Swiss Re: SICS at the Heart of Global Business
- Swiss Re's IT staff was supporting multiple reinsurance systems.
- Managing risk, as well as complying with ever-increasing financial regulations, was costly and time-consuming.
- Provided CSC's business process services for both back-office resources and technology.
- Integrated multiple reinsurance systems under the single, unified SICS platform.
- Completed more than 30 acquisitions of U.S. life insurance blocks.
- Built a virtual company with 30 employees managing more than 3 million policies.
- Gained competitive advantage with lower operational costs and ability to manage business in a consistent fashion around the world.
Like most global corporations, Swiss Re has grown through acquisition as well as targeted geographic expansion.
Consequently, the company’s IT Division was left supporting multiple reinsurance systems in various regions around the world. This environment created numerous challenges to integrate accounting and claims information.
And for a company like Swiss Re, reliable data is crucial to understanding risks. Since the mid-1990s, Swiss Re has used CSC’s SICS software for its property and casualty reinsurance business to manage a wide range of risks - from relatively simple homeowners claims to highly complex commercial liability lawsuits.
SICS is the world’s leading reinsurance administration system, used by nearly half of all global reinsurers. Swiss Re ultimately decided to use SICS to consolidate systems and implement a single global software platform for its property and casualty reinsurance business. The company worked with CSC to introduce a modern Web services architecture to the product in 2005.
“It definitely helped to start with a strong and mature core CSC application,” Schmid believes.
Comprehensive Solution Reduces Costs, Improves Productivity
Once the platform was successfully tested, CSC helped migrate all P&C reinsurance business units on a worldwide basis, a task described by management as “one of the most ambitious Swiss Re has ever undertaken.”
The end results are worth it, however.
Shared processes are cutting back-office administration costs and improving productivity. When looking at new P&C reinsurance business, underwriters, business planners and risk managers can assess profitability by considering issues encountered in managing similar business in the past. Claims and client managers can operate more efficiently.
The company also uses SICS for its Zurich based life and health business, which will be one of the next areas under review for systems consolidation.
“SICS is part of our broader architecture, but it’s at the heart of the P&C administrative process, technical accounting and claims, and it provides us with a rock-solid platform,” says Schmid.
SICS' Single Administration Platform Drives Competitive Advantage
In 2006, the company bought the entire commercial insurance operations of GE, including its reinsurance subsidiary, Employers Re, to make further inroads into the U.S. market.
What followed was a massive effort. The transition from the GE acquisition alone involved the conversion of 1.5 million contracts, 2.4 million claims and 144 million booking records to the new system.
CSC’s development team now provides ongoing support for customising the software to meet the company’s unique needs.
According to Schmid, CSC was a major contributor to the “very successful” and highly ambitious platform development project.
“We clearly see competitive advantage now resulting from this effort in terms of lower operational costs and also in our ability to ensure that business is managed in a consistent fashion around the world,” Schmid says.