Hawkamah to Host Workshop on Corporate Governance in the MENA Insurance Industry
Under the patronage of HE Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, the UAE Minister of Economy, Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance will host a Workshop on corporate governance best practices in the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) region’s insurance industry on 31 May 2010 at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Under the theme ‘The Changing Landscape in the Insurance Industry’, the Workshop will explore the main challenges facing the insurance sector and the governance practices that can build trust and credibility in the industry. Held with the support of key market practitioners and industry leaders, the one-day Workshop will discuss why good governance ranks alongside enabling legislation, sound regulation and competent staff as one of the critical requirements for the insurance industry's growth. The free-to-attend Workshop is sponsored by Clyde & Co, Insurance Business Group (IBG) and Zurich Financial Services.
Dr. Nasser Al Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah said: “The insurance industry in the MENA region is going through a period of rapid development from its current nascent stage. Regulatory authorities are being re-structured and regulations are being improved. State-owned insurance companies are being prepared for privatisation and foreign investors are being welcomed. Increased competition will had to the introduction of new products, lead to greater insurance penetration from the current low levels, and helps the industry become an institutional investor. Key to the growth and expansion of the insurance industry in the region is better governance, higher levels of transparency and disclosure and enhanced customer trust. The implementation of corporate governance best practices must be a central focus of every insurance company in MENA that is seeking to sustain and advance growth.”
This Workshop forms part of Hawkamah’s wider initiative to raise corporate governance standards in the insurance sector in the MENA region. In 2007, Hawkamah established a MENA Corporate Governance Task Force with a mandate to develop a set of corporate governance guidelines for the insurance sector and build the corporate governance capacity of the industry. The Task Force, comprised of members of the Arab Forum of Insurance Regulatory Commissions (AFIRC) and private sector representatives, has contributed significantly to identifying the corporate governance challenges of the insurance industry in the region and provided vital recommendations for industry development. In March 2009, the Task Force issued the Hawkamah-AFIRC Policy Brief on Corporate Governance for the Insurance Industry, which outlined basic corporate governance standards for the insurance sector in MENA.
Key issues that will be discussed at the Workshop include the role of regulators; corporate governance reform; duties and liabilities of directors and officers; corporate governance best practices; the role of corporate governance in preventing financial crime, including money laundering, terrorism financing, market abuse and fraud; and the role of actuaries in corporate governance. The workshop has been designed to be of particular relevance to directors, senior managers, compliance officers and insurance professionals in the MENA region.