Home » BIBF, GIG Bahrain and Takaful International Company conclude Sustainable Insurance Forum

BIBF, GIG Bahrain and Takaful International Company conclude Sustainable Insurance Forum

by Madaline Dunn

The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), in collaboration with the Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (GIG Bahrain) and Takaful International Company. (GIG Bahrain Takaful) has concluded the “Sustainable Insurance Forum: From Awareness to Integration”.

Held on 10th December 2023 at the BIBF headquarters in Bahrain Bay, the event, was the first-of-its-kind initiative in the Kingdom of Bahrain to promote sustainability in the insurance sector.

Over 250 dignitaries, executives, and business experts from diverse sectors attended the forum, showcasing the industry’s collective commitment to sustainable practices.

It featured 18 speakers, including industry leaders and experts who explored the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into insurance operations.

The forum’s inauguration included a keynote address by Ms. Abeer Al Saad, the Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), emphasising the importance of sustainability in the financial sector and its alignment with regulatory frameworks. Zeyad Zainal, Chairman of ESG & Head of Digital Transformation at Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (GIG Bahrain), affirmed the company’s dedication to ESG principles.

The first session focused on the strategic integration of ESG issues into insurance operations.

The panel included Chiti Gupta – Senior Strategy Consultant ESG at Marsh Advisory, Dr. Simone Krummaker – Associate Dean at Bayes Business School, Samah Al-Hamad – Manager Risk, Compliance and Information Security at Bapco, Najat Alwadi – Manager, Governance, Risk Management, Compliance & Shari’a Control at Takaful International Company (GIG Bahrain Takaful), Satyan Laxman – Head of Strategy & Business Development, Insurance & Investor Relations at Aluminium Bahrain (ALBA), Dr. Annika Thorns – ESG Manager at P&C Global Services at Hannover-Re. The session was moderated Manal Mashkoor, Head of Insurance Centre at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), who highlighted practical approaches to integrate environmental, social, and governance considerations into the core of insurance operations and strategies.

The second session explored the intersection of insurance and sustainability, ranging from climate change considerations to the pursuit of zero neutrality.

It featured Elaine O’Brien – Head of Sustainability Risk Management at Swiss Re, Dr. Tarek Seif – Secretary General of the Insurance Federation of Egypt, Jessica Botelho, Assistant Director at AM Best; and Reema Nowrooz – Chief Underwriting Officer at Takaful International Company (GIG Bahrain Takaful).

Guiding the conversation was Zeeba Askar, President of the CFA Society Bahrain.

The session explored prominent connections between the insurance industry and climate change, with a keen emphasis on the path towards achieving net-zero goals.

The concluding session of the forum delved into the vital role that regulation and oversight play as catalysts for integrating and disclosing environmental, social, and governance affairs. . Elham Taleb – Director of Insurance Supervision at Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), and Diana Diaz – Program Supervisor at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), actively contributed their insights to the discussion. Guiding the session’s discourse was Nadia Alqassab – Senior Lecturer at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), highlighting the importance of regulatory frameworks in propelling the integration and disclosure of environmental, social, and governance considerations within the insurance sector.

Dr. Ahmed Al Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer of the Bahrain Institute of Baking and Finance (BIBF) commented:”The great success of this forum reflects the insurance sector’s commitment to adopting sustainable practices, shaping a responsible and sustainable future for insurance in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Dr Abdulla Sultan, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (GIG Bahrain), stated: “The success of this forum is a clear indication of the industry’s commitment to driving positive change, leading the sector towards a more responsible and sustainable future.”

Mr. Essam Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer of Takaful International Company (GIG Bahrain Takaful) added: “The Sustainable Insurance Forum provided a roadmap for sustainable practices in the insurance sector, confirming our commitment to being a leading Islamic insurance company in sustainability.”

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