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African Reinsurance Broker Launches In London

Le groupe mauricien de courtage en réassurance, Reinsurance Solutions, a ouvert une succursale à Londres en y lançant sa filiale Reinsurance Solutions London.
Reinsurance Solutions, qui possède également des filiales au Kenya et en Côte d' Ivoire, est l’un des plus important spécialiste africain en réassurance. Il travaille pour plus de 100 compagnies d'assurance et ce dans plus de 30 pays en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient.

Spécialisé dans le courtage de solutions captives, en plus de produits conventionnels et de réassurance facultative, Reinsurance Solutions propose également des services couvrant les risques politiques, y compris la violence politique, les risques liés au pétrole et à l'énergie, aux sports, aux risques professionnels dangereux, ainsi que des affaires de traité.

Le bureau de Londres va étendre le panel de services que propose le courtier mauricien, en particulier, sur les marchés africains de l'assurance en leur fournissant un accès plus efficace à la capacité technique et financière sophistiquée du marché de la réassurance.


Mr. Khemraj Jingree, First Secretary to the Mauritius High Commission in London,
Mr. Amit Khilosia, Lloyds Manager for Africa,
August Members of the UK Insurance Market,
CEO’s from Africa
Directors and Colleagues of REINSURANCE SOLUTIONS
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is said that a single step is the start of a journey of 1000 miles; indeed that single step for Reinsurance Solutions was taken 20 years ago when Alexander Forbes ventured out of South Africa to realize their Mauritius dream.

Even after an exciting 20 years, it looks as if our journey has just begun as we continue to proceed further in our journey with the opening of our long cherished project here in London.

The company has crossed quite a few milestones over its history, changing ownership twice, the first in 2007 after a Management buy-out, and the second in 2012 when our current shareholders represented here today by our current Chairman John Rowan and our Director Garth Jarvis purchased a controlling stake in the company, and under their Leadership, the new Board has been visionary, encouraging Management to open offices in Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire and now in London.

Many may ask why in London, small as we are, operating in a different continent? If I may put it simply, it is primarily to better service our African clients by a more efficient access to the expertise and capacity available in London and hopefully to be the African “Flagship” in London as far as reinsurance is concerned, and hopefully in the medium term by our presence in this world reinsurance hub, to attract some business from other continents from here.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we come here with very high hopes and our promise in London is to live to even higher standards than what prevails in our entire group, with the intention of earning your support and help forge a stronger partnership between the London and African markets.

I would like to thank you all for sharing your valuable time with us this evening and special thanks to our partners who travelled from Africa, at least one of whom I can recognize namely Mr. Mustapha Rawji, Deputy G.M. of Raw Bank of DRC, which is sponsoring the start of their Insurance Company as soon as the market opens up in DRC.

Thank you, members of the U.K market, thanks to Mr. Amit Khilosia and Underwriters from Lloyds, thanks to our hosts “Crispin Speers & Partners” represented by Mr. Raj Rupal and his colleagues who have accorded us their facilities, systems and office space for us to function, thanks to Directors John Rowan and Garth Jarvis and to my Colleagues from Reinsurance Solutions, from Mauritius, Nairobi and London, to be here this evening, thanks to members of the Press and last but not least thanks to our hosts from the prestigious London Capital Club.

Ladies and Gentlemen, before I close, I would like to make some introductions:
First John Rowan, who is Chairman of our Board. John runs a health insurance business in South Africa and in his spare time looks after his winery in Stellenbosch. John is here with his wife Wendy Rowan.
Garth Jarvis, our Director who operates a private equity firm in South Africa.
Shashi Ramdany, who will be our next CEO, after I retire in a few weeks’ time.
Harold Mbati, our Regional Director in Kenya
Robert Brown commonly known as “Rob” who is our broker in London.
Nicholas Armitage shortly “Nick” who is our Managing Director in London, and who joined us only 2 ½ weeks ago, and who is here with his wife Dr. Elizabeth Armitage.

My dear friends, one person who is very dear to me also present here this evening is my son Rupesh Appannah, who after many years as a Lloyds broker in London, has decided to come back home to strengthen our team in Mauritius as Executive Director; I am told that it is his fiancée, also present here today, Miss Hanna Streng who has urged Rupesh to take up the job. The breaking news is that both are getting married under the sun on the white beaches of Mauritius next month, and I do congratulate them in advance.

