Catlin Re Switzerland, part of Bermuda-based Catlin Group, has received approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to operate as a reinsurance company.

According to Catlin Group, Catlin Re Switzerland will be capitalised with approximately $1.1bn.

Catlin Re Switzerland will underwrite property and other classes of specialty reinsurance for European ceding companies as well as trade credit surety and political risk reinsurance on a global basis.

Catlin Group said Catlin Re Switzerland will expand its portfolio of European treaty reinsurance business as market conditions justify, building on the existing book of reinsurance business that has been developed and underwritten by Catlin’s European offices over the past seven years.

Upon receipt of regulatory approval by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, Catlin Re Switzerland will establish a Bermuda branch, initially to underwrite reinsurance of various Catlin Group subsidiaries.

Catlin Re Switzerland CEO Peter Schmidt said that the establishment of Catlin Re Switzerland will significantly expand the Catlin Group’s presence in the European marketplace. Company’s ambition is to build Catlin Re Switzerland over time to become a leading European specialty reinsurer.

“We are pleased that Catlin Re Switzerland can now serve clients for the upcoming 1 January 2011 renewals,” Schmidt said.