BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP (“BSA”) are pleased to support the recent exciting merger of the United Arab Emirates Insurance Authority & Securities & Commodities Authority into one financial regulatory body overseeing the authorisation and regulation of insurance and investment as one regulatory body. The UAE Federal Government formally announced the merger of these two regulators as it did with other Government Ministries. This is a positive change for the UAE insurance market consolidating dual regulation into one framework. This will benefit UAE public listed insurance companies as well as investment advisors under one regulatory regime and legal framework avoiding dual authorisation and dual regulation, which has often caused complexity and uncertainty in the market. The merger will create a new financial regulator ready to take on the issues such as, market conduct, counterparty risk, solvency, and operational risk as well as, what is hoped a new merger and run-off framework for UAE insurers. The merger is a welcome change with the soon to be implemented IFRS17 and possible consolidation of the UAE insurance market over the next few years. BSA anticipates that there will a transition period put in place to move all authorised and regulated entities to the new financial regulator under a new consolidated legal and regulatory framework. The UAE insurance sector will need much guidance to facilitate the transition and BSA is on hand to offer its professional legal/regulatory support in this regard. It has been suggested that the new financial regulator might take on a similar remit and framework of the United Kingdom’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a prudential and conduct regulator respectively with separate divisions for both areas. We await to see the structural changes and the proposed framework but the changes, we believe will result in a stronger, agile, and consolidated insurance market ready for the next decade.
BSA has worked with and acted for several UAE insurers and intermediaries through its insurance/reinsurance legal team both in terms of corporate acquisitions and mergers as well as contentious dispute work. BSA has one of the largest legal insurance/reinsurance teams in the region offering professional legal services and regulatory support with advice, (re)insurance litigation/dispute representation, corporate/commercial work, policy coverage advice/reviews, licensing and general regulatory support as well as other legal and regulatory services to the insurance/reinsurance sector. Michael Kortbawi and Simon Isgar, Partners at BSA head up the team operating from the firm’s DIFC office. Michael and Simon have a wealth of experience and the team collectively has over 30 years plus experience in the insurance/reinsurance legal sector. Simon has acted for and represented the largest global insurers/reinsurers in the region and has recently secured the firm on the panel with one of the largest global reinsurers. Michael has acted for several of the largest regional carriers over the years and is recognised by the market as an expert in his field. Simon and Michael are often instructed by several of the global leading insurance law firms as local and regional insurance law/counsel experts both in contentious and non-contentious work.
Authored by Partner and Head of Insurance/Reinsurance, Simon Isgar