Message from the CEO

We achieved a strong year-on-year growth of 16.4% in gross written premiums, with net written premiums growing by 21.1% in 2022.

In 2022, Korean Re made important strides forward, delivering steady growth and stable profit. We achieved a strong year-on-year growth of 16.4% in gross written premiums, which totaled KRW 9,878.6 billion, with net written premiums growing by 21.1% to KRW 7,337.6 billion. This robust top-line performance was driven by our new coinsurance business and a sharp recovery in premium growth for our overseas business. We also reported a bottom-line increase of 2.9%, with after-tax net income amounting to KRW 157.9 billion. At the end of 2022, our total assets increased by 14.2% year on year to KRW 14,978.1 billion, while there was an 18.8% rise in invested assets, which totaled KRW 8,534.7 billion.

Our business growth has been supported by continued efforts to explore new markets. Global business expansion has been an important pillar of our business strategies to drive growth. Currently, Korean Re has 12 overseas operations across the world – four subsidiaries, four branches and four liaison offices. Half of them were established over the last six years, meaning that our global expansion initiative has notably accelerated in recent years. Since 2020, we have successfully set up a subsidiary in New Jersey, USA, and one branch in Shanghai, China, and a representative office in Bogotá, Colombia. This drive to take our operations into overseas markets will continue going forward.

Profitability has been another crucial pillar of our business strategies over the last few years. By tightening our underwriting guidelines, we have focused on increasing our retention of good risks and building optimal treaty schemes. Our underwriters have become more selective in what new or existing business they want to pursue, helping to reduce the volatility of our business results.

Effective portfolio management has been a critical driver of our endeavors to ensure a stable and profitable business performance. The share of our overseas business increased from 23.1% in 2017 to 26.5% in 2022, and diversifying the overall portfolio has contributed to stabilizing our underwriting results. Based on the underwriting expertise and experiences that we have built over the last 60 years, we have been able to actively respond to market cycles and readjust our business portfolio in ways that have reduced the fluctuation of business results and improved profitability.

On the investment side, we have taken a flexible approach in managing our alternative investments and loan portfolio in response to market changes and regulatory developments. As a result, we continued to deliver a solid investment yield of 3.5% in the face of a volatile market environment in 2022.

In the run-up to the implementation of IFRS 17 in 2023, the Korean insurance industry had a busy year in 2022 with finalizing its transition to the new reporting regime. Korean Re is likely to experience a smooth transition to IFRS 17, as we have been proactive in preparing for IFRS 17 by raising capital and managing financial solvency effectively.

In terms of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) drive, 2022 was a significant milestone as we declared our intention to phase out coal financing. In line with this declaration, Korean Re has ceased to invest in new construction of coal mining and coal-based power plants, and has not been providing facultative reinsurance covers for such new coal projects since January 2023.

Korean Re is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2023. In Asian culture, 60 years marks one full cycle of life, and the 60th birthday is regarded as a monumental point and the beginning of a new life cycle. We are both happy and grateful to enter into 2023 to start a new corporate life cycle, setting off to reinvent ourselves to bring innovation to our business and work toward a better future. As we have grown steadily in lockstep with the growth of our clients over the last six decades, we will continue to remain a solid partner for them.

Now that we begin a new chapter in our corporate history, we are determined to challenge ourselves and change the world by constantly seeking internal innovation in a manner that increases our positive impact on the world.

The economy is set to have a tough year in 2023 with weak growth prospects, and that will present a challenge to our business. Nevertheless, Korean Re is ready to move forward fearlessly, building on its successful 60-year track record.

I would like to thank all our shareholders, clients, and partners for putting their trust in Korean Re. We will stay true to our commitment to ensuring growth and value for all our stakeholders.

Thank you.

Jong-Gyu Won
President and CEO