On March 28, 2019, the Risk Management and Insurance Society (RMIS) hosted two WSOB alumni from Swiss Re, which is one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies. Karsten Rimestad (class of ’14) and Amanda Chiang (class of ‘17) are both underwriters there.
Karsten and Amanda spoke with students about reinsurance distribution, which is a fascinating topic that expands upon material that students learn in upper-level Risk Management and Insurance courses. They started with a general overview of reinsurance and its function within the industry. For example, we learned that reinsurance helps smooth out volatility for the primary insurers as well as help them meet capital requirements. As a result, primary insurers can write more businesses and make more efficient use of their capital. Karsten and Amanda also touched on the different types of reinsurance and their properties.
For me, the most intriguing discussion was Karsten and Amanda’s explanation of the various channels for distribution. They described two primary channels, one in which the reinsurance company goes directly to the primary insurer, and another that involves a broker as an intermediary between the two parties. This was surprising to me because I didn’t realize that brokers would be involved in this type of transaction.
After the event, Karsten and Amanda stayed around for “office hours” during which students asked questions such as life after graduation, preparing for a first job, what to expect, how to stand out on the job, and more. This was the first time that RMIS speakers have offered this type of opportunity and I think it was extremely valuable for students!