Scor from 1970 up to now

After the Second World War, the French government came to realize the need to establish a reinsurance company. Following in the footsteps of Germany, England and Switzerland, France wanted to be dotted with its own resources for reinsurance.

The Caisse Centrale de Réassurance (CCR), an entirely state-owned company, was set up as a result in 1946.

Following the reshape of CCR's operations, the French State established a new reinsurer on December 29, 1969 which it named Société Commerciale de Réassurance (Scor).

Today, with 3 522 staff members, Scor reports a 2022 turnover of 19.7 billion EUR (21.1 billion USD).

The first steps of Scor: 1970-1990s

ScorIn compliance with the European directives, CCR had to put an end to compulsory cessions. It, therefore, ceded its commercial portfolio to Scor.

At the beginning, the major shareholders of the new group were public: CCR had a 48.1% stake. The company is endowed with a shareholders' equity worth 13.5 million EUR (16.9 million USD) and posting, under the management of its first chairman Louis Franck , 125 million EUR (156 million USD) of net premiums for its first year of existence.

Scor buldingThe first two decades were characterized by a strong expansion worldwide. Scor has opened offices throughout the world: Hong Kong (1972), London (1973), Dallas (1974), Madrid (1976) then Mexico and Bogota for the Latin American business. Sydney was started the same year. In 1977, the Asian and North American markets were targeted. Tokyo and Singapore as well as Montreal and Toronto were launched.

In the 1980s, reinsurers had engaged on a new expansion strategy marked by numerous acquisitions. In 1988, Scor would strengthen its presence on the Italian market by taking control over Vittoria Riassicurazioni.

1989 is the year that marked a turning point in the history of the company. Scor and UAP Re, two main players on the French reinsurance market, merged. They gave birth to the most important reinsurer of the country in which UAP detains 41% of stakes.

Various acquisitions, namely that of Deutsche Kontinentale Rück the same year, promote the group at the beginning of 1990 to the twelfth world ranking in terms of premiums.

Scor's golden years: 1990-2001

In order to benefit from the buoyancy of the financial markets that characterized those years, Scor got listed in the Paris stock exchange.

The next ten years would be the opportunity for the group's development on the North American market. The shareholding in Commercial Risk Partners in 1992, a reinsurer specialized in alternative risk, before its full control in 1999, has raised the share of the revenues generated by the American operations in the portfolio from 15% to 25% in 1995.

The takeover of Allstate in 1996 doubles the weight of American business in the group. Scor, by then, ranked tenth reinsurer on this market.

In the mid 1990s, the group's turnover amounted to 2.5 billion USD.

At the end of 1995, UAP, AGF and AXA, which have 48.5% in Scor's stakes, sign a shareholders' covenant. This pact should lead to the merger with Scor SA. But UAP, the major shareholder, decided to sell on the financial markets the entirety of its shares in Scor, that is, 26%. This move gave Scor a new shareholding: the latter will, henceforth, be made up of a mosaic of European and American institutional investors.

In 1996, Scor concentrated in Singapore its Asian business within Scor Reinsurance Asie Pacifique. In the meantime, Scor consolidated its presence in high-potential zones: Brazil, China, Russia, South Korea and Malaysia thanks to a series of establishments.

Operations in the United States will grow thanks to the takeover of Partner Re Life and later on of Sorema SA and Sorema North America, ceded by Groupama in 2001, and with the estab-lishment of an office in Miami.

Scor logoThe same year, the group opened in Dublin a non-life reinsurance entity by launching Irish Reinsurance Partners Limited. This company is detained by Scor and cross-Atlantic investment funds, and enables the French reinsurer raise its underwriting capacity in treaties and facultatives by 25%. In 2001, the turnover amounted to 4.890 billion EUR (4.332 billion USD) with a shareholders' equity of 1.231 billion EUR (1 billion USD).

Scor's rocky times: 2001-2002

With the economic crisis, a series of factors will affect the results:

  • the setback of the financial markets,
  • mismanagement of the group's assets,
  • poor underwriting results in non-life and third party liability reinsurance,
  • a rising loss experience affecting large risks including the World Trade Center, AZF factory (Toulouse, France), and the British refinery Conoco. The treaties are also strained by the serious floods in Central Europe.

Last but not least:

  • for some reinsurers, the underestimation of the loss reserves related to third party liability and workmen's compensation risks in the United States, will seriously undermine the company's soundness.

The group's management was, therefore, harshly criticized for its choices. The stock price went down and the group found itself compelled to increase its shareholder's equity. In 2002, an asset assignment plan was launched while the annual loss amounted to 250 million EUR (262 million USD).

Despite the recovery plan that ensued, Scor saw its financial soundness rating downgraded to BBB+ by Standard and Poor's in May 2003.

The recovery of Scor

The company's economic situation was such that Jacques Blondeau had to quit as chief executive officer. Denis Kessler, FFSA's chairman and deputy chairman of MEDEF took over in November 2002.

A recovery plan was set up :

  • increase of the share capital three times in a row
  • redirection of underwriting towards Europe and the emerging countries to the detriment of the United States
  • development of short term classes of business
  • new models for the selection of risks and for profitability
  • redirection of placements towards less risky assets such as bonds (roughly 60% of overall investments) and liquid or semi-liquid assets (roughly 30% of overall investments)
  • resolving problems related to previous underwritings thanks to a series of commutations

Started in 2002, these measures were crowned with success only in 2004. The new underwriting strategy was maintained, the capital was sufficient and the reserves were up to the engagements.

Strengthened by these new bases, Scor intensifies its activities on the Chinese and Korean fast-growing markets. At the beginning of 2005, the group is internally reshaped in an effort to improve its competitiveness.

The same year, S&P reintegrated the company within the circle of “A” rated reinsurers in terms of financial soundness by granting it an A- rating. In 2006, AM Best also raised Scor's rating.

The new start of Scor

Consolidated with its strategy, the group proceeds to three major takeovers which endow it with the profile it now has.

In 2006 first: takeover of part of the non-life portfolio of Alea Europe, but most importantly that of Revios, Europe's biggest life reinsurer for 605 million EUR (798 million USD). Koln-based Revios is the former life company of Gerling Global Re. The merger of both groups gave birth to Scor Global Life.

converiumAt the beginning of 2007, Scor started another large-scale operation: taking control over of Converium based in Switzerland for 2.04 billion EUR (3 billion USD). Converium is mainly a non-life reinsurer whose turnover amounted to 2 billion USD. This acquisition enabled the group to balance its life and non-life businesses which, henceforth, accounted for about 50% each of the portfolio. Scor becomes the market's fifth reinsurer.

The company, therefore, focused around six hubs in order to maintain closer ties with its customers: Koln, London, New York, Paris, Singapore and Zurich. Forty four offices scattered around the world were related to these hubs.

In 2009, S&P raised the group's rating from A- to A with stable outlook. At the start of September 2010 AM Best does likewise.

The first 2010 semester showed a positive net result amounting to 156 million EUR (210 million USD) and a shareholder's equity of level of 4.2 billion EUR (5.6 billion USD).

Scor: Net results 2017-2022

YearResultAnnual evolution

N.B.: the EUR/USD exchange rates have been calculated on the 31st of December of each year.

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