“Nexus” is launched in Dubai

Published September 18th, 2006 - 10:25 GMT

A new force in professional financial services was launched in Dubai today, with the unveiling of “Nexus”, a Middle East-initiated company which – from its first day of operation – is the region’s largest independent financial advisor (IFA) with strong plans for international growth.

The company has been formed following a management buy-out (MBO) of Zurich International Life’s (ZIL) direct sales force and will continue to serve Zurich customers through their current advisors who are now part of the Nexus workforce in offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

Senior executives at both companies expect a positive response for the new company, which combines strong local market understanding with international standards of services and products.

Founded and headed by Mahmoud Nodjoumi – an industry veteran and former Managing Director of ZIL in the Middle East – the company plans to continue to expand its portfolio of products and offer the broadest and deepest range of financial products within the Middle East, to support its long-term ambition of creating a genuinely international brand.

“The Middle East’s insurance sector is changing very rapidly with rising demand and increased customer interest. We feel that, as a locally-based company, Nexus will be able to offer an unequalled proposition for the market, because we will combine high standards of direct service with an unmatched local and international partner network,” said Mahmoud Nodjoumi, CEO and General Manager, Nexus, speaking at the launch.

Because of the strength of Nexus’ existing business within the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, executives are confident that they will have a robust platform for growth over the coming years. Nexus’ Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices are staffed with an extensive talent pool of experienced insurance and financial planning professionals, ensuring that the company has the human resources necessary to evolve and develop.

The launch has been warmly supported by Zurich International Life, which plans to further develop its regional office in Dubai International Financial Centre and continue to provide high standards of customer service to key accounts like Nexus.

Martin Davis, Zurich International Life’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The launch of Nexus provides us with a strong partner within the region, creating new opportunities and increasing the penetration of Zurich products in the market. It will also raise the standard of financial advice in the Middle East by unleashing a well trained, highly skilled and talented pool of sales professionals into the market.”

Historically, the overall MENA amount spent per capita on life assurance is low when compared to developed countries, standing at $106 per capita. This compares to Singapore’s $1,774 per capita, Hong Kong $1,977 per capita and South Africa $460 per capita. Amounts spent in Western nations are even higher. Only countries such as India ($10 per capita) spend less on life assurance than MENA nations.

UAE spending on general insurance products (non-life) is presently estimated at 1.2% of GDP which again compares poorly with, for example, Singapore which spends 3.2% of its GDP on non-life insurance products & services.

However, changing attitudes, shifting demographics and increased choices within the region are opening up new opportunities for insurance companies, marked by the increase in the number of financial products specifically designed for the Middle Eastern market.

The Nexus brand has been developed after an intensive period of research, and is designed to strongly appeal to professionals within the Middle East, with the potential to expand its customer base on a regional and ultimately international scale.

“The service level Nexus will be able to offer is unmatched anywhere in the Middle East,” said Nodjoumi. “People are becoming much more aware of the necessity of long term financial planning and are seeing that savings plans with life insurance options are essential to their future retirement plans.”

“Our ambition is to create an internationally-recognised financial services brand born within this region and we believe that we have the resources and ambition to achieve this,” he added.

Nexus will have more than 250 professional and independent advisors making it the largest brokerage IFA firm in the region at a time when the UAE continues to rapidly develop as a worldwide financial hub.

The company has also recruited a high quality management team, with a mix of professionals both from within the insurance industry and a number of leading managers from other fields.

About Nexus Insurance Brokers
Nexus is an exciting new force in professional financial services. Our unique approach will help you and your family to accumulate and protect your wealth today and tomorrow.

At Nexus, our expertise and independence mean we are perfectly positioned to deliver the first-class service you deserve. As qualified professionals in wealth accumulation and protection, we are a company you can trust to understand your unique financial situation.

About Zurich International Life Ltd (ZIL)
Zurich International Life Ltd, headquartered in the Isle of Man, is part of the Zurich Financial Services Group. ZIL provides both individual and corporate customers with real financial solutions to their international protection, life assurance and investment needs.

About Zurich Financial Services Group
Zurich Financial Services is an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network that focuses on its activities in its key markets in North America and Europe. Founded in 1872, Zurich is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It has offices in more that 50 countries, and employs about 57,000 people.


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