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Highlights on Reinsurance History

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Edited By André Straus and Leonardo Caruana de las Cagigas

    Despite being one of the main pillars of the insurance industry, reinsurance is little known by the general public and is rarely the focus of academic study. In this book, the authors – economic historians and experts in the field from across Europe and Japan – seek to address this by shedding light on one of the most globalized of all economic activities. In a clear and engaging manner, they reveal the history of reinsurance in both national and international contexts, aiming to illuminate this vital, but often overlooked, aspect of insurance.

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    Interview with José Manuel Martinez, President of Honor of MAPFRE (Leonardo Caruana de las Cagigas)

    Extract

    Interview with José Manuel Martinez, President of Honor of MAPFRE

    Leonardo Caruana de las Cagigas

    1. In your opinion what were the most difficult decisions for MAPFRE in the early years of the birth and development of the business of reinsurance?

    The 1980s was overwhelmed with very difficult decisions. Starting with the creation of MAPFRE Reinsurance in 1981. First based on the firm conviction that for MAPFRE was essential to begin its international expansion. Second, the huge enthusiasm developed by a small team of young managers, who created MAPFRE Services Reinsurance in 1975 (a small department pioneer in this business). What was crucial that we had the illusion that Spain in a short future will have a reasonably important international reinsurer company in the context of the global reinsurance market. However, above all or in addition, we had the vision of making reinsurance differently, it was call reinsurance with soul. We offered not only the necessary risk-taking by the reinsurer, which was the traditional, but also services such as product development, training, strategic experiences, etc. based on the experiences of our own insurance group, which was already an example, although incipient successful in direct insurance.

    In reinsurance business we had a very rapid development and in the year 1984, only three years after the creation of MAPFRE RE, we established the first office abroad, in Mexico City. This decision was important for what it meant for a company that until then had...

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