Our Chairman, John Rowan has travelled all the way from South Africa to be present with us this evening. I would now like to ask him to say a few words, before the Chief Guest, Mr. Khemraj Jingree addresses us.

Thank you.


18 March 2016: Reinsurance Solutions Group today announces the launch of its newly opened London subsidiary, Reinsurance Solutions London Ltd.
Reinsurance Solutions is a Mauritius-based reinsurance broking group trading across Africa with head office in Mauritius and subsidiaries in Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, and now London. The group, established 20 years ago, has grown to become the largest African-owned specialist reinsurance broker, providing niche reinsurance solutions to more than 100 insurance companies in more than 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
The launch of the London office will extend the group’s panel of services to the African insurance markets by providing them with more efficient access to the sophisticated technical and financial capacity of the London reinsurance market. These services include specialty insurance such as political risks, including political violence, financial lines, oil and energy risks, sports and other hazardous occupational risks as well as conventional classes and treaty business. The establishment of a London office will provide Reinsurance Solutions Group with a global platform to attract business from the worldwide markets.
Closing his speech at a launch event held at the London Capital Club on 18 March, Reinsurance Solutions Group CEO, Shiamdass Appannah, said: “We expect the group’s London office to be an African flagship in London, providing our clients with access to the global insurance markets.”

THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT has been done yesterday evening at Sofitel Imperial Hotel, Flic-en-Flac, Mauritius. REINSURANCE SOLUTIONS which operates in the reinsurance business sector in Mauritius and Africa, sets up in London.

Shiamdass Appannah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company said that the official opening will be held towards the end of the year. “It is a great first not only for Mauritius but probably for Africa. Our Company will be a Lloyds Broker”.

The date of this announcement has not been by chance. It was during a gala dinner jointly sponsored by REINSURANCE SOLUTIONS and ALLIANZ AGCS SA, No.1 in Europe and in the world in Insurance. From August 23rd to 26th August, more than 300 delegates of companies from Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere have participated in the 38th Annual Conference of the OESAI. One of the topics discussed was the necessity for insurance and reinsurance companies to propose their services to the most remote areas of the African continent.

This conference has contributed to place Mauritius on the world map of insurance and reinsurance. Delegates from the biggest names of this sector, including Allianz, Munich Re, Swiss Re attended it and also delegates from the international press specialized in insurance such as commercial Risk Africa, Cover Magazine, etc.

IN A REVERSE of the usual developments, an African reinsurance broker is to open an office in London to better services its African clients. Shiamdass Appannah, Chief Executive Officer of Reinsurance Solutions, told Commercial Risk Africa at the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers’ annual conference in Mauritius that the firm sends a lot of business to the London markets and it made good sense to have a physical presence in the UK capital. But he was keen to stress:
“We are not opening up to source business in London but to send business to London from Africa.

At the moment we use other brokers to do that.” Mr Appannah said the office will be a small operation to start with and will probably match that of the company’s other new office—in Abidjan. The brokerage also has an office in Kenya and its head office in Mauritius. The key is to be in control of the business, said Mr Appannah, stressing the move was not a reflection of the service it received through its existing broker relationships. “The reinsurers in Africa are more oriented towards treaties than specialised facultative requirements, simply because there is a lack of resources and a lack of knowledge to service these types of products out of Africa. “The African reinsurers will still get their treaty business— we will not send that to London because there is enough capacity in Africa.”

Entering into the debate on capacity in Africa, Mr Appannah said there was simply not enough capacity for specialist risks, such as political risks, oil and gas or aviation on the continent. “It is not a question of capital flight but of servicing our clients,” he argued. “If an African reinsurer can offer the same service then it would make sense to keep the business in Africa.”

Flood risk has increased 12% year-on-year across the world, according to Caspar Honegger, Head of the Flood Team within the Cat Perils unit of Swiss Re.

And, as he told delegates at the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers (OESAI) annual conference in Mauritius recently, that means flood risk is outpacing GPD growth and average losses are growing faster than GPD too.

The cost of an event is escalating as people move to coastal areas, while the cost to the insurance market is increasing as insurance penetration grows, particularly in emerging markets.

Mr Honegger admits it is hard to distil the exact impact of climate change, but it is apparent that it is playing its part in the worsening scenario. “If we look back through 100 years, climate change is a key factor to take into account,” he says.

Risk managers often look for alternatives to the traditional insurance market to transfer risks and captives can provide one such solution. But, as delegates at the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers annual conference heard, the choice of domicile is key in making the right decision for the business.

