Clements Worldwide launches Dubai operation

Insurance provider Clements Worldwide has opened an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), its first on-the-ground location in the Mena region.

Andy GrimesClements said the new sales office will extend the delivery of commercial cover and its specialty risk insurance products, such as coverage against political violence and kidnap and ransom.

Andy Grimes (pictured), the newly appointed director of Clements Dubai, said: “The Mena region is one of Clements’ largest markets as far as our client base is concerned.”

He added: “The new Dubai office will therefore enable us to better service our existing and expanding client base as well as elevate our organizational profile on a global scale.”

Grimes will report directly to Clements’ senior vice president, Dan Tuman, who commented: “This expansion is critical to our global strategy, and while we’ve been successful in the Middle East and North Africa region for decades, there still exists an enormous amount of untapped potential.”


ACE aims to launch new operation in Tunisia

Steve Dixon, regional managing director for ACE in MENA, has revealed the provider intends to open a new operation in Tunisia.

Speaking to Mena Insurance Review, Dixon said: “What we intend to do in Tunisia is to build it as a facultative reinsurance hub for North Africa. One of the reasons for doing that is that we want to have a team closer to that part of the region, than here in the Gulf.”

Subject to regulatory approval, ACE plans to launch the facultative reinsurance hub in Tunisia within the first half of 2013.

Dixon added: “Another reason is that we do not have a lot of French-speaking capacity in the region currently. The idea is therefore to establish a hub in Tunisia with a French-speaking resource that can not only serve North Africa, but potentially West Africa too.”

Commenting on ACE’s business strategy in the Mena region, Dixon said over the last three years, its average growth rate has been well into double digits in terms of gross written premiums.

The ACE MENA regional Office was established in 2006 and is headquartered in Bahrain.

Swiss Re launch Dubai office

Swiss Re’s new Corporate Solutions office in Dubai is now fully operational following a launch party, held to mark the company’s presence in the Mena region.

The office originally opened in March of this year, and began operations in early April, when the first underwriter was hired. After an initial phase of building up operations, the office is fully effective.

The company’s plans in the region involve focusing on energy, general aviation, engineering and construction, as well as general property business from the GCC countries.

“Now, after the ramp up phase, we are fully operational and able to bring the entire offering of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions to our clients in the Mena region,” Raik Wittowski, senior executive officer at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Dubai branch, told Mena Insurance Review.

“We had a very good start and a warm welcome in the market and so far everything has been running smooth and well,” Wittowski added. “We are very confident that we can grow our book in the region profitably, by being closer to our clients and the markets, fostering closer relationships and developing a better understanding and deeper insight being in the region. We are very optimistic about the success of this operation.”

Swiss Re has no new plans for launching any products or lines at present.

October 24

Clyde & Co to open Libya office

Clyde & Co has opened an office in Tripoli in order to tap into opportunities in the Libyan market.

The office, which is the law firm’s fifth in the Mena region, will operate from Tripoli Tower and officially opened on 1 August.

Libyan lawyer Albudery Shariha will head the Tripoli office. He joins Clyde & Co from the Libyan Investment Authority, where he was general counsel.

Four associates joined the practice on 1 August and the firm is looking to recruit more Libyan and international lawyers in the next few months.

“Primarily our work will come from international companies looking to set up in Libya,” Adrian Creed, partner in Clyde’s Abu Dhabi office, told Mena Insurance Review.

Clyde’s new Libya office will target a number of sectors, including insurance. “The insurance market is in its infancy here. It is unsophisticated but it has large potential,” continued Creed. “From our side, we are certainly looking at the insurance sector. We will work with our UAE and London teams, alongside Libyan lawyers, to provide insurance advice.”

Shariha said in a statement: “Libya is embarking on an exciting new phase this month and there are significant opportunities as the country rebuilds.

“Clyde & Co, with its long history of Middle East and African involvement and its energy and infrastructure expertise, is perfectly placed to advise clients looking to the Libyan market.”

The firm has been present for nearly 25 years in the Middle East with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and an associated office in Riyadh.

8 August 2012