February 23, 2018 / 10:41 AM / a year ago

Swiss Re CEO says sees upside to having big anchor shareholder

Chief Executive Christian Mumenthaler of the world's second largest reinsurer Swiss Re addresses a news conference to present the company's full year results, in Zurich, Switzerland, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Moritz Hager

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss Re’s (SRENH.S) Chief Executive Christian Mumenthaler said he favoured the idea of an anchor shareholder as the world’s second biggest reinsurer considers a potential large minority investment from Japan’s SoftBank (9984.T).

While saying SoftBank’s approach is in its preliminary stages, Mumenthaler told journalists he supported the concept of a large shareholder in the insurance industry because both could share long-term perspectives.

“It is not a bad thing to have an anchor shareholder,” Mumenthaler said. “Our business is more challenging than others in that you have .. phases with high volatility which do not always fit quarterly reporting.

“Having a strong anchor shareholder is always something attractive,” he said.

Swiss Re reported better-than-expected 2017 net income on Friday despite huge claims during 2017 and ruled out a capital increase to make it easier for SoftBank to buy a stake.

Reporting by John Revill

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