Korean Re New Year's Concert in 2023
Korean Re held its annual new year’s event on January 6, 2023. It is Korean Re's tradition to hold a classical music concert at the beginning of a new year, inviting its clients, partners, employees, and their family members to the event in celebration of the new year.
CEO Jong-Gyu Won took the opportunity to welcome new employees and their parents at a pre-concert dinner. It has been a regular internal event, which served as a welcoming party for new employees and their parents with the presence of all members of Korean Re. CEO Won said, "This year’s event feels all the more meaningful because we celebrate our 60th anniversary in 2023. I am confident that Korean Re will continue to grow stronger together with each and every one of you."
During the concert, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra performed Johann Strauss Jr.’s finest waltzes, led by a world-famous conductor, Gerrit Priessnitz. They made wonderful performances with the 90-minute program consisting of Der Zigeunerbaron Overture, Delirien – Walzer, Op.212, Pizzicato Polka, and Kaiserwalzer – Walzer, Op. 437. The orchestra captivated the audience with abundantly tuneful waltzes and polkas.
Korean Re’s Business Results for 2022
Korean Re achieved a strong year-on-year premium growth of 16.1% in 2022, with total gross written premiums reaching KRW 9,724.2 billion. This robust top-line performance was driven by new coinsurance business and a sharp recovery in premium growth for overseas business.
Premiums from domestic personal lines of business soared by 26% on the back of coinsurance business. Excluding coinsurance transactions, premium growth would slow to 5.7%. While our domestic life and motor businesses grew rather slowly due to portfolio adjustment, we saw our long-term business continue to expand solidly.
We reported a 16.3% increase in premiums from overseas business, supported by ongoing market hardening. In the current favorable rating environment, our overseas business delivered robust growth in both treaty and facultative, while casualty and motor grew strongly as a result of our strategic portfolio management to increase the share of non-property. We also continued to reduce natural catastrophe exposures and withdrew from poorly performing lines.
In 2022, Korean Re delivered KRW 175.2 billion in net income, down 1.5% from the previous year. Despite the modest decline, we are proud to report that our bottom-line results remained stable in the face of challenging business conditions including large natural catastrophe claims and a volatile economic environment. The marginal decrease in profit was attributable to weaker underwriting results of our overseas business amid ongoing COVID-19 losses, coupled with natural catastrophe claims. We reported a combined ratio of 100.4%, up 0.1%p year on year, with the ratio for overseas business rising to 105%.
On the other hand, domestic commercial business remained profitable, generating a combined ratio of 90.9% in spite of natural catastrophe losses arising from heavy rain in August and Typhoon Hinnamnor. This solid underwriting profitability was backed by upward pricing trends in most commercial lines of business. Domestic personal lines of business improved to a combined ratio of 100.3% from 101.9% as we backed off from unprofitable business. Excluding coinsurance, we posted a combined ratio of 99.7%.
Korean Re produced good investment results on the back of strong growth in invested assets and gains on the sale of stocks, with total investment income rising by 9.5% to KRW 268.1 billion in 2022. The total invested assets soared by 18.7% due to coinsurance transactions and the issuance of hybrid capital securities. There were year-on-year decreases in gains on the sale of bonds and returns on alternative investments, while fixed-income investments performed fairly well. We posted an investment yield of 3.5% despite increased market volatility. We will continue to keep a close watch on market developments so as to deliver stable investment performance.
Korean Re’s Diverse Employee Volunteer Programs in 2022
Volunteering to Help Build Houses for People in Need
Korean Re has been committed to fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities in a way that creates value for society. In 2022, we organized diverse employee volunteer programs designed to support underserved people and communities.
In September 2022, three groups of Korean Re employee volunteers participated in a home building project, called Building Homes of Hope, in the village of Mokcheon, South Chungcheong Province. Partnering with Habitat for Humanity Korea, Korean Re has been actively taking part in projects to build homes for people living in poor housing condition.
In 2020 and 2021, we could not take part in volunteering activities due to concerns about the health of volunteering employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, we continued to make financial contributions in support of home-building projects over this period.
Since 2013, Korean Re has been partaking in the Building Homes of Hope initiative in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Korea to support families in need of a decent place to live. Over the past ten years, our employees have participated in a number of home-building projects, helping to address people’s need for safe and stable housing in many communities across the nation.
Beach and River Cleaning
Korean Re employees volunteered to engage in beach and river clean-up programs in November 2022. In cooperation with Human in Love, a non-governmental organization dedicated to international relief and environmental protection, they cleaned up Yongmuchi Beach in Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province by removing glass and plastic bottles, straws, aluminum cans, fishing gear, and many other kinds of marine debris. A total of 717.3 kilograms of litter was collected for three days, and the vast majority of the trash turned out plastic. Plastic products can be very harmful to marine life because they do not biodegrade quickly.
The beach has been polluted with many types of litter that ends up in the coastline in many ways including the tide and wind. Man-made debris is often deposited on the beach by local visitors, tourists and fishers, while some litter makes its way into the ocean from land. It is important to protect oceans and beaches as they are an essential part of humans’ lives. While they are destinations for a range of recreational and leisure activities, they also protect residents living near the ocean by serving as a buffer against the high winds and waves of powerful storms and help drive economic activities that are important to nearby communities. In addition, they provide permanent habitats for numerous plants and animals.
Another meaningful environmental protection initiative that we joined in 2022 was the improvement of river water quality. In collaboration with Environment Action Association, a local environment advocacy group, we engaged in the work of making effective microorganism (EM) mud balls that would be thrown into the Han River to help purify water. EM is made up of beneficial and highly efficient organisms, and EM mud balls are formed by mixing ordinary clay with EM that can decontaminate the water.
Caring for Our Close Neighbors
Korean Re has long been demonstrating what it means for a business to be good for society and the communities where it operates. In October 2022, Korean Re organized community food-sharing events for three days at a local Red Cross volunteer center in the Jongno District of Seoul as part of a program called “Sharing Hopes with Our Neighborhood.” Three groups of Korean Re employees baked bread, which was packed and then delivered to those in need, including the elderly living alone and low-income families. We have participated in this program since 2015, helping our close neighbors by serving food that is personally cooked by our employees.