Ensuring sustainable underwriting profitability vital for long term success of regional Takaful industry
- Bahrain: Thursday, October 18 - 2012 at 12:10
- PRESS RELEASE
Convened under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain and supported by the Bahrain Insurance Association, the Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2012) witnessed a high profile opening at the Gulf Convention Centre - Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The two day event was inaugurated with an opening keynote session featuring Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director - Financial Institutions Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain; and Peter van den Broeke, Principal Administrator, International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
Speaking at the opening keynote session, Peter van den Broeke said, "A successful Takaful industry, from a regulatory perspective, is the one that is, at a micro-level, fair, safe and stable for the benefit of the policyholder and at a macro-level, is stable as a sector".
He also said, "The International Association of Insurance Supervisors - IAIS - is very much interested in the developments concerning Takaful" and that "pressure on profitability in the Takaful industry has been amplified by the unlevel playing field."
"Of major interest to the IAIS", he said, "Is that Takaful is well understood by insurance supervisors and is regulated consistent with international principles, notably the IAIS Insurance Core Principles, without affecting its unique features," he added.
The inaugural address was immediately followed by a special keynote address by Dato' Haji Syed Moheeb Kamarulzaman; Former President / Chief Executive Officer and Director, Takaful Ikhlas; Former Chairman, Malaysian Takaful Association.
The session analysed the parallels and points of difference between the two major Takaful markets - Malaysia and the Middle East and also discussed the international strengths and weaknesses in the Takaful industry.
Speaking at the session, Dato' Haji Syed Moheeb Kamarulzaman, noted, "Some of the key challenges that the Takaful industry currently faces, amplify the importance of taking a concerted approach to the development of Takaful and ReTakaful at the global level. Takaful products and services need to be accessible by more consumers and there is a need to have a greater range of products to meet wider public needs, so that the benefits of Takaful can made available to the global community. It is also important to maintain and enhance public confidence on Takaful, supported by strong legal and regulatory infrastructure, robust risk management practices, comprehensive IT solutions and transparent disclosure and operating requirements."
He also said, "There are a number of strategies which the global community could adopt in order to realize these objectives which include building a more globalized Takaful industry through greater connectivity across sectors and nations; having a concerted branding for Takaful; positioning Shari'ah as an enabler for greater linkages of Takaful markets globally; building strong supporting infrastructure for Takaful business and aligning the strategic development of Takaful with the broader socio-economic environment of the global community."
Speaking to the media present at the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2012), said, "The global Takaful industry has been experiencing double digit growth rates, with the GCC and Malaysia being the major drivers. Although the GCC market remains at the top in terms of overall contributions, latest industry data reveals a deceleration in the growth rates. A critical factor that will determine the success in taking the industry to the next level of development will be the readiness of industry players to formulate and execute successful strategies in response to new market opportunities that will reignite growth levels."
"A key challenge for Takaful operators," he noted. "Will be to maintain growth momentum while boosting profitability and this calls for taking proactive steps and new thinking to overcome key challenges in order to sustain growth," he added.
A major highlight of METF 2012 was the exclusive industry leaders' keynote power debate. The session chaired by Ashar Nazim, Islamic Financial Services Leader, Ernst & Young and featuring Peter van den Broeke, Principal Administrator, International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS); and Dato' Haji Syed Moheeb Kamarulzaman; Former President / Chief Executive Officer and Director, Takaful Ikhlas; Former Chairman, Malaysian Takaful Association focused on overcoming the profitability challenge for Middle East Takaful operators and achieving sustainable underwriting profits.
METF 2012 continues with a series of sessions on day 2 on the 18th of October and features exclusive discussions on financial performance improvement and operational efficiency priorities for Middle East Takaful players and a country focus roundtable session that provides insights on tapping into the high-growth potential markets for Takaful in the Middle East.
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