AXA, Norwich Union merge Mid-East operations
Paris-based AXA Insurance and Norwich Union, Middle East, have merged their regional operations to form a strong new entity, company officials said. The merged company will be known as AXA Gulf, officials said during a signing ceremony in Bahrain.
“AXA Gulf, with a workforce of 300 employees, ten offices region-wide, a substantial customer base and a premium income of over $100 million [Dh367 million], will be the largest international insurer in the Middle East,” said Andrea Rossi, AXA’s chief operating officer for the Middle East and Mediterranean region.
“We will offer the widest range of insurance products and services for corporate and individual customers,” Rossi said, cited by <i>Gulf News</i>.
The new company is a 50-50 joint venture between AXA and Bahrain’s Yousuf Bin Ahmad Kanoo Group, owner of the local Norwich Union operations. It will begin its operations in the Gulf in July, officials said. They declined, however, to reveal the value of the venture.
The company expects to capture “a double figure” share of the regional market, especially in the UAE which is the most advanced insurance market, according to Iain Reid, manager for Gulf operations.
The new company will start operations in Saudi Arabia in January 2006, he said. “The Saudi market will double or even triple in the next few years,” said director Didier Boussemart.