Qatar Re gets green light for London branch

  • Growth focus: Gunther Saacke, CEO of Qatar Re (File photograph)

Bermudian-based Qatar Re has won regulators’ approval to open a branch in London.

The firm, which is headquartered in offices at Belvedere Place on Pitts Bay Road, is looking at the UK as an important growth market, according to a report out of Dubai.

The Gulf Times reported that Qatar Re, the reinsurance arm of the Qatar Insurance Group, had 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.

Qatar Re has existing branches in Zurich, Singapore and Dubai. And QIC also owns Antares, which operates on the Lloyds Market and QIC Europe (QEL), based in Malta.

Gunther Saacke, Qatar Re’s chief executive officer, said a UK underwriting presence was 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,” Mr Saacke added.

Khalifa al-Subaey, QIC Group’s chief executive, said: “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.”

Last week, Qatar Re announced the acquisition of Markerstudy Group’s Gibraltar-based insurance companies, which underwrite more than 5 per cent of the UK motor insurance market.