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World’s Largest Annual Gathering of Takaful Leaders to Discuss Key Strategies for Sustaining Growth and Boosting Profitability

More than 400 international Islamic insurance industry leaders from the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa and beyond to gather in Dubai at the 8th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC 2013) for discussions that will tackle the threats to sustainable profitability and discuss a new growth map for moving towards sound underwriting profitability.

Jeff Singer, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai International Financial Center Authority (DIFCA)

Jeff Singer, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai International Financial Center Authority (DIFCA)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 14th April 2013: More than 400 key players and thought leaders in the global Takaful industry will be gathering on the 15th and 16th of April 2013 in Dusit Thani, Dubai, for the 8th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC 2013). Held under the theme “New Strategic Imperatives for the Takaful Industry: Sustaining Growth and Boosting Profitability”, WTC 2013 will set the stage for discussions that will strive to improve the competitive performance of Takaful players and will also seek to identify and capitalize on the new growth drivers for the global Islamic insurance industry.

Speaking ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Takaful Conference, noted that “the global Takaful market has shown strong growth in the last few years. Driven by increasing consumer awareness and improvements in the quality of products and services being offered, the global Takaful industry has seen a significant increase in its market share. With tremendous growth opportunities yet to be fully tapped, the international Takaful industry is poised to enter a new phase of major growth in the coming years and therefore it is essential to ensure that strong foundations are in place to fully support this growth. A critical challenge facing the industry is that a large number of Takaful operators are finding it difficult to sustain financial performance due to the increase in competition. Though the overall outlook for the global Takaful industry remains positive, it is essential that the mounting challenges posed by increasing competitive pressures and declining underwriting profits combined with the reduction in investment income need to be immediately tackled so that the industry can maintain its exciting growth trajectory.”

Safder Jaffer, Managing Director & Consulting Actuary - Middle East & Africa, Milliman

Safder Jaffer, Managing Director & Consulting Actuary – Middle East & Africa, Milliman

Mr. McLean also added that “the Takaful industry, like any other growing industry, is facing a number of challenges such as balancing a growth drive with sustainable profitability, the need for skilled professionals, an enhanced regulatory and prudential framework and a deeper pool of Shari’ah-compliant investment opportunities all of which need to be urgently addressed.”

The World Takaful Conference 2013 will be officially inaugurated with a special opening keynote address by Jeff Singer, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai International Financial Center Authority (DIFCA). Confirming his participation at the event, Jeff Singer said that “the global Takaful market has shown strong growth over the last few years. The key factors underpinning this growth include the development of supporting regulatory frameworks, favourable demographics, growing affluence, the growth in organized savings and the overall development of the international Islamic finance industry resulting in greater availability of Takaful and Islamic finance products that meet the needs of end-users. However the key challenges for the global Takaful industry remain efficiency, profitability and scale. In order to ensure the long term stability of the global Takaful industry, it is essential to find innovative solutions to manage the challenges of an increasingly competitive Takaful market, drive operational efficiencies and improve the financial performance in the industry.”

He also said that “the theme for this year’s World Takaful Conference (WTC 2013) – “New Strategic Imperatives for the Takaful Industry: Sustaining Growth and Boosting Profitability” is important and timely as the Takaful industry globally is evolving rapidly and there is tremendous growth potential.”

“I am delighted to be a part of the debates and discussions at the 8th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC 2013) in Dubai that will seek to achieve the full potential of the global Takaful industry”, he added.

Christian Gregorowicz, Chief Executive Officer of NEXtCARE

Christian Gregorowicz, Chief Executive Officer of NEXtCARE

The inaugural session will be immediately followed by a keynote plenary session featuring Zainudin Ishak, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Chairman of the Malaysian Takaful Association; Chris Wei, Group Chief Executive Officer of Great Eastern Holdings Limited; Hussein Al Meeza, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Company (AMAN); and Parvaiz Siddiq, Chief Executive Officer of Noor Takaful. The session, which will analyse new strategies for sustaining growth in the global Takaful industry, will address the challenges of slowing growth rates and competitive pressures and will assess how Takaful operators can effectively manage the shift to profitability.

A key highlight of the 8th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC 2013) will be the exclusive industry leaders’ power debate featuring an exceptional cross-section of international thought leaders in the global Shari’ah-compliant insurance industry. The session chaired by Irshied Tayeb, Regional Head of Insurance Services – Middle East & North Africa, Bin Shabib & Associates and featuring Dr. Bassel Hindawi, Immediate Past Insurance Commissioner of Jordan;  Shahril Azuar Jimin, Senior Executive Vice President / Chief Commercial Officer of Maybank Ageas Holdings Berhad; and Azim Mithani, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad, will discuss practical solutions to overcoming the key obstacles to the further development of the global Takaful industry.

Featuring ground-breaking original research insights, WTC 2013 will also include the exclusive onsite launch of the Global Family Takaful Report 2013 and the World Islamic Insurance Directory 2013. The Global Family Takaful Report, developed by Milliman, will provide research insights into the performance of Family Takaful offerings, the future direction of the market and new opportunities for the growth of Family Takaful across key international markets, while the World Islamic Insurance Directory, jointly published by Takaful Re and the Middle East Insurance Review, will provide a snapshot of the global Takaful scene, with an insight into financial and management data of Takaful and Re-Takaful operators in key markets.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the Milliman Global Family Takaful Report 2013, Safder Jaffer, Managing Director & Consulting Actuary – Middle East & Africa, Milliman, noted that “with global family Takaful contributions currently estimated at US$2 billion, Milliman projects a 260% increase within the next five years to US$5.2 billion. At a global level, the growth in Family Takaful continues to outweigh the growth observed in both general Takaful and conventional life insurance.”

“Following the successful launch of the first ever Milliman Global Family Takaful Report 2011, the feedback we got from practitioners was overwhelming and consistent –the industry needs to distinguish ‘Family Takaful’ from ‘General Takaful’. Whereas General Takaful is still exploring avenues to find its feet in the market, the success of Family Takaful has been solid particularly in South East Asia”, he said.

He also noted that “the  2nd Milliman Family Takaful report provides an update of  the overall market trends, a specially focused insight into the developing Indonesian market, which has witnessed significant growth in Family Takaful during recent years, and a focus on distribution in key Takaful markets in the Middle East and South East Asia. We are delighted to be launching this report at the 8th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC 2013) and we look forward to discussing the findings of the report with the international industry leaders at WTC 2013.”

WTC 2013 will feature more than 35 leading industry partners and exhibitors showcasing their latest innovations at the World Takaful Exhibition organised along the sidelines of the conference. The exhibition will be officially inaugurated on the 15th of April. Commenting on their participation at WTC 2013, Christian Gregorowicz, Chief Executive Officer of NEXtCARE said that “the global Takaful industry has shown strong growth in the last few years, with many new market entries, and has seen a significant increase in its market share in key countries, backed not only by increasing awareness and improvements in the quality of Shari’ah compliant products, but also with the a growing demand of Islamic financial solutions. To realize its full potential, it is essential for the Takaful industry to ensure long term operational and technical profitability. The way forward for leading operators is to focus on improving operational efficiency which will contribute towards enhanced financial performance.”

“We are delighted to be supporting the World Takaful Conference 2013 and we hope that the discussions at this key industry event results in identifying strategic initiatives that the industry must adopt to build on and sustain its long term growth”, he added.

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