In collaboration with MENA Strategies, the RIMS Risk Forum Middle East was launched with an expressive opening statement “ “Risk professionals need to understand the upside of risk: opportunity” by Mary Roth, RIMS Executive Director.
The Risk Forum, which is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, attracted attendees and speakers from top corporations in the region. Major Mohamed Al Marri gave the keynote speech, Director General of the GDRFA, and highlighted that the nation should be established with the conviction that “risk avoidance is not an option, managing risk is”.
An engaging panel discussion reflected the current state of the MENA insurance market and where it is headed. Melissa Aoun, Managing Director at MENA Strategies, moderated the panel that included reputable speakers Fareed Lutfi, Secretary General at Emirates Insurance Association, Walid Nehme, CEO at Associated Insurance Consultants and Sivam Subramaniam, Editor-in-Chief at Middle East Insurance Review. Mr. Lutfi emphasized that although the GCC insurance market income is still low, at less than 0.5% of the global market, the GCC has witnessed a 16% average growth in the last five years.
The Energy Risk panel, chaired by Melissa Aoun, focused on the risks and opportunities that energy corporations in the MENA region are facing due to increased levels of risks as a result of industry trends. Key speakers Mostafa Ramzy, Senior ERM Professional at ENEC, Abdulla Al Khatib, ERM Controller of Business Operations at ENOC and Bader Al Shumaimri, Risk Manager at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation discussed the top risks facing the energy industry amidst oil price decrease and the expansion of National Oil Companies into non MENA markets. “Reputational risk cannot be transferred, that’s why in the BP oil spill, no one remembers the name of the contractor” underlines Mr. Ramzy as he stresses the importance of supply chain risk management.
The Forum provided attendees with a platform to network with risk managers from MENA based and international corporations; Associated Insurance Consultants, Control Risks, Du, Emirates Insurance Association, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Emirates Transport, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, MENA Strategies, Middle East Insurance Review, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), Nesma & Partners, New Dawn Risk Group, New York University, and Zain.
“The region has seen a number of insurance related events with limited focus on risk mitigation methods other than risk transfer through insurance” comments Melissa Aoun. “We are thrilled to work with RIMS on developing risk management practices in the MENA region and are confident that this Risk Forum accentuates our mutual efforts to promote risk as an integrated discipline, essential to every corporation in the region”.