Gulf insurance sector 'to face new challenges'
Manama, April 17, 2013
Even as the GCC insurance sector continues to recover fast since the global financial crisis, the current year is going to bring in significant regulatory and commercial change, a leading expert said.
According to KPMG in Bahrain Audit & Advisory insurance senior manager Adeel Mushtaq, this would require a new state of readiness - be it corporate governance or regulatory compliance.
"However these changes bring opportunities as well as challenges," he was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"Key challenges on the minds of GCC insurance executives are how to achieve growth in this fast changing environment coupled with equally fast evolving regulatory and governance landscape in the region," he noted.
"For most of the GCC insurers, evolving global regulatory and reporting requirements will present challenges to their business models, cost structures and how they communicate with stakeholders," he added.
"Impact of changes will affect every facet of the business. Therefore, insurers must take a holistic approach in their business planning," said Mushtaq while speaking at a seminar hosted by Bahrain Insurance Association and Bahrain Association of Banks.
"Another challenge for GCC insurers is to manage differing timelines, interdependences and alignment of change over three years, beyond systems and for business synergies and adopt a target operating model," he pointed out.
"A comprehensive review plan to identify practices can add genuine value to business, and can derive real benefit out of what may otherwise be viewed as simply a compliance exercise such as setting of risk appetites and subsequent linking to strategy and business plans," he added.
According to Mushtaq, the global financial crisis highlighted that poor decision-making at either board or senior management level can contribute to financial malaise.
More than 100 senior professionals from Bahrain's insurance and banking sector participated in the meeting to receive an update on profiting from corporate governance and evolving regulations.-TradeArabia News Service