First move by Hyperion Group since 3i investment

DUAL International, a specialist underwriting agency and the underwriting division of the Hyperion Insurance Group, has announced the further expansion of its global network with the opening of an office in Hong Kong.

The new operation, which is expected to officially start trading in July 2008, represents DUAL’s first footprint in Asia.

It also represents the first business initiative announced by the Hyperion insurance Group since the investment of £50 million for a minority shareholding in the company by 3i, a world leader in private equity.

Stephen Crowther, executive chairman of DUAL International, said: “Hong Kong provides us with an excellent springboard from which to expand further throughout the Asia Pacific region in due course.

"It is a recognised hub for the entire territory, and we believe the insurance market in Hong Kong offers an excellent opportunity to win profitable business. It is a challenging market place and we will be adopting a controlled approach to growth, seeking quality business rather than aiming for the high risk end of the market.”

DUAL International plans to focus initially on its core area of expertise – directors’ and officers’ – before extending its burgeoning professional indemnity offering, and intends to target small to medium risk companies.

Damien Coates, currently managing director of DUAL’s operations in Australia, has been promoted to the board of DUAL International Ltd with responsibility for the development of DUAL businesses throughout the region as head, Asia Pacific.

To support Damien specifically in Hong Kong, Phil Chiu has been appointed general manager Asia. Phil has over 10 years’ experience in financial lines business and joins DUAL from AIG where he was responsible for financial lines, Greater China.