Jan 2019

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Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Dec 2018

Global: GFIA announces new appointments following AGM
The Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) has announced the election of Mr Recaredo Arias as its new president, following a vote at its annual general assembly in November. 
Mr Arias, who is director general of the Mexican Association of Insurance Companies (AMIS), takes over from Mr Dirk Kempthorne, who stepped down in August this year after leaving his role as president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers. 
Mr Don Forgeron, president and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, will take over Mr Arias’s previous role as vice president. 
In addition, Mr Rob Whelan, executive director and CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia, has stepped down as membership executive. This role has been taken over by Mr Tim Grafton, CEO of the Insurance Council of New Zealand. 
The mandates of two other GFIA ExCo members were renewed: Mr Toyonari Sasaki, vice chairman of the Life Insurance Association of Japan, as treasurer and Mr Bachir Baddou, general manager of the Moroccan Insurance Association, as regional representative. All mandates are for two years.

UK: Generali hires head of business development 
Generali Global Health has named Mr John Kaye as head of business development for the EMEA region. He reports to chief commercial officer Stuart Leatherby and is based in London.
Mr Kaye previously worked at Cigna International for 16 years, where he held roles in client services and business development in the Middle East and Asia, before becoming managing director for Europe. He was client manager for AXA PPP healthcare, business development manager for Lombard and technical sales representative for Hilti. 

Egypt: New head for Misr Insurance Holding 
Misr Insurance Holding Co (MIHC), the state-owned holding and parent company of Misr Insurance and Misr Life, has named Dr Basel El Hini as the chairman and CEO with effect from October 2018. He takes over from Dr Mohammed Yousef, who stepped down from his position in May.
Dr El Hini has over 28 years of experience in the financial industry including investment, banking and insurance. He started his career with Iran-Egypt Development Bank and then moved to Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation in Saudi Arabia as head of MENA sector. He has worked in various banking and investment positions in Egypt over the years. Dr El Hini is a non-executive board member at several state-owned and private institutions.

Egypt: IFTI elects new chairman
The International Federation of Takaful and Islamic Insurance Companies (IFTI) has elected Mr Omar Gouda, MD, Africa Retakaful, as the new chairman of the federation during its recent board meeting in late October. Mr Gouda is one of the international takaful and retakaful leaders who is assisting to develop and spread takaful concepts worldwide and especially in MENA. He succeeds Mr Abdel Raouf Kotb, vice chairman and MD of Egyptian Saudi Insurance House and Egyptian Emirates Family Takaful, who has decided to retire from the position. 
Mr Kotb has contributed substantially to the entire insurance industry, having been the chairman of the Egyptian Insurance Federation, the General Arab Insurance Federation (GAIF), and the Federation of Afro-Asian Insurers and Reinsurers (FAIR). 
During his chairmanship of IFTI, the federation has witnessed noticeable increase in its activities and acquired more recognition in the takaful and Islamic insurance industry. 

Egypt: Africa Re appoints assistant director
African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) has appointed Mr Mohamed Saad Zaghloul as assistant director effective October 2018. He joins from Emirates Retakaful where he served as senior vice president, head of treaty since 2013. Prior to that, he was area manager & underwriter at Al Fajer Retakaful in Kuwait.
Mr Zaghloul started his insurance career with Egypt Reinsurance Co in 2001 where he held several positions, including area manager and treaty underwriter. 

Jordan: IGI appoints its first chief technology officer
International General Insurance Holdings Limited (IGI) has appointed Mr Nasser Zagha to the newly-created role of chief technology officer. 
In his new role, Mr Zagha has been tasked with leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance IGI’s overall business capabilities. He will focus on complementing IGI’s corporate objectives with an enhanced digital strategy in order to streamline the company’s business processes. 
Mr Zagha joins IGI from Bank of Jordan, where as head of information technology, he spearheaded initiatives in areas such as enterprise digital transformation, business process management, mobility, financial ERP, CRM, EDMS implementations and others. 
He had also worked for Bank of America, where he was a systems engineer, technology manager and most recently vice president. 
He will be based in the Amman office and will report to Mr Hatem Jabsheh, IGI’s chief operating officer. 

UAE: New chief justice for DIFC Courts
Tun Dato Seri Dr Zaki Bin Tun Azmi, patron of the International Malaysian Society of Maritime Law, has been appointed chief justice of the DIFC Courts by HH Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president, prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, effective November 2018. 
Justice Zaki joined the DIFC Courts in December 2013. He retired as the chief justice of Malaysia in September 2011, upon reaching the retirement age of judges of the superior courts in Malaysia. 
His greatest achievement as the 12th chief justice was to clear the outstanding backlog of cases affecting the Malaysian Courts and to reduce the hearing time for newly filed cases, an achievement which was recognised by the World Bank. 
DIFC Courts deal with civil and commercial disputes in Dubai. 

UAE: BSA appoints new head of insurance
Regional law firm BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP has appointed Mr Simon Isgar as head of insurance. He joins BSA’s growing team of corporate lawyers to form the largest corporate insurance practice in the MENA region. 
Mr Isgar previously headed up Kennedys Dubai LLP’s MENA corporate and regulatory insurance practice. 
A specialist in international health regulation and health insurance law as well as general corporate law, Mr Isgar is a member of the DIFC Insurance Association and sits on the regulatory and life & health committees. He advises insurance intermediaries on the placement of risks and products in foreign markets including underwriting agents and brokers. 
His specialist experience in corporate insurance transactional work includes setting up international insurers and agents in foreign markets through local incorporation, reinsurance arrangements and partnering with local licensed primary insurers in all lines of insurance, specifically life and health. 

UAE: Former AFIC CEO joins Dar Al Takaful
Dar Al Takaful board of directors has announced the appointment of Mr AR Srinivasan as its new CEO. 
Mr Srinivasan, formerly the CEO of Arabia Falcon Insurance Co (AFIC), has over 30 years of experience in the insurance sector. He has held senior leadership roles in India, Oman, the UAE and Bahrain. He has a deep expertise and knowledge in the insurance and reinsurance market in the Middle East and has developed and maintained solid networks with major players in the industry. 
Mr Srinivasan takes over the role from Mr Saleh Al Hashimi, who served the company for eight years as managing director. 

UAE: MetLife appoints head of Gulf employee benefits
MetLife has named Mr Andrew Stocker as head of employee benefits for the Gulf. 
Reporting to Mr Dimitris Mazarakis, general manager, MetLife Gulf, Mr Stocker will be based in Dubai and will start his new role on 1 January 2019. 
He has more than 20 years of experience at MetLife and joins the Gulf business after five years as head of distribution for MAXIS Global Benefits Network, a leading provider of captive, pooling, reinsurance and employee benefits solutions to multinational companies. 
Mr Stocker was previously head of distribution for MetLife’s global employee benefits (GEB) business and has also held sales roles across the company including regional director for US group benefits, and vice president of GEB global relationship management.
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