Lloyd’s of London has officially opened its India branch office today and has welcomed MS Amlin as the first syndicate (which we covered yesterday here) to join the branch and begin underwriting as of the 1st April.
A ceremonial Lloyd’s policy was signed today and witnessed by the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond and Lloyd’s Chairman John Nelson, as part of a trade delegation aiming to increase ties between the UK and India.
Lloyd’s India is set to operate as a domestic reinsurance branch of the Lloyd’s of London market, providing capacity and expertise with a particular focus on infrastructure, agriculture and disaster risk management. Shankar Garigiparthy will take on the role of Country Manager and CEO to lead Lloyd’s India operation.
MS Amlin becomes the first Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance firm to join the India branch and its underwriting team will offer a range of reinsurance products to Indian cedants. Lloyd’s expects additional re/insurers will join in time.
The UK Chancellor, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, commented on the opening of the branch office; “Lloyd’s decision to expand into India is a perfect example of the role Britain’s world-leading financial services sector plays in supporting growth both at home and abroad.
“It will help Indian insurance firms increase the resilience of the Indian economy to catastrophic events and boost Britain’s ties with one of the world’s most exciting economies, underlining our status as a truly global, trading nation.”
John Nelson, Chairman of Lloyd’s, also said; “I am delighted that Lloyd’s operations in India are now open. This is a true milestone in Lloyd’s 328-year history. We have long hoped to be able to increase our support for the Indian market and now we are on the doorstep of our clients and trading partners in Mumbai and we look forward to working with them to develop the types of innovative risk solutions that Lloyd’s is world famous for.
“Lloyd’s will help to strengthen and diversify the Indian reinsurance market, increasing the capacity, products and choice available to Indian insurers. This will, in turn, help to create a more vibrant insurance market and increase the level of protection across the Indian economy.”
Hugo Bashall, CEO of MS Amlin India, added; “We have a long-standing relationship with the Indian insurance market, having played a lead role in providing reinsurance to local cedents for many years. We look forward to making a positive contribution to the development of reinsurance onshore and providing a high-quality local service experience.”
India’s insurance market growth has not kept pace with the rapid economic development experienced, leaving areas of the economy vulnerable to natural catastrophes. Foreign reinsurance capital is expected to help narrow this underinsurance gap and further develop India as a centre for insurance, reinsurance and related services.