DACH exodus of NZIA continues
Swiss Re becomes fourth member of net zero group to call it quits following other German and Swiss companies throughout the past few months.
Andrew Putwainposted on Tuesday, May 23, 2023
The Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) has lost a fourth member from its original tally of approximately thirty re/insurers after European giant Swiss Re became the latest to walk away from the group.
Swiss Re’s departure was confirmed by a statement to Reuters. The statement, like the others, offered no concrete reasons or evidence for its departure from the group, and the company refused to offer further comment.
Swiss Re earlier this month reported a Q1 2023 income of $643 million and highlighted its investment returns.
The other departures – Zurich Insurance, Munich Re in March, and Hannover Re in April – are all from Germany and Switzerland-based companies (which, along with Austria, are known as the DACH countries), which could hold answers to their departures.
Zurich listed a wish for more independence in fighting for its net zero causes and possible frustrations at a slow pace of change.
Munich Re, however, listed possible risks of antitrust breaches due to the group’s market share as a part reason for its departure.
"Zurich listed a wish for more independence in fighting for its net zero causes and possible frustrations at a slow pace of change."
The decisions to leave came around the same time as Germany’s financial regulator, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) published its views on collaborative engagement around ESG measures in March, which could have also swayed matters.
The paper said that acting in concert for heightened ESG impact was effective but “could have unintended consequences”. It gives several examples of where ‘working in concert’ could be a cause for concern.
This could possibly have spooked Munich Re and Hannover Re to stay clear of any breaches, and whilst Zurich and Swiss Re are both under Swiss law, they could be watching their neighbours closely.
In a report from Bloomberg Law, one of the last remaining German insurance giants, Allianz SE, said it was monitoring the situation, which had also predicted that Swiss Re could also make movements.
"The founding members of NIZA were AXA, Allianz, Aviva, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group."
SCOR, the major French insurer, was also listed as a possibility of looking at its membership of NZIA, which hinted at an EU-wide issue. Though the Swiss are not in the EU many of their laws are designed as equivalents.
The founding members of NIZA were AXA, Allianz, Aviva, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group.
Earlier this year, the NZIA also launched its first Target-Setting Protocol at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, which was widely publicised by several members, which could have eased pressures to stay in the group now that its job is seen as more established.