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Byline: Marc Jones.
1. MUNICH RE
"I am more than satisfied with the result of this mixed year. We are well on the way to achieving sustained profitability and thus regaining our former strength."
Dr Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management, Munich Re
MUNICH RE GROUP
Address: Konigstrasse 107, 80802 Munich, Germany
Tel: +49 89 38 91-0 Fax: +49 89 39 90 56 Web: www.munichre.com
Key figure: Dr Nikolas von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management
Est: 19th of April, 1880
S&P rating: A+ (strong)
Subsidiaries include: American Re; New Re; Munich Re Canada
Munich Re is the largest reinsurance company in the world. It was founded in 1880 by Carl Thieme, previously a primary insurer.
Starting off with just five people, the company rapidly grew, negotiating 33 reinsurance treaty agreements in its first year. By 1885, it had become the largest reinsurance company in the world, a position it continues to occupy. Mr Thieme also set up Allianz in 1889, which had become Germany's largest property and casualty carrier by 1914.
Munich Re set up its first overseas office in Paris in 1886, before creating other branch offices in St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm and London by 1890. It shared a significant amount of the loss incurred by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, since which it has been studying natural catastrophes in some depth.
Around 54% of the company's premium income now comes from reinsurance, with the remainder coming from primary insurance. Its investments total EUR178bn.
In 2005, as the company celebrated its 125th anniversary, it posted a EUR2.4bn group net profit for 2004, having recovered from a …