Zurich Insurance Company is 31st Insurer to be Granted a Licence to Operate in DIFCPress Release21 Jun 2009 10:27 am
Zurich Insurance Company joins its sister company Zurich International Life to expand the company's operations in DIFC, from where it will serve the entire Middle East and North Africa region. Both companies are subsidiaries of Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich)
Zurich Insurance Company Ltd (“ZIC”) a subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services Group, has been granted a new licence that will allow the company to expand its activities and conduct general insurance operations from the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”). The number of companies that now form DIFC’s insurance cluster is 31, and includes many of the world’s largest international names.
With this new licence, ZIC will focus its operations on assisting large corporate customersand their local insurers in addressing complex and difficult-to-place insurance risks. ZIC aims to actively contribute to the growing independence and self-reliance of the region’s insurance market, which is expected to double in size over the next five years.
H.E. Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC said: “Zurich International Life, a member of Zurich, was one of the first major international insurance companies to establish a presence at DIFC back in 2005. I am delighted that, by obtaining this new licence, ZIC will further expand its operations here at DIFC through a newly established branch and become a major contributor to further developing the region’s insurance market.”
Saad Mered, Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Zurich Middle East, the business unit responsible for driving ZIC’s activities in the region, said: “We are delighted to be part of the DIFC and share the vision of having a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership in this unique financial services district. Zurich has a strong history in the UAE and with the DIFC, and we look forward to actively contributing to the regional economy and further market development through the opportunities presented by our growing operation in DIFC.”
Operating in the region since 1986, Zurich has had a large presence in DIFC for nearly four years. Focussing primarily on large global corporate clients, ZIC intends to use its base at DIFC as the hub from which to further expand its presence in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region.
“The Gulf area represents huge potential,” explained Mr Mered. “We estimate that the current levels of insurance only represent about 2 per cent penetration of GDP, whereas in more mature markets, this percentage rises to around 10 per cent. It is estimated that the regional market could double over the coming years as businesses become more aware of the value that insurance offers.”
“Our broad understanding of today's interdependent global risk environment puts Zurich in a strong position to help corporate customers in the MENA region better understand and manage their risks,” Mr Mered concluded.