Credit Suisse, one of the industry’s two largest ILS fund managers, has launched a Bermudian reinsurer Bernina Re which will act as a transformer vehicle for many of its ILS transactions.
A class 3A reinsurance company, Bernina Re is led by Michael McKnight, a former Third Point Re executive.
According to Credit Suisse, Bernina Re already manages over $2bn in trading volume.
Niklaus Hilti, the CEO of Credit Suisse’s ILS business (CL ILS), explained the move will allow the firm to more efficiently underwrite reinsurance contracts in Solvency II compliant jurisdictions.
In a statement, Hilti explained: “We have chosen to establish Bernina Re in Bermuda at this time for numerous reasons including the fact that it is a highly respected jurisdiction and enjoys Solvency II equivalence with Switzerland and other European countries”.
CS ILS is thought to be second only to Nephila as the industry’s largest ILS fund manager with around $9bn of assets under management. In its statement today, the firm said it has developed a “broad market access platform, with ILS positions being held within the cat bond market and in the traditional reinsurance market using a combination of collateralised reinsurance, rated reinsurers and a Lloyd’s syndicate.”
Prior to Third Point Re where he was chief risk officer, McKnight occupied senior roles at Max Capital Group and Gerling Global International Reinsurance Company.