Hannover, 29 December 2011:
After serving almost 20 years as a member of the Executive Board of the Hannover Re Group, Wolf Becke is retiring shortly before his 65th birthday on 1 January 2012.
Having read mathematics, physics and economics, he received his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1978 from the Mathematical Institute of the University of Freiburg. Mr. Becke embarked on his professional career in the same year with Hamburger Internationale Rückversicherung. In 1990 he joined Hannover Re, where he initially headed the life and health reinsurance division. In 1992 Mr. Becke was appointed to the Executive Boards of Hannover Re and E+S Rück.
The strategic expansion of the Hannover Re Group's life and health reinsurance portfolio is closely linked with Mr. Becke's name; when he joined the company this business accounted for just 6% or around EUR 130 million of the total premium volume. Today, life and health reinsurance plays a pivotal role in Hannover Re's success, delivering almost 45% of premium income or a volume of some EUR 5.1 billion. It was also under his leadership that the attractive segment of enhanced annuities was launched in the United Kingdom; this is now a key market and has become a pillar of Hannover Re's life/health reinsurance business.
In the 1990s Mr. Becke positioned the company as a pioneer in the securitisation of acquisition costs from life reinsurance contracts into capital markets. In recent years he moved forward with the establishment of branches in rapidly growing emerging markets such as China. A decisive factor in the accomplishment of the Group's global objectives in life and health reinsurance was the acquisition of the US ING life reinsurance portfolio in 2009, which boosted premium income by some USD 1 billion.
The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of the company expressed their extraordinary and profound gratitude to Wolf Becke for his outstanding contribution to the successful development of Hannover Re and his visionary efforts on its behalf.
With effect from 1 January 2012 the two members of the Executive Board Claude Chèvre and Klaus Miller will be responsible for the life and health reinsurance business group.