The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

Macaskill on markets: SoftBank’s strange insurance policy

An investment of around $10 billion in shares of a reinsurance firm does not seem like an obvious move for a technology conglomerate like SoftBank, but its founder Masayoshi Son relishes any opportunity to surprise the markets.

Son-walking-dogs-illo-780

News of the potential purchase of a 33% stake in Swiss Re prompted the vague but optimistic talk of potential technological synergies that accompanies any SoftBank deal. 

Swiss Re played along with this narrative in its full-year 2017 earnings announcement on February 23 by highlighting the work it is doing on technology solutions, such as a machine-learning pricing platform for insurance policies.

“This platform can be leveraged for multiple parametric insurance products, such as those covering earthquakes or delayed airline flights,” Swiss Re said.

A key question for followers of SoftBank is how traditional financial leverage will be deployed by a company that has also gone long the complex structuring abilities of a huge team of bankers led by Rajeev Misra, former head of credit at Deutsche Bank.

It could be argued that the potential stake in Swiss Re will provide Misra with influence over around $250 billion of investment firepower – before application of additional leverage.

Misra heads the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund that is the largest technology investor in the world. Some $93 billion of the total has already been committed by investors including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and Apple, so that money is effectively in the bank.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree