As global shocks rise, Swiss Re has a shield

It is not often that you look at a company that has just announced losses of nearly US$900 million (S$1.2 billion) for the year past and think that it probably is doing the job it is meant to do. Swiss Re, the giant reinsurance firm, has done just that, sliding from a profit of US$727 million the year before.

The Zurich-based company, with a history that goes back to 1863, is a breed of insurer that provides backup cover for primary insurers, a shock absorber, so to speak, in a world where shocks are increasingly commonplace.

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