in the market place.

Q7. Apart from Reinsurance services, you are also offering Risk Solutions, Can you apprise us about some of your services.

Reinsurance business itself is managing risk appropriately.  Risk is a very broad term and it depends on how each of the participant in the market foresee it.  We offer customised solutions to the needs of the customer and it depends on the particular challenge a customer faces.

Q8. Any other developments you would like to share.

We are looking forward to the  developments given the changes  at the regulatory office.