Fr. 126.00

Munich Re - The Company History 1880-1980

English · Hardback

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"Reinsurance has to be international in accordance with its nature." This is the well-known viewpoint of Carl von Thieme, one of the founders of Munich Re, who also served as its general director for many years. Thus, it was not a coincidence that the company rose to become the world market leader rather quickly after its founding in 1880. In the following period, Munich Re stayed on top or was occasionally second to Swiss Re. Nonetheless, the broader public does not know much about the company. Johannes Bähr and Christopher Kopper now present the first history of the reinsurer from its beginnings into the 1980s.
Few companies have risen to become world market leaders as quickly as Munich Re, and only the fewest have succeeded in remaining at the top of the world market for as long. The company's history reveals how insurers reacted to major catastrophes and technological shifts. Without sharing risks with reinsurers, countless direct insurers would not have survived the economic consequences of major natural catastrophes and would have been forced into bankruptcy by the weight of their payment obligations. Consequently, reinsurers even made coverage for some risks possible in the first place. Yet Munich Re itself also repeatedly contributed to the introduction of new segments of insurance, such as in the case of machine insurance or high-risk life insurance. Thus, the history of this pioneer of globalization is, at the same time, a history of dealing with risks and managing the distribution of risk. Last but not least, it is also the history of a German company that profited from the National Socialist dictatorship and, with great effort, had to find its way back into the world market after the two world wars.

List of contents

1. Introduction

Part I: The Company's Rise, Acid Tests, and Setbacks (1880 - 1932) (Johannes Bähr)
2. The Beginnings of Reinsurance: The Long Path to Equality
3. Founding and Beginnings of Munich Re
Carl Thieme and the Founding of Munich Re
The Rise of a New Kind of Reinsurer
"The Founding of a Casualty Firm along with Our Reinsurance Company": How Allianz Versicherungs-AG Came into Being

4. Conquering the World Market and the Earthquake of San Francisco
Business Dealings and Investments in Russia, Great Britain, and the U.S.
The Earthquake of San Francisco and Other Major Losses

5. Munich Re before the First World War
Employees and Management
Business Development, Capital Investments, and New Insurance Segments

6. The First World War and the Restructuring of the World Market
7. Banned from the World Market: Th e Development of the Corporation in Central Europe during the Infl ation Period
8. "Insurance Has Its Own Economy": Munich Re in the Great Depression

Part II: Munich Re during the National Socialist Regime (1933 - 945) (Christopher Kopper [Chs. 9 / 10], Johannes Bähr [Chs. 11 / 12])
9. The National Socialist Takeover and Munich Re: Business Development, Political Ties, and Management
10. Munich Re in the Economy of the Th ird Reich: Business Policy, Foreign Currency Restrictions, and Participation in Financing Armaments
11. Foreign Business, Foreign Investments, and the Expectation of War
Relations to Swiss Re under the Conditions of Foreign Exchange Control
The Phönix Scandal and Its Consequences
Disguises and Expectations of War

12. Occupation Rule and the War Economy: Munich Re in the Europe of the Third Reich
"Prudent Cooperation"? The Company's Involvement in Vienna, Prague, and Southeastern Europe
The Group Companies in Occupied Poland
The Subsidiaries in the West and the Association for the Coverage of Major Risks
The Hub of Masked Business and Window to the World: Union Rück in Zurich

Part III: Back to the Top of the World Market (1945 - 1980) (Christopher Kopper)
13. Starting Anew under the American Occupation: Th e Consequences of War and Denazifi cation
14. Finding a Way Back into the International Reinsurance Market
15. Rebuilding the Capital Basis: Munich Re and the Consequences of the Currency Reform
16. New Challenges in the International Reinsurance Business
17. Continuity and Change in the "Alzheimer Era" (1950 - 1968)
18. The Progress of Globalization in the Reinsurance Business
19. The Crises of the 1970s and the Challenges of Modern Risk Management
20. Conclusion


List of Tables and Diagrams, Picture Credits
List of Abbreviations
List of Primary Sources and Bibliography
Index of Persons
Index of Companies

About the author

Christopher Kopper studierte Neuere Geschichte, Volkswirtschaft und Politische Wissenschaften in Frankfurt/Main und Bochum. Nach der Promotion war er Wissenschaftlicher Assistent an der Universität Göttingen. Von 1998 bis 2003 lehrte Kopper als Gastdozent an amerikanischen Universitäten. Seit 2004 ist er Lehrbeauftragter an der Universität Bielefeld.


Die Münchener Rück stieg schon bald nach ihrer Gründung im Jahr 1880 zum Weltmarktführer auf. Johannes Bähr und Christopher Kopper legen nun die erste Geschichte des Unternehmens vor, die von den Anfängen bis in die 1980er Jahre reicht. Bis heute ist Munich Re einer der beiden weltweit führenden Rückversicherer. Gleichwohl ist in der breiten Öffentlichkeit wenig über dieses Unternehmen bekannt. Dieses Buch zeigt, wie sich der Umgang mit Risiken wandelte und wie Versicherer auf Großkatastrophen und technologische Umwälzungen reagierten. Es bietet zugleich eine Geschichte der Globalisierung und verdeutlicht, welche Rückschläge und Hindernisse es in diesem Prozess gab. Eingehend wird auch die Rolle des Unternehmens im Dritten Reich behandelt.

Product details

Authors Johanne Bähr, Johannes Bähr, Christopher Kopper
Assisted by Patricia Sutcliffe (Translation), Patricia Casey Sutcliffe (Translation)
Publisher Beck
Languages English
Product format Hardback
Released 20.10.2016
EAN 9783406698224
ISBN 978-3-406-69822-4
No. of pages 463
Dimensions 165 mm x 247 mm x 33 mm
Weight 932 g
Illustrations with 38 illustrations 2 diagrams and 10 tables
Subjects Non-fiction book > Politics, society, business
Social sciences, law, business > Business > Individual industrial sectors, branches

Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Deutschland, Versicherung, Globalization, Germany, Versicherung und Versicherungsmathematik, W-Rabatt, National Socialist dictatorship, world market leader, auseinandersetzen, Munich Re, Reinsurance, Reinsurer, high-risk life insurance, major natural catastrophes, Swiss Re, pioneer of globalization, machine insurance, company’s history, economic consequences

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