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Swiss Re Obtains $400 Million in Natural Catastrophe Protection

Posted on 07 May 2012

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Swiss Re Ltd. secures USD 400 million in natural catastrophe coverage through a newly-formed issuer Mythen Ltd., a flexible programme that allows Swiss Re to cede wind risks in both the United States and Europe to the capital markets. The new programme is the latest in a series of catastrophe bonds that Swiss Re has issued since 1997 and a demonstration of Swiss Re's commitment to transferring natural catastrophe risk to capital markets.

Mythen Ltd. is an addition to Swiss Re's existing catastrophe bond programmes which will enable the company to issue multiple bonds over an extended time-frame in a flexible, transparent and efficient way.

Martin Bisping, Head Non-life Risk Transformation at Swiss Re, says: "The transformation of re/insurance risks into an investor-friendly asset class continues to be a cornerstone of our hedging strategy for peak natural catastrophe risks. In order to grant us full flexibility to pursue this approach in the future, and to provide investors with bonds that have innovative and diversifying features, we have created the new Mythen programme as a follow-on to our long-standing Successor programme."

The Mythen programme, named after the location of Swiss Re's Zurich headquarters on Mythenquai, will replace the Successor X programme, through which the company received USD 2.4 billion in protection against natural catastrophe events between 2006 and 2012.

Swiss Re sponsored three tranches of notes in the first transaction through the Cayman Islands-registered vehicle Mythen Ltd, obtaining a total of USD 400 million in protection over three years against US hurricanes and European windstorm. Mythen's innovative structure covers first and second event multi-peril losses.

Matthias Weber, Swiss Re's Group Chief Underwriting Officer, says:  "Last year was the second most active year ever in terms of insured natural catastrophe losses. This highlights the need for re/insurers to effectively manage their peak exposures and ensure capacity is available. With almost 15 years of expertise in the field of insurance-linked securities, Swiss Re continues to pioneer new catastrophe bond solutions, both for its own book and for clients."