Ageas Re excited by response to reinsurance offering in 1st year

When Ageas announced plans to open its reinsurance activity to third parties, outside its Group perimeter, it could not have imagined the kind of response it would receive from the market in its inaugural year of operation.  As a key engine for future growth Ageas Re remains set on becoming a full-service reinsurer in the long term with a presence across all the main lines of business and geographies. With an initial focus on Property the company is now looking to further diversify by balancing out the portfolio with opportunities in the Casualty space, as a start, mainly in motor third party liability reinsurance. The expansion will be gradual by both business and geography.  

As both a buyer and seller of reinsurance, 2023 represented for Ageas Re both challenges and opportunities.  As a buyer of Reinsurance, the annual renewal process was of course a challenging one, reflecting hard market conditions. But as a seller, and thanks to our ability to quickly assemble a small team to handle the renewals, the story was a different one. The market was experiencing quite some dislocation at the start of the year and therefore it was a market craving new capacity.  Backed by the credibility of a well-respected insurance group with strong balance sheet and ratings, Ageas Re was welcomed as a highly credible new trading partner by both brokers and clients.  

So, the timing was right. The opportunity was there. And we were open for business. From our target portfolio for 2023 almost all programmes have been completed with the maximum allocation we had hoped to achieve at the outset.   

2023 was a year of building strong foundations  

The decision to launch Ageas Re in the open market came on the back of 9 successful years of reinsurance internally.  But while no stranger to reinsurance, the transition to a seller of reinsurance on the open market required new people, new processes, and a whole new infrastructure including a new office in Zurich.  However, in some ways putting in place these fundamentals also forces you to think with a “start-up” mentality – which when designing from the ground up can also be a huge advantage.  But while in this case some aspects of the build are akin to a startup, the reality is that Ageas is a large corporate committing fully to the reinsurance space with a fundamental belief in its value and potential.  

Ageas Re has a strong employer brand and attracts top talent 

2023 has been about putting that team and process in place.  With many reinsurers choosing to exit or reduce exposure to the market in recent times, Ageas has been able to access and recruit world class talent from well reputed global reinsurers and an entire team from a local Belgium reinsurer.  Amassing such a talented team in record time has allowed the business to significantly exceed initial expectations.  Today the team is around 32 people representing key front and middle office functions and supported fully in all other functions by the Ageas Group.  

As one of the 4 growth engines of Ageas, Ageas Re is also making progress against the Impact24 strategy not just by selling third party reinsurance but also by unlocking the value of the core including initiatives like centralising the reinsurance purchase of all property lines across the different entities to provide significantly better coverage to the Group overall. We also set out an ambition to increase our interaction with Taiping Re, and today we are one of their largest reinsurance partners.   

While there has been strong growth in the property side of the portfolio, longer term Ageas Re is seeking a better balance between Property and Casualty and this will start to gain momentum in 2024. Thanks to the talent and experience we have attracted over the past year, we are keen to harvest our expertise in Latin America by leveraging that talent and putting in place local licences and infrastructure that allow us to engage with brokers and clients.  Just 12 months ago Ageas Re set out a robust plan of action.  12 months on, the results speak for themselves.  

I am extremely proud of the achievements of a great team, and the breath-taking success they have had in such a short timeframe in establishing Ageas Re as a trusted long-term partner for brokers and clients around the world

Joachim Racz, CEO Ageas Re