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Sheikh Mohamed Bin Saif Bin Mohamed Al-Nahyan


Insuring growth

Chairman, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC)


Sheikh Mohamed Bin Saif Bin Mohamed Al-Nahyan is the Chairman of ADNIC. In addition, he has been a board member of First Abu Dhabi Bank (previously National Bank of Abu Dhabi) since 2006, and he is a member of the Business Management Committee in the aforementioned bank. Al-Nahyan is a knowledgeable business professional with more than 15 years’ experience. He deals with real estate investments and is self-managing various related projects across the UAE. He holds a degree in international economics and history from the American University of Paris.

Though insurance penetration in the GCC market is low, the UAE is a dominant marketplace in the region and the scope for future growth is also incredibly high.

What key factors have contributed to your recent profit growth, and how does diversification feature in this?
We can attribute our success to a culture of teamwork and a commitment to developing, mentoring, guiding, and empowering our people. Through comprehensive training, we have also provided a platform for our employees to upskill, and we were proud to recently host the globally renowned motivational speaker, Ron Kaufman. Another contributing factor to our success is the continuous improvement of our processes. As a leading multi-line insurer with a wide range of general, health and life products, business diversification does play a role in ADNIC’s success. However, we do not pursue breadth at the expense of profitability or service quality. It is an ongoing task to keep abreast of the evolving expectations and needs of our existing and potential customers.

What is the significance of your recent partnership with Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) regarding the controlling and managing of risk across your operations?
A major challenge in the insurance market is receivables, and signing the agreement with AECB is in line with ADNIC’s mission to adopt innovative solutions in the insurance industry and implement international best practices. The move helps to further strengthen our ability to control and manage credit risk exposure in our operations, and in turn proactively select clients on the basis of appropriate credit and financial screening

What is your view on the Insurance Authority and its contribution to market development?
The regulator always adds value to the sector and ensures best practices are implemented. Additionally, it ensures that companies can continue to operate and honor the obligations to meet minimum solvency margins. The insurance authority sets clear financial guidelines and is also a strong advocate of clear, regular financial reporting, which is currently at a level of extensive electronic reporting. Among the most important financial guidelines issued by the regulator are investment allocations for different asset classes like real estate and equities. The solvency margin and capital adequacy are important in safeguarding the interests of policyholders and shareholders alike. Another notable exercise is the price review, which requires half-yearly reports from companies on the performance of each business line. This gives the authority accurate data on the state of the industry, both individually and overall, including CEO-level input on prospective developments.

What is the role of technology when it comes to streamlining processes ?
Investment in technology is a major focus for ADNIC, as we are aware that adoption of automation and digitalization will be necessary to meet the expectations of our clients. Furthermore, we appreciate that our clients and retail customers are keen to access insurance processes via their smartphone. Mobile apps allow individual customers to buy insurance and launch and follow up on their claims through their devices, while enabling call centers to respond immediately to simple transactions for basic products that require deep technology adoption.

How can the insurance industry continue to evolve and what are your expectations looking ahead?
Regarding the contribution of the insurance industry to the overall economy, the penetration rate in the UAE today is below 2.5%, or one-third of the European average. Therefore, the contribution of insurance to GDP is thin; however, the penetration rate in the UAE is still higher than most of the countries in the region. The positive side of this is growth potential. Apart from the penetration rate and share of the insurance industry in the overall economy, insurance is the backbone of commercial businesses as no enterprise can operate without it. With more than 60 players in the market, the sector is clearly competitive; therefore, M&A activities may happen but could take time. We are optimistic about project growth both at the top and bottom line and see signs of growth in the market and the wider economy.



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