Lloyd’s reinsurance joint venture with risks split 50/50

Lloyd’s insurer Hardy Underwriting has agreed a Bahrain-based joint venture with Arab Insurance Group (Arig) to write reinsurance in the Middle East and North Africa.

Hardy’s syndicate 382 and Arig will share the majority of the risk 50/50. The new company will focus on construction and engineering business along with onshore energy risks, but will look to develop further lines later.

Barbara Merry, chief executive of Hardy, said "HAIM offers the Hardy Group an exciting opportunity to provide reinsurance in the MENA region in conjunction with an established and well respected local partner."

Dynamic economy

Haim is set to start writing business in the fourth quarter this year for cover that will take effect from 2010. It will operate from Arig’s offices in Bahrain.

Yassir Albaharna, chief executive of Arig, said: "With the combined underwriting expertise and capacity of the two groups, HAIM will be able to make a valuable contribution to the reinsurance market as some of the most dynamic economies in the region are preparing for the future.

“We are extremely pleased to be taking this step with Hardy, a company that is so widely recognised for its professionalism and success. HAIM will significantly enhance the palette of services we are able to offer to the regional customer."

New underwriter

Hardy also announced it had poached Steve Cross from Zurich to be a senior underwriter for construction and engineering business to work closely with the newly formed joint venture.