Manama, Bahrain: 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 successfully concluded the “Sustainable Insurance Forum: From Awareness to Integration”. The event, held on 10th December 2023 at the BIBF headquarters in Bahrain Bay, was the first-of-its-kind initiative in the Kingdom of Bahrain to promote sustainability in the insurance sector.
More than 250 dignitaries, executives, and business experts from diverse sectors attended the forum, showcasing the industry's collective commitment to sustainable practices. The event featured 18 speakers, including industry leaders and experts who explored the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into insurance operations for the benefit of national economic growth.
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), emphasizing the importance of sustainability in the financial sector and its alignment with regulatory frameworks. Mr. 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 distinguished panel included Ms. Chiti Gupta – Senior Strategy Consultant ESG at Marsh Advisory, Dr. Simone Krummaker – Associate Dean at Bayes Business School, Ms. Samah Al-Hamad – Manager Risk, Compliance and Information Security at Bapco, Ms. Najat Alwadi – Manager, Governance, Risk Management, Compliance & Shari’a Control at Takaful International Company (GIG Bahrain Takaful), Mr. 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 Ms. Manal Mashkoor, Head of Insurance Centre at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), highlighted practical approaches to seamlessly integrate environmental, social, and governance considerations into the core of insurance operations and strategies.
The second session delved into the critical intersection of insurance and sustainability, ranging from climate change considerations to the pursuit of zero neutrality, it featured Ms. Elaine O'Brien - Head of Sustainability Risk Management at Swiss Re, Dr. Tarek Seif - Secretary General of Insurance Federation of Egypt, Ms. Jessica Botelho, Assistant Director at AM Best; and Ms. Reema Nowrooz - Chief Underwriting Officer at Takaful International Company (GIG Bahrain Takaful). Guiding the conversation was Ms. 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. Ms. Elham Taleb – Director of Insurance Supervision at Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), and Ms. Diana Diaz – Program Supervisor at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), actively contributed their insights to the discussion. Guiding the session's discourse was Ms. 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) stated, "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."
The forum's achievements signify a shared dedication among sector leaders to achieve positive change and shape a more sustainable future for the insurance industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) was established in 1981 under the Central Bank of Bahrain. The BIBF has since emerged as a leading educational and training provider with a mission to develop human capital in Bahrain and around the world.
The BIBF offers an extensive range of programmes and initiatives across various business disciplines, focusing on cutting-edge training programmes and trending technologies. The institution covers areas such as banking, finance, insurance, Islamic finance, digital transformation, project management, leadership, management assessment, as well as executive education and academic studies. It provides comprehensive training and development opportunities for individuals and organisations.
The BIBF has established itself as an official partner to numerous professional and educational institutions worldwide, solidifying its global presence in 64 countries. This widespread reach positions the BIBF as a prominent player in the education and training industry, enabling it to effectively contribute to the growth and development of professionals across diverse sectors.
To learn more about the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, please visit the website: www.bibf.com
About Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (GIG Bahrain)
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company is the lead insurance company in the Bahraini market and a major player in Kuwait, with a credit rating of A- (Excellent) with stable outlook, by A.M Best which is the highest rating in Bahrain to be awarded to a local direct insurer, reflecting the financial strength of the company to meet its future obligations. GIG Bahrain is a subsidiary of Gulf Insurance Group (GIG) which is the largest insurance Group in Kuwait in terms of written and retained premiums, with operations in life and non-life as well as Takaful insurance..
About Takaful International Company (GIG Bahrain – Takaful)
Takaful International Company is the first Islamic insurance company in the region. It was established in the year 1989 to provide an integrated set of products and insurance coverages that are compatible with the principles of Islamic Sharia and the requirements of various institutions and individuals. It is a subsidiary of the GIG Group - Bahrain. The company has been rated (A-) Excellent by the international rating agency AM Best.