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Corporate governance biggest knowledge gap amongst insurers

Insurex Awards 2012 winners

Insurex 2012 and Policy Magazine launches corporate governance handbook for insurance practitioners across the region
Annual Insurex Awards and Conference sets the blueprints for change in insurance industry

October 10, 2012 4:55 by

Dubai, UAE – October 10, 2012 Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Industry, UAE, and presented by the voice of the Middle East insurance industry, Policy Magazine, the seventh annual Insurex Awards and Conference attracted 250+ insurance experts from the across the globe to discuss the power of global trends and their impact on the region’s insurance industry.


68% of insurers in the Middle East think that corporate governance is the biggest knowledge gap in the industry, according to a survey by Policy Magazine.  Presenting this year’s annual Insurex Awards and Conference 2012, which took place yesterday in Dubai, the magazine has launched a corporate governance handbook for insurance experts in the region to help tackle the issue.


The Insurex Conference provides a practical roadmap for the insurance industry, giving real-world solutions and assisting insurers in their quest to manage change effectively.  The annual event brings together the industry’s most respected names to engage in critical debate, which furthers understanding and growth amongst practitioners.


Christos Adamantiadis, Managing Director, AIG-­‐‑Chartis, Arabia & North Africa, said:

“Insurex supports insurance stakeholders key initiatives, and raises more awareness about their profile. It will aid insurers in the GCC to capitalise on market development.”


Paul Godfrey, Editor of Policy Magazine, pointed out:


“The issues discussed at Insurex result from considerable market analysis.  The conference is totally committed to being of the strongest possible value to insurers looking to enhance technical margins or market share.


“We held focus groups to uncover where the biggest knowledge gap amongst Middle Eastern insurers lay and what the industry wanted to learn more about.  Our handbook on corporate governance seeks to address this issue.”


Commenting on this year’s conference, Dr.Sven Rohte, Chief Commercial Officer at Daman, said: “Insurance in general is becoming more relevant in our lives. This year’s conference hosted industry experts and a number of the biggest players in the insurance market representing many insurance lines, where many important topics were thoroughly discussed and analysed.”


A series of high profile panel discussions took place at the conference debating key issues and concerns as well as laying the groundwork for industry developments.  Exploring global insurance developments and trends that may impact the insurance industry in the region were Ernst & Young.  Speaking on the panel were five key personalities from the company: Chris Payne, Zurich Global Client Partner; John Latham, Metlife Global Client Partner; Justin Balcombe, MENA Insurance Leader; Pierre Planchon, AXA Global Client Partner; Roy O’Neil, Partner; and Simon Burtwell, RSA and Willis Global Client Partner. The discussion was moderated by Paul Godfrey.


Justin Balcombe MENA Insurance Leader, Ernst & Young, said:

“Insurex provided an excellent platform for Ernest&Young to engage more in the insurance market.  It also helped in maintaining and supporting our brand visibility. ”


The day’s conference also featured a discussion exploring the lamentable lack of awareness of risk management by local businesses.  Speaking on the panel were James Portelli, Group Commercial Director at Lifecare; Peter Ellen, Operations Director at Nexus Insurance Brokers; Dexter Morse, Head of Risk Management at United Insurance Brokers; and Mehdi Quraishi, Senior Director, Professional Services at du.  The panel explained that insurers and brokers can sometimes be unwilling to take a proactive stance on the issue of risk management, which needs to be addressed through new strategies. The discussion was moderated by Audrey Weir, Chief Risk Officer at Chartis MEMSA.


Mukund Bhantnagar, Senior Consultant at A.T. Kearney Middle East, argued the case for insurers to stop talking about the price war, and start thinking about ways to reach the estimated 80% of people who are not insured at all.


A series of smaller discussions took place throughout the day covering issues such as constraints on the industry, needs-based communication and marketing in the industry, new markets and qualifications in the industry workforce.


An awards ceremony took place in the evening.  Winners for 2012’s event were:

  • ·         General Insurer of the Year – Winner: RSA
  • ·         Life Insurer of the Year – Winner: SAAB Takaful
  • ·         Medical Insurer of the Year – Winner: DAMAN
  • ·         Personal Lines Broker of the Year – Winner: NEXUS
  • ·         Takaful Operator – Winner: Abu Dhabi National Takaful
  • ·         Training Award – Winner:  DAMAN
  • ·         Marketing Initiative of the Year – Winner: RSA
  • ·         The E-Business Award – Winner:  NOW Health
  • ·         consultant & Lawyers – Winner: Clyde &Co
  • ·         Advertising Campaign of the Year – Winner: RSA
  • ·         Public Awareness Campaign of the Year – Winner: DAMAN


“As the voice of Middle East insurance, Policy Magazine is committed to raising the profile of the industry and flying the flag for outstanding achievement an success across the profession, as well as providing a stimulating forum for insurance professional to get ahead in their game,” said Paul Godfrey.


The GCC handbook on Corporate Governance is available through Mediaquest.

Insurex 2012 was sponsored by:

  • ·         Platinum: Daman insurance
  • ·         Gold: du
  • ·         Silver: Arab Re, Aman
  • ·         Bronze: Aetna, Chartis, Cognizant



Image: Insurex 2012 Winners


About Mediaquest: partner in media, partner in digital, partner in events, partner in success


For more than 20 years, Mediaquest has provided unique insights into the Arab world through its diverse range of media. It operates in Algiers, Beirut, Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh and Paris and publishes in three languages.


With more than 20 consumer and trade titles covering business, marketing, communications, women’s interests, lifestyle, entertainment and automotive, Mediaquest is one of the leading media companies in the Middle East and North Africa.


Mediaquest’s mission is to inform, educate and entertain audiences in the Mena region, providing a bridge between the Arab world and the West. It prides itself in providing unbiased analysis of the issues that matter most to the region.


Partner in publishing

Mediaquest Publishing – Business, corporate and consumer magazines. Celebrated titles include Arabies, Saneou Al Hadath, Trends, Gulf Marketing Review, Communicate, Haya, Raceweek,, Autocar Middle East with F1 Racing Middle East and Policy.


Partner in digital

dotmena – dotmena is fast becoming the premium network of choice for advertisers and publishers to expand their reach in the region. dotmena represents more than 2,000 websites in the fields of business, marketing, communications, sports, women’s interest, lifestyle and entertainment, allowing us to match the right ad to the right audience at the right time.


Partner in events

Mediaquest events creates, project manager and delivers successful events, including:

  • ·         GMR Marketing to Women Conference: deconstructs conventional marketing wisdom to help unearth fresh insights, new attitudes and research to help marketers connect more deeply with one of the region’s most influential consumer bases.
  • ·         GEMAS Effie Mena Awards: the regional version of the world’s premier awards for marketing excellence, the Effie. It is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the Middle East’s business calendar.
  • ·         Insurex: A Meeting of Minds from the Middle East Insurance Industry, bringing together insurers, reinsurers, brokers, regulators, risk managers, lawyers and consultants from across the region and international markets to discuss key trends and share best practice, creating an open platform for discussion, sharing information and networking.
  • ·         SPIA: The Sports Industry Awards is a joint venture between 360 Sport and Mediaquest, designed to showcase the relationship of sporting excellence and business. The inaugural event will take place in March 2013.


For more information please contact:

Christina Gregory

Four Communications

+971 (0)55 985 378

[email protected]

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