For risk managers wanting to establish a captive, and for those already with such a vehicle, Mauritius is keen to be seen as the domicile of choice, particularly for those with African interests, delegates at the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers’ annual conference on the island heard. A new captive bill is expected to be presented to the Mauritian parliament this month, which should define a new set of rules and regulations for captives operating on the Indian Ocean island. Becoming the financial services hub for Africa has long been seen to be the aim of Mauritius and its new government is moving fast to reinforce that position. As Roshi Bhadain, Mauritius Minister for Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reform, says it is determined to align financial services with good governance.

Political risk has worried businesses across Africa for decades and, although the reasons for that concern have changed, demand for political risk insurance is surging, as delegates at the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers heard.

Risk managers surveyed during the past two years for Commercial Risk Africa have consistently put political risk, in all its guises, in the top three risks threatening their operations across Sub-Saharan Africa. So insurance products to designed transfer some of that risk off the books might seem like an obvious idea. But as Chris Kirby, Principal Partner at Newbridge Risk Partners, tells delegates at the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers’ annual conference in Mauritius last month, the first question people usually ask him is: “Do I actually need this cover?” However, he says, recent events in Africa show this cover is needed more than ever before. Demand, he says, tends to rise and fall in the wake of some kind of incident. The most dramatic example of this, he says, was 9/11. There were just a handful of players in the market before the US attacks but ten times that today. “Westgate [the Nairobi shopping mall attack] was another learning curve and everyone is seeing an evolving threat,” he says.

In a reverse of the usual developments, an African reinsurance broker is to open an office in London to better services its African clients.

Shiamdass Appannah, Chief Executive Officer of Reinsurance Solutions, told Commercial Risk Africa at the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers’ annual conference in Mauritius that the firm sends a lot of business to the London markets and it made good sense to have a physical presence in the UK capital.

But he was keen to stress: “We are not opening up to source business in London but to send business to London from Africa. At the moment we use other brokers to do that.”

Mr Appannah said the office will be a small operation to start with and will probably match that of the company’s other new office—in Abidjan. The brokerage also has an office in Kenya and its head office in Mauritius.

The QFC Authority has appointed Yousuf Al-Jaida as its CEO, replacing Shashank Srivastava in the role. Al-Jaida joined in 2010 and previously served as its deputy CEO and chief strategic and business development officer. The QFC Authority is the body responsible for developing Qatar’s private sector and marketing the Middle Eastern country’s business centre as a hub for re/insurance business. "Yousuf Al-Jaida has been instrumental in the last year in driving forward the QFC’s broadened strategy. I firmly believe he will continue this momentum and ensure the QFC continues to contribute to Qatar’s economic diversification," said HE Ali Shareef Al Emadi, minister of finance and chairman of the QFC Authority.
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POST, 10 June

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Intelligent Insurer, 10 June

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has appointed Frances Shaw as technical executive of wordings. She will report to Alison Colver, the LMA’s manager of wordings, and will support the drafting of LMA model wordings and work closely with the LMA’s Wordings Forum. Shaw joins from Liberty Specialty Markets where she served as a wordings specialist. She has also worked for Brit during her 19 years in the London insurance market.
Intelligent Insurer, 10 June

Assurant expects to leave the health insurance market by the end of 2016, the US insurer announced on 10 June. The carrier said it had reached an agreement in principle to sell to National General certain business lines and assets, including its supplemental and small group lines, subject to final documentation and regulatory approval. It will also begin to wind down its major medical operations immediately, ceasing sales of its individual major medical, small group fully-insured and short-term medical health insurance policies from 15 June 2015.
Insurance Insider, 10 June

Japanese giant Tokio Marine Group's acquisition of HCC set a new high for reinsurance M&A in the past year, as it agreed to pay a 1.9x premium to the US specialty carrier's book value as of 31 March. Fairfax Financial agreed to buy London carrier Brit for 1.6x book at the start of the year - described at the time as a handsome offer - while Endurance acquired Montpelier Re for 1.2x book. XL's cash and shares acquisition of Catlin for £2.79bn valued the London insurer at 1.61x its trailing net tangible asset value. The HCC acquisition, announced on 10 June, is worth $7.5bn, or $78 a share. The price represents a 35.8 percent premium to HCC's average share price over the past month and a 37.6 percent premium against the price at the close of business on 9 June.
Insurance Insider, 10 June

27th February 2015 --- Reinsurance Solutions, the largest independent reinsurance broker in the African region, has stepped up its regional expansion strategy with the formal opening of a branch in Kenya, effectively covering Uganda, and Tanzania.

