Varma - Annual Report 2012

Risk management

The risks related to Varma's result and solvency are primarily affected by the result of investment activities. The most important operative risk concerns IT systems, which have a key role particularly in the processing of pensions and insurances within a mainframe environment and in the networked operating environment of the pension system.

In the earnings-related pension system, the liquidity risk is manageable, as pension expenditure can be accurately forecast and investments are strongly focussed on liquid instruments. Varma's insurance business risks, which are minor, are linked to the sufficiency of the insurance contributions collected and the technical provisions accumulated from them in relation to the pensions that are the company's responsibility.

Varma's investment plan determines, among other things, the general security goals set for investments, the diversification and liquidity goals of investments, and the principles for organising foreign currency business. The Board of Directors assesses the risks in Varma's investments with respect to changes in value, expected returns, security, and the foreign currency business, and the company's risk-bearing capacity in the area of investments, including the development of the company's solvency position. The basic allocation laid down in the investment plan also lays down the basic level for the total portfolio risk. Deviations from the basic allocation are allowed within defined limits. The maximum risk level is measured so that even after a 25 per cent drop in the value of listed equity investments and certain hedge fund investments, the solvency capital still exceeds the minimum solvency capital by at least the amount of the VaR and is, in any case, always at least at the solvency limit. The diversification of the investment portfolio is based on allocation that takes into account the return correlations of asset classes. Risks are managed by, for example, diversifying investments by asset class and item, by analysing the investment portfolio and items, by avoiding risk concentrations, by securing guarantee policy, through careful valuation practice, by using derivatives, and by applying a supervision and follow-up system.

More information about insurance, investment, operative and other risks, the means for managing them, as well as related quantitative data, is provided in the notes to Varma's financial statements.