Fosun Interview

Peak Re – A Pioneer of a Modernised Reinsurer

Resource:

Franz Josef Hahn, CEO of Peak Re

It is good to maintain dreams at every stage of our careers. I never thought that I would get a chance to fulfil my dream at an advanced stage of my career. Having worked in senior positions with the two oldest and largest reinsurance groups in the world, and leaving them to run a consultancy, what Fosun gave me and my colleagues was the chance to be a Pioneer

Through the work as a consultant, many existing companies from outside Asia had sought guidance on how they should establish a reinsurance business in Asia Pacific. It’s fair to say that without exception they all chose not to follow that advice –almost no one listened - Fosun was an exception. It had to be this agile, entrepreneurial company taking the risk of building up a brand new reinsurance company primarily built for the middle class societies across emerging Asia. 

We took our idea to Fosun in December 2010 and what might have seen a short introductory meeting turned into a three-hour conversation. This was the strong signal that one of the key strands of Fosun’s DNA is that it is a learning organisation. The leadership was willing to listen to a new idea and with an open mind having the courage to back a startup. Not only a startup, but a startup of a business that was new in its approach with a new management approach. The reinsurance companies I worked with before were existing for over hundred years already. As such it was important to understand what it takes today to build a brand new organisation for today and tomorrow. 

Fosun’s focus and the focus of the team that started and built Peak Re are strongly aligned – around the support and development of global family customers especially the modern middle class societies. Middle class societies which are built from Generation X, Y and increasingly the millennials.  This is both in terms of wealth creation and wealth protection and much wealth protection for the middle class come from health protection. We are totally compatible, though very different, with other business in the Fosun family.

After the strong growth of the middle class societies across emerging Asia over the past three decades, insurance protection of the assets, lives, health and liabilities has been falling sharply behind this of comparable societies in South America and Africa. A strong window of opportunity for the growth over the next decades especially for China, India and Indonesia. 

In insurance and reinsurance we are used to atomise or spread the risk portfolio by products and geographically. After a strong start in 2012/13 it was clear that we had to balance the emerging market risks with developed markets reinsurance risk dynamics. Ever since, being a China based internationally operating reinsurer, a real unique and successful business model, has supported strong Gross Written Premium (GWP) with compound annual growth of 80%. Since inception, additional US261.6 million of shareholder funds were generated.

There is much talk of artificial intelligence these days and Fosun and Peak Re are both aligned on developing its use in insurance, healthcare, reinsurance and beyond. But one of the things that has characterised our relationship with Fosun is the human intelligence. 

Modern successful businesses will use their collective intelligence to succeed in manufacturing products and services that better meet the need of their customers – they will succeed in doing this by sharing their knowledge and experience. It is a different take on Fosun’s hive concept from a few years ago. The physical hive cities have an intellectual parallel, built on collaboration. No one has all the answers in themselves, but together we are powerful when aligned. Peak Re embraces C2M strategy and aligns with Fosun’s direction to achieve our common mission in the areas of health, happiness and wealth.

Ultimately, our business is about people. The challenges are population and change but challenge and opportunity are two sides of the same coin.

Working together with Fosun and the Fosun leadership over the last five years have been very rewarding. Fosun now have an insight into our unique customer relationships, and the depth of talent that we have been able to bring together in our small but rapidly growing company. It is also my great honour to be named as a global partner of Fosun. This position gives me a chance to work with different partners from the Fosun’s health and insurance segments.

Without the courage of Fosun, and the confidence and belief in us and our vision, we could not have built this business in the way we have. We have, with Fosun’s support, created a new culture in reinsurance – one that is not only now well recognized in Asia Pacific but also increasingly across the globe.

Entrepreneurship creates the constant wish for the courage to deliver top quality. This coupled with a modern, open and international culture have given Peak Re to build it’s brand recognition on a broad global basis. 

When we started this journey 8 years ago, Passion was a key ingredient in the recipe for success. We see that passion in Fosun too, which is why this has been a fulfilling experience so far. There is still much to do!

 

 

Photo caption: 

Peak Re organized business innovation seminars for business clients in Beijing and Shanghai in April 2018. Franz-Josef Hahn, CEO of Peak Re gave a welcome speech to all guests to kick off the seminar.

Peak Re introduced important product innovations tailor made for the Chinese market to support the upscale demand of the global family customers and also the rapid developments of the Belt and Road.