Meet Stefan Beine, President, Zurich Reinsurance
Please tell us about your career journey and your path to Sompo International.
After my studies in Meteorology, I had a choice between working in satellite development/research or in the field of natural hazard analytics in Reinsurance. I am glad that I made the right choice here, because I’ve had the chance to learn about many interesting topics, meet very interesting people and explore many countries – an incredibly valuable experience. Throughout my career, I’ve worked for reinsurers, brokers and consultants, progressing from analytics into underwriting. Today, I look after the execution of the underwriting strategy and business development in Europe and have operational responsibility in Zurich.
Tell us about an initiative at Sompo International that you are most excited for in 2022.
I have always found the many and complex interactions between humans and their living environment fascinating. At University, I specialised in Climatology because it was already visible in the 80s that climate change was developing into a global and existential thematic complex. Predicted effects of climate change on temperatures, ice cover of the planet, sea levels and extreme events, etc., have already become reality in various forms, which the insurance industry — along with society — has to deal with.
Sompo International created the Sustainability/ESG Committee in Autumn 2021, on which I represent our Reinsurance business. ESG describes a variety of different topics: it means taking responsibility in the Environmental (e.g. natural resources, pollution and climate change), Social (e.g. working conditions, health and safety, human rights) and Governmental (e.g. sustainable planning, transparency, compliance with board-level accountability) sectors.
In practice, this means that as part of the financial industry, we share responsibility to mitigate climate change. Sompo Holdings, our parent company, has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% in 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050, including the investment portfolio. At the same time, we have committed to promote renewable energy with tangible targets.
But ESG is much more than climate or environmental matters: we invest in building an inclusive and diverse work environment and promote societal topics like nursing care, mobility, disaster prevention and sustainable agriculture. This transformation will accompany us for a long time, and it is exciting to be part of a group that will structure it and find ways to positively benefit from the opportunities it creates.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
Sompo International has a strong brand with an excellent balance sheet, security and rating, and is a known, mature market participant with a successful track record. We have a clear and broad risk appetite, commitment to the product and the ability to provide meaningful consistent capacity. It is very attractive to be part of a recognised lead market in many countries, being highly valued by clients and brokers.
As mentioned above, Sompo International takes its social responsibility very seriously and has committed to “contribute to a greener society where the economy, society and environment are in harmony”. This means not just to passively respond to regulatory actions but to proactively tackle ESG risks to lead a new market design. For this, we welcome creative thinking and talent to help leading our company into a new era.
What is your idea of a perfect day outside of the office?
For me, a perfect day definitely includes nature. Switzerland is a great place for that. Spending time with my family and friends, healthy food and good wine, sports, travel, photography, music – all that would make a perfect day for me.