The company has been incorporated under the name Reinsurance Solutions Kenya Limited acting as a liaison office for the Group.  

While welcoming the new partners, The Group CEO, Shiamdass Appannah, said, “This new branch will enable us to offer our clients a wider range of insurance products due to the wide network affiliation, both local and international, that Reinsurance Solutions has brought on board. I would like to assure our clients of continued excellence in service provision and innovative products that will continue to respond to all your needs”

“The opening of a new branch is the culmination of discussions that started one year ago and we look forward to making a great contribution to the economic growth of Kenya and the East African Community as a whole” said Reinsurance Solutions Group Chairman John Rowan during the opening ceremony.
“This is a deliberate move by the Group to add value to the Kenyan insurance industry. The new Kenya branch will provide a wide range of services including (health and general insurance, pensions, terrorism and oil & gas insurance)” he said.  

Also speaking at the unveiling ceremony the Regional Director Mr. Harold Mbati noted that Reinsurance Solutions’s entry into the county was timely and pledged to work with the Group to further its aspirations in the Region.
Reinsurance Solutions origins can be traced back to 1935 when Alexander Forbes (AF) started in South Africa. In 1997, AF created its subsidiary in Mauritius, initially naming the company PF (Mauritius) Ltd but later changing the name to Alexander Forbes Mauritius; and afterwards to Reinsurance Solutions, when AF sold its entire shareholding.
“We look forward to working together with the Government authorities, insurance fraternity, our clients and supporters to build a stronger financial services offering in this country” Group CEO said.

Willis North America has appointed Joe Peiser as head of casualty broking, reporting to Matt Keeping, chief broking officer, Willis North America. Since September 2014, Peiser has been serving as a strategic insurance market advisor with Willis Capital Markets and Advisory. He is a well-known casualty expert in the US, London and Bermuda marketplace. In this newly created role, Peiser will be responsible for the strategic direction of Willis North America's casualty insurance offerings including workers' compensation, primary and excess casualty, product recall and international casualty products.
Reactions, 28 January

Arthur J Gallagher has teamed up with specialist amputee and limb-impaired charity Limbcare to launch a new range of bespoke buildings and contents covers. The products, which come under the banner of Limbcare Insurance Services, are aimed anyone with a limb-related disability, and the broker hopes to launch a further travel product in due course. The scheme will be administrated by a specially trained team, and can be tailored to include damage or loss of prosthetics and mobility aids, and include stair lifts and wet rooms in addition to standard building protections.
Post, 28 January

Ace Group announced the launch on 28 January of a new cyber risk business unit following research by the carrier which indicated that cyber is a "top three" emerging issue for European risk managers. The company already offers risk management and insurance solutions for computer hardware, first and third party cyber liability risks in continental European markets through a range of specialist products. The new practice will have full-time dedicated cyber underwriting experts across five markets.
Inside Fac, 28 January

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has expanded its North American operations into Canada with three leadership appointments. The company has appointed Scott Miller, Darryl DeSouza and Michael Densham to lead its in-country property, casualty and executive and professional lines operations, respectively. Miller joins from Gen Re, where, most recently, he was the senior energy marketer and underwriter. Previously, he was senior property facultative underwriter and second vice president at Gen Re, and was an energy broker at Aon Reed Stenhouse.
Reactions, 28 January

An African Union agency that is offering the continent’s first insurance against natural disasters is developing cover for disease outbreaks after the deadly Ebola crisis. Richard Wilcox, director-general of the AU’s African Risk Capacity agency, told the Financial Times the move was initiated by its member states’ requests as Ebola claimed more than 8,600 lives in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. As the outbreak spread, it hit weak, under-resourced health systems in the three nations and wreaked enormous economic cost. Meanwhile, the international response to the disaster has been widely criticised for being too slow and inadequate.
Financial Times, 28 January

PartnerRe said it expects to write and bind around $2.7bn of non-life treaty premium from the 1 January renewal, representing only a 1 percent drop from its renewable premium base at constant FX rates despite the soft market. The reinsurer, which has agreed a merger with Bermudian rival Axis, renews around 70 percent of its total annual non-life treaty business at 1.1. The remainder of its treaty book renews at other renewal dates through the year, while the company also has around $400mn of facultative business in its underwriting portfolio which is written throughout the year.
Insurance Insider, 28 January