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Risk and risk aversion: Insurance, reinsurance, and FDI - CEGBI Guest Lecture

Picture of Niels Viggo Haueter

Monday 6 November 2017, 4.30PM to 5.30pm

Speaker(s): Niels Viggo Haueter, Head of Swiss Re's Corporate History Unit


Over the last decade, public interest in risk has surged. Environmental and financial risks may cause the most heated debates. Yet, business relies on risk taking. The insurance business possibly more than any other. But, to what extent? The industry has to show a healthy appetite for underwriting risks but needs to balance liabilities with otherwise prudent strategies. Business growth, however, required at times risky strategies. Companies often found themselves in high-risk environments for a variety of reasons. This lecture looks at what compelled insurance, and reinsurance in particular, to establish a presence in foreign countries despite obvious risks. It looks into how the industry dealt with challenges from regulatory changes, foreign exchange fluctuations, capital transfer restrictions, and cultural differences.


Niels Viggo Haueter is Head of Swiss Re's Corporate History unit. He serves as Deputy Chairman of the Academic Council of the European Association for Banking and Financial History in Frankfurt and was a guest lecturer at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. With Peter Borscheid, he co-edited World Insurance. The Evolution of a Global Risk Network, published by OUP in 2012. Together with Geoffrey Jones, he edited Managing Risk in Reinsurance: From City Fires to Global Warming, published by OUP in 2017.