From left, from RGA Middle East: Ashraf Al Azzouni, Managing Director; Karunanidhi Muthuswamy, Chief Actuary; Amr Afifi, Director, Business Development.
The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) segment operates from RGA offices in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Primary services include individual and group life reinsurance, credit life and living benefits products, longevity reinsurance, and capital solutions.
In 2017, the division reported a 7% increase in assumed new business over the previous year, reflecting solid momentum across all lines. Pre-tax income of $194 million, a 15% increase over 2016, benefitted from strong earnings by traditional reinsurance throughout EMEA and transactional business in the U.K.
Continental Europe’s traditional business maintained its steady growth trajectory, highlighted by a strong year for Italy’s credit life mortgage business. In the U.K., RGA solidified its market leadership position, once again reinsuring approximately half of all new retail mortality business.
Local teams in multiple European markets pursued future growth opportunities through technology-driven innovation, including an electronic health records tool in the U.K, a predictive modeling initiative in Spain, and a digitally underwritten long-term disability product in Germany.
In the Middle East, a strategic focus on specific markets, client segments, and products – credit life in Saudi Arabia, long-term individual life in Egypt, and individual life and health in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – generated very positive results. RGA enjoyed a high-growth year in the region, with premiums increasing 52% over 2016.
RGA South Africa produced a strong 2017 as well, with revenue growth in local currency of 14% over 2016. For the eighth consecutive year,ceding companies in South Africa ranked RGA #1 on NMG Consulting’s Business Capability Index.
RGA’s Global Financial Solutions (GFS) teams in Continental Europe worked closely with clients in overcoming regulatory hurdles and remained selective in pursuing transactions in line with RGA’s disciplined risk profile. As Solvency II continues to settle into the market, deep market knowledge and execution expertise position RGA to capitalize on future opportunities.
In the U.K., the GFS team developed innovative approaches to deliver cost-effective solutions for clients within an increasingly competitive market environment. A novel flow structure, for example, allowed clients to transact with RGA on pre-established terms for smaller pieces of longevity business. The team also executed of a number of larger longevity and asset-intensive transactions, producing a solid year in line with expectations.
EMEA Operations Net Premiums
(in millions USD)
EMEA Operations ended 2017 with $739 billion of life reinsurance in force.
Total revenues increased 9% over 2016 to reach $1.7 billion.
RGA was ranked #1 on NMG Consulting’s 2017 All Respondent BCI for the EMEA region in aggregate for the fifth consecutive year, and in the Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, Middle East, and South Africa markets.
Executive Vice President,
Head of EMEA
To what do you attribute the strong growth for RGA Middle East in 2017?
Our Middle East operations have grown steadily since opening in 2011; however, 2017 was phenomenal. In a market flooded with top-line opportunities, RGA remained focused on adding value for our clients and driving bottom-line growth. As in all of EMEA, our key differentiators in the Middle East include having a strong local presence, a trusted brand, and experienced associates with deep knowledge of the local markets. Focusing on certain opportunities in specific markets and partnering with larger clients – as well as governmental and financial entities – has proven very successful. As a result, we are optimistic about continued growth in the region in the years ahead.
How is RGA pursuing innovation in EMEA?
The term “innovation” too often sounds like “something extra” to insurers. But really it is their future business, which simply must adapt to compete. RGA is working with clients and partners to build on existing successes, explore new possibilities, and bring novel solutions to market. In 2017, for example, we hosted Technovate labs in Italy and Portugal to showcase promising insurtech startups. Meanwhile in Germany, we partnered with such a startup, Getsurance, to launch a digital long-term disability product featuring fully digital algorithmic underwriting and a robo-advisor to manage the customer journey. Our strategy: lead the inevitable evolution of the industry.
How is RGA positioning itself for growth in the region?
In 2017, we optimized our leadership team in EMEA to advance positive change among the evolving business environments in our key markets. The goal is to enhance RGA’s trademark ability to work closely with clients locally while leveraging our extensive regional and global resources and expertise. RGA has grown to become an established leader throughout EMEA for risk and capital solutions. We are native players, we are innovators, and we are here to stay. In fact, RGA celebrated our 10-year anniversaries in Italy and France in 2017. In the decades ahead, we will build on our strong foundation and seize new opportunities as markets evolve and new client needs arise.