The Takaful Industry Takes Stock in London
2nd March 2016
The tenth International Takaful Summit was held in London from 22nd to 24th February 2016. The theme of this year’s Summit was Pathways for Matching Islamic Finance Assets to Takaful. The disconnect between the fast-growing pool of Islamic finance assets and their relatively sparse use of Takaful, formed the background to the discussions over the three days.
This leading thought forum for the global Takaful industry had over 400 participants from all over the world for its tenth annual gathering. The Summit started with the Norton Rose Fulbright Masterclass on 22nd February. In the Masterclass, discussions centred on the re-emerging opportunities in Pakistan and Iran where the requirement for Islamic insurance is strong and the potential for growth of Takaful was judged to be immense.
The first day of the main Summit on 23rd February brought together a number of renowned experts to discuss various areas of interest for Takaful providers. The success story of Shyarikat Takaful Malaysia was appreciated by all delegates. The presentation of a survey done by Norton Rose Fulbright on attitudes of potential users of Takaful was also eye-opening. The morning also saw a number of informative presentations on the development of Takaful in Africa, with discussions centred on the potential for growth of Takaful using the pure mutual model. Some interesting opportunities were highlighted using discretionary mutuals and the new potential deferred share capital raising possibilities for mutuals in the UK.
In the afternoon, key stakeholders made presentations on leveraging the expertise in the London market to enhance global Takaful provision. They highlighted the fact London would be receptive to working with Takaful Operators to create a win-win strategy. This was further reinforced in the closing keynote address by Inga Beale, CEO, of Lloyd’s of London who reiterated the commitment of the leading insurance market to welcome Takaful providers. The first day came to a close with the International Takaful Awards where 200 industry leaders celebrated the achievements of the global Takaful operators and service providers in the only standalone ceremony to recognise the significant achievements of this market.
There were 22 awards presented on the night with notable mentions for Al Ahli Takaful who walked away with 2 awards and Shyarikat Takaful Malaysia that were awarded the best Takaful Company in Malaysia for the 4th successive year. Pak-Qatar Family & General Takaful received the Best Takaful operator in Pakistan due to their extensive branch network and innovative use of technology to increase their reach and improve accessibility to their clients. One of the top awards for CEO of the year was presented to Ali Ibrahim Abdulghani for steering Qatar Islamic Insurance Company to incredible results in 2015. The lifetime achievement award was presented to Hannover Retakaful’s Mahomed Akoob who has contributed so much to the industry including the formation of the first Takaful Company in South Africa as well as overseeing the formation of Hannover Retakaful into the premier Retakaful institution in the world. Mahomed accepted the award with great humility giving credit to his colleagues that he had worked with in a 4 decade career as well as the clients that he has served so diligently.
The final day of the conference on Wednesday 24th February started with a thorough investigation of the Retakaful market with a detailed insight into why a number of standalone ReTakaful operators have not been successful in growing their business and market share over the last decade. Other topics that were discussed where the challenges for utilising investment opportunities available to the Takaful and Retakaful companies, given the specific criteria that these institutions need to adhere to. The event ended with an interesting discussion about the provision of Microtakaful. It was interesting to note that microtakaful was seen by most operators as a CSR activity as opposed to a business opportunity.
On the conclusion of the event Randa Buaras, Event Organiser at Afkar Consulting commented “ITS 10 was a great success on all levels, the feedback that we have had from the participants as well as the sponsors has been encouraging with a number of our sponsors already committing to support ITS 2017. We are pleased with the support that we have received from the industry, especially from our long standing sponsors such as Aon Benfield and Hannover Retakaful, with a special mention to Norton Rose Fulbright who have backed our efforts on an annual basis virtually since the beginning of this 10-year journey.”
The 3-day programme highlighted a number of issues and challenges that the Takaful sector is facing and there is much work still to be done for the Islamic insurance sector to reach its potential. The sentiment from the participants, both from the UK and abroad, was that there are so many examples of how operators can be successful that this industry will undoubtedly flourish in the long term.
We hope to make the 11th International Takaful Summit instrumental in furthering the discourse on the Takaful industry, in line with our tradition of thought leadership for this industry.
Supporting Partners this year include, Alahli Takaful Company, Aon Benfiled, Hannover Re, Africa Retakaful, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Lloyd’s, The United insurance Co. (Sudan) Ltd, General Takaful, A.M Best, Amiri Capital LLP, International Underwriting Association of London, Jaiz Takaful Insurance Plc, 8Man, Egyptian Life Takaful Company, Pak-Qatar Family & General Takaful, Centegy Technologies, Cobalt Underwriting, Khalij Islamic, Egyptian Takaful, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad, EmiratesRE and Standard & Poor’s.
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International Takaful Summit