The Federation of Afro-Asian Insurers and Reinsurers (FAIR) held its 25th Conference in Bahrain with the theme of “Insurance Transformation in FAIR-Land” on 9-11 October.
This was the first time in the 53-year history of FAIR that the biennial Conference was held in a GCC country, where almost 50% of the body’s members hail from.
Held under the patronage of Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain, the Conference was inaugurated by Mr Al Maraaj, the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. The event was attended by close to 800 delegates from 62 countries.
The Federation, which has a presence in 52 markets in the Afro-Asian region is keen to broaden its present 255-membership base with several former members and newcomers queuing to join the grouping.
Mr Abdel Rauof Kotb, President of FAIR, in his opening address said: “FAIR has established itself as an effective body and a valuable platform bringing together senior insurance and reinsurance executives across our two great continents and developing new business opportunities in our industry.”
He spoke of the need for FAIR to be more innovative and relevant to the times. He said: “The technological advancements of our time bring real opportunities and those that utilise the technology to develop their business models will be the real winners, and FAIR needs to remain innovative and relevant to its members.”
Steady growth trajectory
Mr Abdul Rahman Al Baker, Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain, in a special address on the second day of the Conference, said that the insurance industry in Africa and Asia will continue to maintain a steady growth trajectory on the back of increased economic activity, public awareness of the benefits of insurance and an improved regulatory environment.
He added that major forces behind the industry’s growth in recent years have included the implementation of compulsory health insurance schemes in various jurisdictions, as well as the outstanding demand for takaful products which create strong growth avenues for insurance companies in the region.
Develop young talent
Mr Michael J Morrissey, President and CEO of the International Insurance Society, in his industry keynote address, called on the sector to adopt customer centricity and to develop young talent for the industry. “Superior talent is key to staying relevant in today’s highly competitive insurance environment,” he said.
During the Conference, the presidency of the Federation was handed over to Mr Yassir Albaharna, the CEO of Arab Insurance Group (Arig) who will represent Bahrain presiding over the Federation for the next two years.
This year’s Conference was jointly organised by the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Bahrain Insurance Association, Arab Insurance Group (Arig) and Trust Re. The three-day event, aside from opportunities for networking and business meetings, provided participants with the opportunity to interact with Afro-Asian and international industry professionals and discuss matters of common interest. A