Manama – MENA Herald: Insurance leaders from across the Middle East gathered today at the 12th annual Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF). With the strategic support of the Central Bank of Bahrain, MEIF 2016 hosted 400 insurance leaders who gathered at the Gulf Hotel in Bahrain to deliberate on new strategies to assess the direction of the industry and chart new ways for its growth. Â

Opening the historic forum to a packed audience was the Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, who said: “The Middle East insurance industry has built a strong foundation over the last several years and, looking forward, continues to promise exciting growth prospects. The 12th annual Middle East Forum will set the stage to promote the GCC’s the new insurance landscape. Bahrain has become a well-established hub for insurance, reinsurance and takaful firms for the Middle Eastern region and the Central Bank of Bahrain will continue to support this progress by providing a strong framework essential for the insurance industry to flourish.”

Mark Cooper, the Middle East’s representative for Lloyd’s, provided a truly engaging keynote address outlining the present GCC insurance landscape. Mr. Cooper was a superb choice given his extensive experience of the GCC and wider Levant insurance markets, having held executive roles at organisations such as Zurich Insurance, RSA Insurance and the DIFC Authority.

Mr. Cooper’s remarks were followed with an exceptional line-up of seasoned and respected industry practitioners who addressed the path towards more integrated GCC insurance markets. They included well-known figures such as Peter Hodgins, Partner at Clyde & Co, Scott Lim, Associate Director –Supervision at Dubai Financial Services Authority and Mahomed Akoob, Managing Director of Hannover ReTakaful.

The conveners of MEIF, Middle East Global Advisors – an intelligence platform serving the Middle East North Africa Southeast Asia (MENASEA) region for the last 22 years – also launched the “Finance Forward Middle East Insurance Outlook Report 2016,” a comprehensive guide for the insurance leader to navigate the region’s new insurance landscape in 2016.

The afternoon’s discussions will be led by industry leaders such as Simon Owen, Director at Ensurion W.L.L, Jehad Ali Khalfan Sultan, Head of Insurance Programme at Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (GPIC), Sanjay Jain, Director & MENA Insurance Advisors Leader at EY and Mohamed Seghir, Vice President, Europe, Middle East & Africa at Swiss Reinsurance Company. The day will culminate in the much-anticipated MEIF Institutional Excellence Awards ceremony at a high profile Gala Luncheon hosted by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The final day of MEIF 2015 continues on the 3rd of February and will witness the highly anticipated CEO Power Debate and the exclusive one-on-one interview with Muzaffer Aktas (Chairman, Turkey, Middle East & Africa of Willis Re).