30th September 2021

Central & South America

Interview with Gerardo Garcia, CEO & Chairman of Barents Re

Can you give us an introduction to Barents Re?

We established Barents Re in 1996 and over the past 25 years we have built a reputation as a trusted international specialty and niche reinsurance partner that has delivered consistently strong financial results and service.

We are underwriters first and foremost. Our entrepreneurial culture, coupled with an experienced management team, allows us to identify and respond quickly to opportunities. The expertise of our specialty underwriting teams and their knowledge of our markets, products and clients enables us to offer innovative solutions. We offer bespoke products and services individually tailored to our clients’ needs.

On the subject of clients, they include global, regional insurance companies, as well as financial institutions, public entities and global corporations. They value the expertise and consistency of our underwriting teams and knowledge of their business and our ability to offer innovative solutions.

Furthermore, our reputation means we attract top quality personnel from around the world. Our people are the core of our business; it is their knowledge and experience that allows us to make the right decisions for our clients and for our business. Of course, we manage and have access to a wealth of data and tools that assist us in our decision-making processes. But it is the ability to accurately interpret such data that separates one reinsurer from another. It is precisely for this reason that we employ recognised experts. 

Can you tell us about your international development?

I am especially proud of our expansion strategy with its focus on specialty lines of business which has been key to our progress. We are very clear that we only establish a presence where we believe there are opportunities to work with like-minded clients. From our Cayman Islands head office, I direct Barents Re’s activity in 11 centres throughout Europe, such as London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow plus Latin America and the Middle East.

On a geographic basis, Barents Re’s activity is focused on both mature and emerging markets. This is part of our DNA. The growth in insurance premiums in many countries is fueled by economic fundamentals, favorable demographics and the introduction or enforcement of compulsory insurance are most encouraging. While insurance penetration is still low in many countries, it’s on the rise and we expect Barents Re to benefit in the coming years.

What are your key lines of business?

We are focused on being a niche player that offers specialist and tailor-made solutions to our clients. We do not participate in every type of business because underwriting discipline is fundamental to our success. On the commercial side, we are especially strong in Surety Bonds, Energy, Construction & Engineering, Property, Financial Lines, Marine Cargo, Life and Accident & Health. We also have a growing presence in the Consumer arena with participation in a number of Affinity programs.

Highlight the role of innovation at Barents Re?

Normally the reinsurance industry defines innovation in terms of the design and proving of insurance products. This is only the beginning for Barents Re. Innovation is integrated into our processes and is fundamental to our business model and an integrated part of our clients’ experience. At Barents Re, innovation is as much a mentality as a process or procedure.

What are your plans for the future?

We seek to create value for our shareholders and our business partners by investing in our business to:

 • Create new customer segments

 • Expand geographically

 • Innovate tailor-made products

As I have mentioned, we only do business in countries where we feel comfortable, and where we have a niche-product strategy that is focused on profitability and not on market share.

A direct consequence of our analytical and disciplined approach is our ability to provide substantial capacity for our clients’ benefit over the long term. Our consistent financial strength has been recognised by A.M. Best since 2016 with an ‘A’ (Excellent) rating for Barents Re Reinsurance Company, Inc. and the assignment of the ‘A’ (Excellent) rating for our Luxembourg subsidiary, Barents Reinsurance S.A. We are delighted with these ratings as we feel they are a validation of our efforts to make our business the success it is today.

Overall, we are working to reinforce, develop and enhance our core aims in specific markets and classes of business, so that we continue to be the trusted partner to our clients.