Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain
As stability makes way for recovery, major players in the Middle East insurance industry are reassessing their strategies and are seeking a clear direction on how to adapt and revamp their business strategies in order to pursue the growth opportunities in the region. The 7th Annual Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF 2011), which will be held on the 7th & 8th of February 2011 at the Ritz Carlton Bahrain, has been structured to address key areas that the industry needs to review in order to "translate the potential into growth".
MEIF 2011, which is held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain and supported by the Bahrain Insurance Association, will feature critical discussions on product development, underwriting trends, reinsurance capabilities, investment strategies, corporate governance, regulatory and risk management priorities and strategies for unleashing growth in the regional insurance market.
Speaking ahead of the event, David McLean, Managing Director of the Middle East Insurance Forum said that “the Middle East insurance market undoubtedly has tremendous growth potential. However, to fully realize this growth potential of the region's insurance market, a number of key challenges need to be tackled”. He said that “the Middle East insurance industry has now reached a critical juncture where it is facing a combination of significant challenges and great opportunities”.
Similar views were expressed by Hussein Al Meeza, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Islamic Insurance & Reinsurance (AMAN) who said that “the Middle East insurance industry has been growing at a very fast pace and promises exciting growth prospects.” He said that “the 7th Annual Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF 2011) comes at a critical time when the major players in the industry are seeking to explore the untapped potential in the regional insurance industry. MEIF over the years has been widely recognized as a forum which brings together a unique group of experts in the international and regional insurance industry to discuss the most pressing issues that the industry is facing.”
“Aman as a leading Takaful Operator in the region is delighted to be a partner at this prestigious event”, he added.
The 7th Annual Middle East Insurance Forum is set to begin on the 7th of February 2011 with an exclusive opening keynote address by H.E. Rasheed M. Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain on the role of regulatory bodies in strengthening industry capabilities and the new initiatives that are underway or planned in key markets.
A key highlight of this year’s MEIF will be the industry leaders’ power debate session which will provide critical insights on the current state of the Middle East insurance industry post crisis, catalyzing growth and overcoming the critical challenges and obstacles hindering the development of the Middle East insurance industry. The session chaired by Krishnan Kavasseri, Director Audit of KPMG Fakhro will feature Ashraf Bseisu, Group Chief Executive of Solidarity Group Holding; Jamil R. Bahou, Group Managing Director, Crescent Global Group; and Ayman El Hout, General Manager of MedGulf KSA.
Announcing their participation at the event, Jamil R. Bahou, Group Managing Director of Crescent Global Group said that “as a Bahraini company and one of the leading pan Arab insurance services groups, we are proud to be once again a Platinum Sponsor of the annual Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF).” He also noted that “Bahrain as the region’s financial centre is always the first on the insurance market’s annual calendar, and the attendance level at the MEIF every year is testament to this.”
The day 2 of the conference will see Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain discuss the role of regulatory bodies in promoting a strong regional insurance sector in a specially convened keynote address. Speaking ahead of his session Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker noted that “currently, there are many developments in our region to provide potential opportunities for insurers to increase insurance penetration. As the regulator of insurance firms in Bahrain, we have taken various steps to ensure that the insurance market in our region continues to strive and prosper”. “MEIF will be an important platform to discuss the future outlook for the regional insurance industry”, he added.