Specialist reinsurance firm Barents Re has identified Life reinsurance in emerging markets as a key area of expansion for the company, as well as further opportunities in its established Bonds lines.
Speaking with Global Banking & Finance Review, President and CEO of Barents Re Gerardo Garcia noted that the Life and Accident & Health (A&H) reinsurance markets are forecast to experience mid-single digits growth in the years ahead.
In emerging markets such as Latin America and South East Asia, growth rates may be even higher due to drivers such as rising populations, improving mortality rates, and changing regulatory regimes.
“We believe that there are opportunities for a niche reinsurer such as ourselves to provide the Life reinsurance coverage which clients in specific regions are currently lacking,” Garcia told the publication, adding that Barents Re “intends to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise.”
The reinsurer also plans to build on new opportunities in Bonds, which has historically formed one of its core business lines.
Barents Re provides facultative reinsurance to bonding insurance companies in the construction, engineering and service industries, for both public and private works in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) region, Latin America and the developing markets in Asia.
Garcia noted that national government investment in infrastructure projects in these regions, including airports, railways and roads, presents significant Bonds opportunities for the company.
“With regard to Bonds, we believe that the growing trend of reinsurers and banks collaborating on complex transactions will be an important facilitator for large-scale projects, notably in regions such as Latin America and MENA where we are especially strong,” Garcia explained.
He also suggested that the Bonds rating environment has been more rational than other lines of reinsurance business over the past year, with market players able to set more adequate premium levels.
Additionally, Barents Re will continue to pursue opportunities in its other core business line – Energy – where demand continues to be high due to the increasingly hazardous nature of the industry.
Garcia highlighted geo-political issues and the potential for greater concentrations of risk and large losses as factors that may complicate future business in this area.
“As a result, substantial responsive composite and specialist underwriting capacity continues to be in demand,” Garcia stated. “Barents is in a position to provide such.”