Media Release - 09.05.2018

Significant growth for elipsLife in 2017

Media Release - 09.05.2018

Substantial premium growth, major investments

At international life insurance company elipsLife, 2017 was a year marked by expansion and investments. In spite of the challenging environment, the year under review saw a significant 19% rise in premiums from CHF 786.2 million to CHF 937.9 million. However, major investments in new markets and several large claims in the Swiss accident business resulted in a lower year-on-year profit of CHF 0.4 million. As a result of elipsLife’s shift in focus to a regional organisational form, three members were added to the Executive Board.

2017 saw continued strong growth in elipsLife’s established core markets of Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands. There were also some initial successes in its new markets of Italy and Germany. Overall, the elipsLife Group increased its premium volume by 19%, from CHF 786.2 million to CHF 937.9 million. The premium volume in its core business rose from CHF 243.6 million to CHF 318.0 million, an increase of about 30%. In a very difficult market environment, elipsLife not only maintained its market share of around 25% in Ireland, where it acts as underwriter for the health insurance company Laya, it actually expanded it slightly and posted a premium volume of CHF 619.9 million (prior year: CHF 542.6 million).

The very good premium growth was offset by major investments in new markets and several large claims in the Swiss accident business. These two factors, along with an increase in reserves, resulted in a profit of CHF 0.4 million that was somewhat lower compared with the prior year (2016: CHF 1.2 million).

As it continues to tap new markets, elipsLife is still clearly in an investment phase. However, the cost ratio in its core business only rose by 0.7 percentage points to 16.6%. For elipsLife Group CEO Reto Toscan, the fact that this increase was so small despite the significant costs for the market expansion in Germany and Italy and further major investments in business process digitalisation is a sign of strength: “elipsLife is now sufficiently robust and capable of funding major investments itself – including investments in new markets – and it ended the year on a positive note.”

elipsLife will continue to concentrate on growth this year, but with a greater focus on profitability. This will be done by expanding business in Europe, entering the market in the USA and making additional investments in the product area. elipsLife plans to secure a substantial market share of the global risk pool of group risk insurance, which is worth about USD 135 billion. To this end, the company is expanding in a targeted manner around the world. In 2018, it will expand into the USA. The elipsLife success model will be carried over to its expansion into the USA: tapping the largest risk market in the world will be carried out via a company that, like elipsLife, is part of Swiss Re’s Life Capital business unit. This company will operate in the USA under the “elipsLife” brand as an independent legal carrier, i.e. at its own risk and for its own account. In addition to utilising elipsLife’s specialist knowledge, it will also use the company’s systems. In this way, elipsLife, as an insurer in the group life business, provides Swiss Re with access to this lucrative risk pool. For this same reason, elipsLife has become a strategic pillar of Swiss Re Life Capital.

Strengthening the Executive Board, changes to the Board of Directors

As part of the new country organisation, three new members were appointed to the Executive Board. George Harbut, Head of Strategy & Business Development, joined the Executive Board as of 1 October 2017. He has 23 years of experience in the reinsurance business and most recently worked for Swiss Re Life Capital as Head of Corporate Development. Eric Herbelin, CEO US, joined the Executive Board as of 1 February 2018*. He has 28 years of experience in the insurance industry and most recently served as the Head of Business Development & Acquisitions at elipsLife. Christoph Gaus will become CEO Europe and a member of the Executive Board as of 1 June 2018*. He has 24 years of experience in the insurance business and most recently worked as Head of Retail Market Management at Zurich Insurance Company, where he also served as a member of the Executive Board.

At the General Meeting of Shareholders on 24 April 2018, Philip Long stepped down from the elipsLife Board of Directors. He left to assume his new function as Chief Actuary of the Swiss Re Group.

* Subject to approval by the FMA.

elipsLife Media Office
Telephone: +41 44 215 45 36

Annual report 2017

Note for the editorial offices:
elipsLife is an international life insurance company headquartered in Triesen/Liechtenstein with branch offices in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Ireland. The company focuses on group life business for corporate clients and reinsurance solutions for pension funds. With the daily sickness benefit and accident insurance segments, elipsLife offers its corporate clients total solutions from a single provider. elipsLife is a subsidiary of Swiss Re.

Important information
This document contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and reflect opinions on the developments targeted by the company as well as interpretations of the general state of the economy and the development of the markets. Such statements should be approached with the necessary care, as they depend on a number of fast-changing factors and therefore harbour uncertainty. Actual results can deviate substantially from these forward-looking statements. elipsLife is not obliged to update forward-looking statements in order to take account of changed circumstances. This document does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. It does not serve as the basis for any agreement and may not be used in any such context.