The ranking is based on firms’ assumed reinsurance premiums in 2014. Swiss Re comes second, followed by Hannover Re and SCOR SE.
The financial data provider said recent mergers and acquisitions deals in the reinsurance sector indicated “active attempts to climb the ranks”. XL Group’s £2.79bn acquisition of Catlin Group had pushed the combined company into the top 15. The deal was first announced on 9 January and completed on 1 May.
The firm also said PartnerRe, which currently holds 11th place in ranking, could move up to eighth if a proposed merger deal with AXIS Capital was completed. The $11bn merger was announced on 25 January.
SNL Financial said reinsurers were suffering “top-line pressure” due to falling prices as a result of competition in the market. In addition to this, their insurance clients are “becoming more efficient” when buying reinsurance. The firm said they preferred to deal with fewer, larger reinsurers with multiple lines of business across regions.
Antonello Aquino, an associate managing director at Moody’s, said: “Due to their size, business diversification and global reach, European reinsurers are well-placed to both weather pricing pressure and ensure they still get their fair share of business, due to their size, business diversification and global reach.
"The primary companies are looking to have fewer reinsurance relationships, so the mid-tier companies are looking to get into that top panel of 10 or so reinsurers. They are trying to gain size and diversification.
“It requires a lot of capital, but if a reinsurer can offer larger line sizes, it makes life easier for the larger reinsurance buyers.”
The top 15 global reinsurers and their assumed reinsurance premiums in 2014 are:
1. Munich Re (Germany) – $40.96bn
2. Swiss Re (Switzerland) – $28.85bn
3. Hannover Re (Germany) – $19.08bn
4. SCOR SE (France) – $15.03bn
5. Berkshire Hathaway Inc (USA) – $14.92bn
6. Lloyd’s of London (UK) – $14bn
7. Reinsurance Group of America Inc (USA) – $9.1bn
– PartnerRe + AXIS (Bermuda) – $8.32bn
8. China Reinsurance (Group) Corp (China) – N/A, ranked according to firm’s 2013 value of premiums of $7.73bn
9. AXA (France) – $5.92bn
10. Korean Re (Korea) – $5.76bn
11. PartnerRe Ltd (Bermuda) – $5.61bn
12. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (Switzerland) – $5.59bn
13. Allianz Group (Germany) – $4.96bn
14. XL + Catlin (Ireland) – $4.75bn
15. Everest Re Group (Bermuda) – $4.52bn