Inside Korean Re

Korean Re New Year’s Concert 2017

We held our annual event to celebrate the New Year in downtown Seoul on January 5. All the employees and their families were invited to a dinner party and a classical concert. During the party, a group of new employees performed dances to popular K-POP songs, which drew a hearty applause from the audience.
The concert, played by the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, was a work of ingenuity completed by the brilliant performance of Kunwoo Paik under the baton of Antoni Wit. The Polish virtuoso, representing the 100-year-old Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted the concert with strength and delicacy, during which the world-renowned pianist performed five piano works including Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op. 15 and Manuel De Falla’s Orchestral Suites No.1 and No.2 from El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat).

Signing of an MOU with IRB Brasil RE

Korean Re signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with IRB Brasil Re (IRB) to facilitate its expansion into the Latin American markets, which have a huge growth potential.

On February 24, 2017, CEO Jong-Gyu Won met with CEO Tarcisio Godoy and COO José Carlos Cardoso at IRB headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to enter into the arrangement.

Under the MOU, the two parties agreed to closely work together to produce more business in Brazil and Argentina, and to jointly assume reinsurance in the Latin American region in life and property lines in the coming years. In addition, the two companies consented to actively share market information with each other through the mutual exchange of underwriting professionals.   

Korean Re’s 54th anniversary

In celebration of its 54th anniversary, Korean Re held a ceremony at the head office in the presence of all the executives and employees. CEO Won addressed in his celebratory speech the company’s ongoing efforts to expand overseas and some of the impressive achievements made since its foundation on March 19, 1963. He also encouraged employees, saying “As reinsurance professionals that handle risks, we should be ready to overcome any future challenges wisely and bring continued growth to our company.” At the ceremony, select employees received commendations for their long-term service and exemplary contribution to the company.

The 37th Korean Re Corporate Culture and Innovation Workshop

From April 10 to 13, 2017, we held the 37th Korean Re Corporate Culture and Innovation Workshop, a regular event organized to share insights on how to further grow and develop the company.

All the executives and employees took part in one of the three rounds of the workshop where they were divided into small groups to discuss challenges and issues involving the company’s culture and to explore ways to address them and better communicate with each other. Before having discussions, they were given a special lecture on conflict management and communication, and shared their own experiences.

CEO Jong-Gyu Won also attended the workshop and stressed the importance of communication by saying, “For any organization, communication is a conundrum that takes lots of time and effort to solve. There is always a risk that too many cooks can spoil the broth. But I believe that communication can lead us all in the same direction, and when it does, our move will gain so much traction.”

The 36th Korean Re Seminar Held in Seoul

From May 7 to 12, 2017, we hosted the 36th Korean Re Reinsurance Management Seminar (Korean Re Seminar) at the head office in Seoul.

The Korean Re Seminar was launched in 1979 as a platform for information exchange and discussion on key issues in the global insurance industry. Since then, this annual event has been attended by more than 600 professionals from over 250 insurance companies. It is now widely recognized among insurance market participants as one of the most prestigious reinsurance seminars in Asia.

This year, a total of 21 attendees, mostly mid-level officials of 21 insurers around the world, showed great interest in what the seminar had to offer. Among the countries represented were Spain, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Uzbekistan.

At the opening ceremony, CEO Jong-Gyu Won said, “Korean Re has made continuous efforts to provide a platform where insurance experts from around the world can build friendships and strengthen ties. We hope that this 36-year-old seminar will serve the purpose and encourage participants to have a wide range of discussions on issues at hand in the reinsurance sector.”

During the seminar, Korean Re employees gave presentations on the company’s underwriting techniques and major developments in the Korean insurance market, as well as an analysis of large-loss events. Also, field trips to local industrial sites helped participants gain a better understanding of underwriting practices that Korean Re had shared at the seminar. Other programs included lectures and discussions on special topics such as alternative risk transfer (Cat Bond) and earthquake insurance.

Opening of Labuan Branch

Korean Re opened its Labuan branch office on July 1, 2017 following final approval from the Labuan Financial Services Authority on June 28. The branch in Labuan will allow Korean Re to effectively tap into the Malaysian market, which has a large growth potential with considerably low natural catastrophe risks in comparison to other countries in Southeast Asia. The Labuan branch is to be operated through the staff and resources of our Singapore branch.

Since we set up our first overseas branch in Singapore in 1975, we have established a presence in nine major cities around the world, including London, New York, Dubai and Hong Kong. This international network has played an important role in helping us expand into overseas markets, and it will be further broadened as we seek to increase our global operations.

Green Office Initiative

We expanded the initiative to green our office with plants in July 2017 as our trial experiment for some parts of the office went well last year. Adding a touch of green to our workplaces generated positive responses from our employees. Indeed, many studies have shown that having more greenery in a workspace in the form of indoor plants can benefit employees and their organization in terms of productivity, creativity and stress relief. We placed various plants on the top of office partition walls, and the presence of green plants resulted in a positive change in the psychosocial working environment. Another benefit of being around green plants such as schefflera and snake plants is improved air quality as they create oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide as well as help regulate humidity. 

The green office project is a part of the company’s effort to improve our workplace conditions and working environment. We are exploring a number of other ideas to make our office a better place to work in so that our employees become more productive and creative in performing their day-to-day duties. We will remain committed to improving our office environment in ways that can have positive impacts on the health, wellness and productivity of our employees.

Cyber Risk Seminar 2017

Korean Re organized the Cyber Risk Seminar 2017 on September 6 at the head office in Seoul. The seminar was held to promote the development of the domestic cyber risk insurance market amid growing frequency and severity of cyber incidents, including data breaches. A number of insurance industry officials such as underwriters and claims adjusters attended the seminar where four speakers made presentations on cyber risks and related issues.

An official from Beazley spoke about the cyber insurance market in Europe and relevant legislative developments in the region and shared information on how to reduce cyber risks. A Korean Re speaker gave a presentation on the overview of cyber risks and the status of the cyber risk insurance market. He also addressed what Korean Re has been doing to develop comprehensive cyber insurance covers to help local businesses and organizations deal with their cyber risks involving first and third party damage.

Approval for New Branch in Dubai

Korean Re received final approval for a new branch in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) on October 8 2017. Our third branch office, following the Singapore and Labuan branches, is to officially start operation in January 2018. Located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), our DIFC branch in Dubai will serve as Korean Re’s underwriting base in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region that has plenty of growth potential with regard to insurance penetration and economic development. Korean Re has built solid business relations with many insurers and reinsurers in the MENA region, and will continue to develop and strengthen business with them. In the meantime, we will strive to explore new markets and business opportunities in the region based on the analysis of local needs and opportunities.