Qatar Re, the reinsurance arm of the Qatar Insurance group, has received approvals from regulators to open a branch in London.
Bermuda-based Qatar Re has been authorised by the Qatar Central Bank and the UK regulator, Prudential Regulation Authority, to carry out certain regulated activities in the UK from its branch office in London, a company spokesman said.
This is a strategically important addition of the QIC Group's global platform. QIC through Qatar Re has existing branches in Zurich, Singapore and Dubai. QIC's global presence also includes another UK-based insurance vehicle, Antares, which operates on the London Lloyds Market and QIC Europe (QEL) based in Malta.
“This development is an important step in the QIC Group growth strategy that was approved by the Board in 2012. The UK branch office, therefore, positions Qatar Re with an opportunity to grow its UK based portfolio in an essential reinsurance market," said Mr Khalifa al-Subaey, QIC Group President and Chief Executive.
Mr Gunther Saacke, Qatar Re’s CEO, said: “London is the leading global hub for specialty and wholesale insurance. Therefore, a local underwriting presence is almost imperative for any aspiring global reinsurer. This is particularly true for Qatar Re as proximity to our clients and brokers is one of our proven value drivers.”
He added: “For Qatar Re, Britain is a major market of growing importance. Only a few days ago, we announced the acquisition, subject to regulatory approvals, of Markerstudy Group’s Gibraltar-based insurance companies which underwrite more than 5% of the UK motor insurance market, generating annual premiums of about GBP750 million (US$1.03 billion).”
The companies to be acquired are Markerstudy Insurance Company, Zenith Insurance, St Julians Insurance and Ultimate Insurance.
Qatar Re, licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, is a global multi-line reinsurer writing all major property, casualty and specialty lines of business.