As a student at university, studying philosophy, we had a focus on utilitarianism - and John Stuart Mill in particular.
In 1867 he said, “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
The current crisis of Russia President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the kind of event that prompts all ‘good men’ to do something – and some global reinsurance leaders were unanimous and swift with their words and intentions.
Swiss Re group chief executive officer Christian Mumenthaler said, “It is hard to find the words to do justice to the feelings of shock and despair that many of us feel today about the dark times in Ukraine. As I write this, families and communities are being torn apart, and our thoughts are with all those affected both in Ukraine and elsewhere. But mere words simply do not suffice. Together with the Swiss Re Foundation, we are committing CHF1m ($1.09m) to help those in need. Half will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide on-the-ground support in Ukraine, the other half will be used to provide emergency support for refugees fleeing the conflict. Also through the Swiss Re Foundation, we are today launching a fundraising drive. Employees can donate and Swiss Re will match all contributions. In these difficult times, it is important that we support one another, extending the hand of friendship to colleagues whoever and wherever they are. I’m sure you’ll join me in hoping for peace.”
Munich RE CEO Joachim Wenning said, “The events of the last few days have shaken us all deeply. A war in Europe seemed to many like a relic from the dark past. The military attack on Ukraine has turned it into a bitter reality. Especially at this moment, it is the task of all peace-loving people to show unity and support. Our full solidarity goes out to the people affected in Ukraine and their families. We expressly support the sanctions initiated by the western community of shared values - also in the knowledge that they will not remain without consequences for our economies. The top priority now is to end the war.”
Hannover Re CEO Jean-Jacques Henchoz said, “A war is raging once again in Europe with Russia’s attack on Ukraine and we are deeply shocked. Not only is this aggression shaking the foundations of peace for the whole of Europe, it is also a direct assault on our very foundations of democracy, freedom and human rights. Our thoughts are with the people in Ukraine. As a sign of solidarity, Hannover Re will donate to an alliance of the nine German development and relief organisations Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft.’
Such a significant shock to the world order will naturally have significant ramification for the insurance and reinsurance markets globally since political risk is a world-encompassing business.
In this issue of Asia Insurance Review, we take a look how Asia Pacific’s risk and insurance markets are likely to be affected by the invasion and what it means for credit ratings, cyber, insurance investments, ESG and more.
Asia Insurance Review