Updated: Nov 26, 2018
Prof. Dr. Michael Köhler reflects on his role at Prime Re Solutions
Prof. Dr. Michael Köhler holds a M. Sc. and a Ph.D. in mathematics and a second Ph.D. in operations research. As a professor for Insurance Science he has taught insurance and finance theory at the University of Zurich for many years. He has been a consulting actuary and member of the Board of Directors of PRS since its beginning in 2011.
Please describe your function at PRS.
As a member of the Board of Directors, I would like to contribute to the strategy development process and share my experience in the analysis of the annual financial statements and balance sheet with my colleagues. In addition, I support my colleagues in various projects, especially in life insurance, health and accident insurance, both in direct insurance and in reinsurance. I am responsible for Solvency II issues, product development and actuarial reviews with regard to actuarial and financial modeling.
In your view, what defines the success of PRS?
The success of PRS is based on the fact that employees with different experiences and expertise can work across topics through adequate team building in all lines of insurance with high competence.
What do you like most about having direct contact with customers?
The contact with customers is always enriching, because this leads to seeing facts from a different perspective.
Successes and failures shape our lives. From which did you learn most?
I think that in the end I learned more from successes, because I always critically questioned success.
What would you do differently if you could start again from the beginning?
Under the same conditions as what I knew then, I would not have done anything else.
As an academic, what was your motivation to enter the private sector?
I spent a lot of time at universities and wanted to get to know the world outside.
As the former Chief Actuary and Head of Value Risk Management for the entire life business of the Winterthur Group, what where the challenges you had to face?
The challenges were to introduce uniform assessment concepts in different markets in Switzerland and abroad, with the focus on the value-oriented management of product portfolios and the optimal reinsurance structure.
And what were the challenges you had to face building up the Swiss actuarial unit of PwC?
The challenge was to build a team with predominantly young actuaries and a few experienced actuaries in such a way that on the one hand the customer's needs could be covered and on the other hand the training needs could be satisfied.
Being partner at Prime Re Solutions, how can our clients benefit from your experience?
The customer can benefit from the fact that over many years I have dealt with different questions and approaches to solutions in different companies.
Michael Köhler in brief
With PRS since:
Previous stops on the career path:
Lecturer at the University of Zurich in Operations Research and Insurance Science from 1978-2012.
Actuary and later Chief Actuary at Winterthur Insurance, responsible for Value and Risk Management Life from 1978-2002
Head of Actuarial Services at PwC Switzerland from 2002-2011