Realignment of the Group structure
The second half of the 1990s is characterised by far-reaching entrepreneurial decisions. These included the acquisition of American Re in 1996, and also the founding of the ERGO Insurance Group in 1997 and of MEAG MUNICH ERGO AssetManagement GmbH, MEAG for short, in 1999. Munich Re now provides both insurance and reinsurance under one roof.
1996 – Acquisition of American Re
Munich Re acquires American Re for a total purchase price of around US$ 3.3billion. This represents a major step towards the target US market.
1996 – Acquisition of DKV
Munich Re acquires DKV Deutsche Krankenversicherung AG of Cologne, thereby considerably strengthening its personal lines business in the health insurance sector.
1996 – Munich Re listed in the DAX 30
In 1996, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange lists the company’s registered stock in the DAX 30 – the index of the 30 largest and highest-turnover companies in Germany.
D.A.S., Hamburg-Mannheimer, DKV and Victoria merge to form the ERGO Insurance Group.
Munich Re strengthens the staff and structure of its branch in Hong Kong. Representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai complement the Group’s presence in the Chinese market.
1999 – Creation of MEAG
In April, MEAG was founded as the asset management company of Munich Re and ERGO with the aim of strengthening the return on investments and bolstering the Group’s financial strength.
1999 – ERGO in Asia for the first time
DKV is the first foreign private health insurance company to open a representative office in China. Opening this representative office in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in Guangdong Province is a necessary step towards obtaining the licence that DKV wants in order to start transacting health insurance business.
1999 – New offices in Chile and Poland
A new business unit is set up in Chile to coordinate Munich Re’s life reinsurance business in South America. A branch is opened in Warsaw, recognising the considerable growth potential in the Polish insurance market.
1999 – High losses due to natural disasters
The two winter storms that rage across France in December alone cost Munich Re about half a billion euros. In addition, Munich Re has to cope with the cost of a hailstorm in Sydney, Typhoon Bart in Japan and severe earthquakes in Turkey, Greece, and Taiwan. The losses for 1999 subsequently stand at €1.1billion.
2000 – ERGO expands internationally
ERGO acquires several subsidiaries in other European countries, including the Gruppo Bayerische (later renamed ERGO Italia) and Alte Leipziger Europa, together with companies in Poland and the Baltic states. These henceforth operate likewise under the ERGO or ERGO Hestia (Poland) name.
2001 – New type of earthquake cover for the World Cup in Japan
AXA Colonia and Munich Re develop a new type of capital market solution for covering the earthquake risk during the 2002 World Cup in Japan.
2001 – 9/11
At 8.45 a.m. on 11 September, terrorists crash a Boeing 767 airliner with 92 passengers on board into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At 9.03 a.m. another hijacked plane smashes into the South Tower. Around 3,000 people are killed, and 150,000 lose their workplace. The insured loss is initially estimated at about US$ 12 billion. One year later, this figure is upped to US$ 40–60 billion. With a cost to the company of around US$ 2.2 billion, 9/11 is by far the biggest loss in the company’s history.
2002 – Flooding in Europe
In August, the worst flooding in Europe for centuries, probably even since the “thousand-year flood” of August 1342, occurs on the rivers Danube, Elbe, Vltava and their tributaries. Europe-wide, the floods cause economic damage of around €18.5 billion, of which around €3 billion is insured.
2002 – ERGO acquires KarstadtQuelle Versicherungen
The ERGO Insurance Group acquires the direct insurer KarstadtQuelle Versicherungen, thereby strengthening its direct-selling business.
2003 – Reinsurance licence granted in China
Munich Re becomes the first international reinsurer to receive a licence to write business throughout China in all classes of reinsurance.
2004 – Nikolaus von Bomhard becomes new Chairman of Board of Management
A full member of the Board since 2000, Nikolaus von Bomhard becomes CEO with effect from 1 January 2004. The former Chairman of the Board of Management, Hans-Jürgen Schinzler – in office since 1993 – joins the Supervisory Board.
2004 – India, a growth market
Munich Re establishes Munich Re India Services Ltd. in Mumbai. The company mainly looks after life insurers.
19 April 2005 – 125 years in the risk business
Munich Re celebrates its 125th anniversary and establishes the Munich Re Foundation with its motto “From Knowledge to Action”. The Foundation helps to support people in risk situations and improve their living conditions, primarily in developing countries.
2005 – Hurricane Katrina
With wind speeds of up to 280 km/h and gusts reaching 350 km/h, Katrina sweeps over the Gulf of Mexico at the end of August. Parts of New Orleans are under more than seven metres of water. Hundreds of thousands of people flee, more than a thousand die. Estimates in November 2006 put the overall economic loss at US$ 125 billion and the insured loss at US$ 60 billion. Hurricane Katrina thus becomes the most expensive insurance event of all time. The cost for Munich Re is an estimated US$ 1.6 billion.
2006 – Licence for retakaful business
On 19 September, Munich Re becomes the first foreign reinsurer to be granted a licence for life and non-life retakaful business by the Malaysian supervisory authority, Bank Negara of Malaysia. Retakaful, the name given to the Islamic form of reinsurance, is based on the principles of Islamic law (Shari’ah).
2006 – Further international expansion for ERGO
ERGO’s expansion includes the acquisition of a majority holding in the Turkish insurer, Isviçre. D.A.S. establishes a subsidiary in Estonia, thereby continuing the success story of its many international ventures in a total of 23 markets.
2007 – ERGO: DKV takes over healthcare in Denia, Spain
DKV Seguros assumes responsibility for all public healthcare services in the Denia region in Spain with effect from 2007.
2007 – Acquisition of the US primary insurer The Midland Company (Midland)
As part of its realignment in the US insurance market, Munich Re buys the US primary insurance company Midland. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, American Modern Insurance Group, Midland’s operations focus on specialty insurance, which includes niche segments such as insurance for prefabricated houses and motor homes.
2008 – Munich Re opens subsidiary in Brazil
Ten years after the representative office was inaugurated in São Paulo, Munich Re takes advantage of the opening-up of the Brazilian reinsurance market to establish a subsidiary in the spring of 2008. Brazil is by far the largest insurance market in Latin America.
2008 – Munich Re takes an active part in key climate initiatives
Munich Re is one of the first companies to sign up to the Climate Principles, the initiative called into being by the UN Climate Group. The aim of the initiative is to emphasise the important role that financial service providers play in the transition to a low-carbon energy industry. As part of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), Munich Re promotes innovative insurance approaches in collaboration with other organisations and initiatives, e.g. with the United Nations, international financial institutions, international charity organisations and partners from the private sector.