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Management of policyholders’ surplus

The preservation of its capital is a key strategic objective for Hannover Re. In the 2012 financial year and in recent years hybrid capital was issued as an equity substitute in order to keep the cost of capital on a low level. The policyholders’ surplus is a key management ratio in the context of Hannover Re’s comprehensive capital management. The policyholders’ surplus is defined as follows:

  • shareholders’ equity excluding non-controlling interests, composed of the common shares, additional paid-in capital, other comprehensive income and retained earnings,
  • non-controlling interests and
  • hybrid capital used as an equity substitute, which encompasses our subordinated debt.

The policyholders’ surplus totalled EUR 8,973.3 million (EUR 7,338.2 million) as at the balance sheet date, an increase of 22.3% in the year under review.

Hannover Re uses “Intrinsic Value Creation” ( IVC) as its central value-based management tool. With the aid of this tool we apply the principles of economic allocation of equity and efficient use of debt as an equity substitute in order to achieve the lowest possible weighted cost of capital. This concept as well as the objectives and principles in accordance with which we conduct our enterprise management and capital management are described in greater detail in our remarks on value-based management of this report.

Development of policyholders’ surplus

Development of policyholders’ surplus (bar chart) enlarge zoom

Hannover Re is guided in its capital management by the requirements and expectations of the rating agencies that assess the Group with an eye to its targeted rating. Furthermore, while making appropriate allowance for business policy considerations and factors that influence market presence, the allocation of capital to the Group’s operational companies is based upon the economic risk content of the business group in question. Some Group companies are subject to additional national capital and solvency requirements. All Group companies met the applicable local minimum capital requirements in the year under review. Adherence to these capital requirements is continuously monitored by the responsible organisational units on the basis of the latest actual figures as well as the corresponding planned and forecast figures. If, despite the capitalal location mechanisms described above, a scenario occurs in which there is a danger of minimum capital requirements being undershot, suitable options are immediately discussed and measures set in motion to counteract such an eventuality. From the Group perspective we manage Hannover Re’s solvency using our internal capital model, which is described in greater detail on the opportunity and risk report.


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