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nce the forgotten child of re/insurance, the
“ Intelligent Insurer polled 600 of the Middle east
Middle East is fast becoming a much sought-
after market—one that is set to weather the
market’s top brokers, most influential re/insurers
recent financial storms better than most.
and commentators to find out who are the leading
despite the recent financial uncertainties in global
players in this fast-developing market and what
markets around the world, takaful insurance is set to
reach nine percent of the world’s insurance market
these experts anticipate happening in the future.”
share by 2010, according to the latest figures.
For this inaugural issue, Intelligent Insurer polled
600 of the Middle East market’s top brokers, most
influential re/insurers and commentators to find out
who are the leading players in this fast-developing
market and what these experts anticipate happening
in the future.
What little data there is suggests that the reinsurance market in the gCC region in 2006
showed generated $6.4 billion in annual insurance premiums, of which 51 percent was ceded
“The opportunities for increased uptake of takaful
to re/insurers, creating a reinsurance premium of $3.3 billion.
insurance in the gulf Cooperation Council (gCC)
region should be positive,” said Kevin Willis, an analyst
leading reinsurer Flagstone re has increased its global platform in anticipation of growth.
at rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P). “The
“As we have developed, we have increased our geographical appetite and lines of business
considerable economic growth in the region, coupled
with a global platform comprising nine production offices around the globe, writing a full
with a sizeable, under-insured population, means that
selection of reinsurance and specialty lines,” said Clare Kerrigan, a Flagstone re spokeswomen.
there are substantial prospects for further development
“We can source more business worldwide, undertaking the high-quality, high-volume and
of personal lines cover.”
comprehensive risk analysis that helps set Flagstone apart.”
like several other rating agencies, S&P’s focus on the
Another highly thought of company in the region, Aon benfield, topped the list of leading
gCC region has increased of late and it has now carried
international reinsurance brokers in our survey.
out a comprehensive analysis of the insurance market,
which is contained in its 2009 Islamic Financial Outlook.
“being voted as the leading reinsurance broker in the Middle East is a testament to our market
capabilities,” said dominic Christian, chief executive officer of Aon benfield’s international
It’s not just rating agencies that are looking more
division. “Third-party endorsement of our products and services is the best form of marketing,
closely at the Middle East marketplace. Consulting
and we are thrilled with the news. Thank you to all who participated in the survey and for the
and accounting giant KPMg is among the service
ongoing support of our growing operations in the region.”
providers looking to capitalise on the emerging
Although the region is set to flourish, it is unlikely to be immune to the state of the global
opportunities. It maintains a strong focus on life and
economy, according to broker guy Carpenter. While the market is relatively stable, there are
non-life underwriting in the region, according to leah
few signs of rate increases.
dering-ridley, a KPMg spokeswoman. It helps clients
in the areas of cost-savings, Solvency II, restructuring
“There is still overcapacity in the market for all but the peak risks, both at the insurance and
and redomestication, with a heavy investment via
reinsurance level,” said Christopher Pleasant, managing director at guy Carpenter. “This
actuaries and risk consultants.
has been driven over the last few years by numerous local start-ups, the result of abundant
capital, and investors looking enviously at the very solid returns from many of the established
dering-ridley adds that its focus is on “insurance
insurance companies. Investment into new insurance and reinsurance ventures has dried up
solutions and transactions leveraging our transaction
since the credit crunch, but competition for business is intense, with both existing companies
services and corporate finance groups”.
and new players chasing premium.”
Exact information on the scale and potential size
International giant Swiss re feels that its highly diversified portfolio across many geographical
of the takaful market varies, but takaful insurance—
locations is a key element of success.
whose global market is expected to grow five-fold by
2015—is expected to provide a big opportunity in the “Our strength in the reinsurance business is based on two key factors: accumulated expertise
coming years. That’s one reason for the survey—to get and continuing research, as well as a highly diversified portfolio, spread across all lines of
a better look at which companies players value and the reinsurance business and many geographical regions,” said Alayna Francis, vice president at
attorneys making waves in the region. Swiss re.
32 | INTELLIGENT INSURER | September 2009
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