As part of the Group’s continued expansion in the Middle East Region, RFIB Group Limited (RFIB), the international Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance broker, has established a representative office at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The official launch of RFIB in Dubai took place at the exclusive Sphinx restaurant, Wafi City, with guests invited to the gala dinner from both RFIB in London and DIFC.
Patrick Holcroft, Group Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted by the welcome we have received from the DIFC and see this as an exciting opportunity for the Group. Today’s news further highlights our strategy of developing our international activities in areas where we have specialist expertise. Given the rapid growth in the Middle East, we feel it is the ideal time to expand our presence and we are looking forward to further strengthening our connections in the region.”
An established broker in the area for more than two decades, RFIB already handles significant levels of marine and non-marine business in the Middle East. The creation of a permanent local presence in the form of a representative office marks an important next step for the group.
Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of DIFC Authority, commented, “We are pleased that established companies such as RFIB are increasingly attracted to the region and in particular, DIFC. The addition of RFIB with their exemplary record for providing all
classes of insurance, reinsurance and risk management solutions will prove invaluable as the DIFC continues to expand its membership base. ”
The Dubai office will be headed by former British Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Mr Anthony Harris. Mr Harris has also worked directly in various Middle East markets since the late 1990s and is a former Director in the Middle East Corporate Finance Department of banking group, Robert Fleming.
About the DIFC: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an onshore hub for global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centres of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped emerging market for financial services.
In just over one year, more than a hundred top international institutions have joined the DIFC as members. They operate in an open environment complemented with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member institutions incentives such as 100 per cent foreign ownership, zero tax on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.
The DIFC is made up of the following core bodies:
1. The DIFC Authority (DIFCA) - Responsible for the Companies and Security Registries and attracting financial as well as non-financial institutions to set up in the DIFC. (www.difc.ae)
2. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) - An independent, unitary regulatory authority, responsible for the regulation of all DIFC operations. Its principle-based primary legislation is modelled on that used in London and New York, and its regulatory regime operates to standards that meet or exceed those in major financial centres. (www.dfsa.ae)
3. The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) – A liquid and transparent electronic market trading securities, bonds and derivatives, launched in September 2005, the DIFX eases access to regional and international investment opportunities and funds. (www.difx.ae )
4. The DIFC Courts - An independent court system set up to uphold the provisions of DIFC laws and regulations, the courts provide comprehensive legal redress in civil and commercial matters within the DIFC. The DIFC Courts system is especially designed to deal with all of sophisticated transactions that will be conducted within DIFC. The DIFC Court laws, based on the common law,
not only sets out the jurisdiction of the court but also provides for a dispute resolution services, including arbitration and mediation, thus allowing for the independent administration of justice in the DIFC. ( www.difccourts.ae )
International insurance and reinsurance broker, RFIB, has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Established in 1980 as Robert Fleming Insurance Brokers Limited, it formally changed its name to RFIB Group Limited with effect from 1 April 2004.
Since the sale of its benefit consultancy business in April 2004, RFIB has refocused on its core insurance and reinsurance activities, further boosting the performance of its wholesale and reinsurance divisions. For the year ended 31st March 2005, the group recorded total revenue of £23.4m and pre-tax profits of £3.8m.
Approximately two thirds of RFIB’s activity is now wholesale or reinsurance business and the remainder retail. Its worldwide client base includes international companies, insurance and reinsurance groups and Lloyd’s syndicates. RFIB also acts as a wholesale broker and consultant to direct and reinsurance brokers.
Reflecting its ethos of ‘people, service, reputation’, RFIB’s continuous investment in seasoned broking talent and support functions, including technology, enables it to provide clients with an innovative and tailored service.
As a growing, mid-sized, insurance and reinsurance broker, RFIB’s independence and its reputation for creativity, integrity and style makes it an attractive alternative to the large global brokers for clients and staff alike.
Web address: www.rfib.co.uk
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