Profits down sharply at PartnerRe in 2020 but year ends on a high


It was a tale of two time horizons for PartnerRe in 2020, with the full year results relatively disappointing compared to what the business achieved in 2019, but the fourth quarter numbers representing a strong year on year improvement. 

PartnerRe made a net profit of $205.9 million in 2020, significantly down on the $890.3 million earned in 2019. However, it made a respectable $203.9 million profit in Q4 2020, turning around a $104.8 million loss in the same period of 2019.

It reported gross written premiums of $6.88 billion in the full year in 2020, down on the 2019 figure of $7.29 billion. In Q4 the picture was again reversed, with the Q4 2020 figure of $1.67 billion representing an increase of the $1.55 billion figure reported in the same period of the previous year. 

The re/insurer’s combined ratio for the property and commercial (P&C) segment increased to 102.2 percent in 2020, from 98.7 percent in 2019. It also increased in the specialty segment, to 112.2 percent, from 103 percent. The combined ratio for the total non life business was 106 percent in 2020, compared to 100.3 percent in 2019.

In the Q4 numbers, however, PartnerRe saw its combined ratio fall in all three areas. The P&C segment combined ratio fell to 97.6 percent in Q4 2020, from 117.7 percent in Q4 2019, while in specialty it fell to 100.2 percent from 107.3 percent. The combined ratio for the total non business fell to 98.6 percent in Q4 2020 from 113.8 percent in Q4 2019. 

Jacques Bonneau, president and chief executive officer at PartnerRe, spoke of the “exceptional challenges” the business had faced in 2020, insisting the business had remained resilient and delivered value to its clients, despite COVID-19 and a record-breaking year of midsized weather events. 

“The 2021 underwriting year has started on a very positive note, and we have remained focused on the continued execution of our strategies to improve profitability in our January renewals,” Bonneau added. “We are seeing positive rate movement in most, if not all of our lines of business and have also achieved significant growth in our third party capital vehicles, with total assets over $1 billion.” 

Bonneau insisted PartnerRe is well positioned, both geographically and by product line, to capitalise on the improving underwriting environment.

PartnerRe, Results, Jacques Bonneau

Bermuda Re