Qatar Reinsurance Company Limited (Qatar Re) has stated this morning that it will cease all underwriting operations from the reinsurers branch office in Singapore.
The company said that as from July 20th 2018 Qatar Re has ceased underwriting both new and renewal business from Singapore branch office.
Qatar Re said it will work closely with staff based in Singapore, as well as the firm’s clients, broking partners and regulators “to ensure the orderly administration of existing business written from the branch.”
Qatar Re said that the decision to cease underwriting reinsurance from the branch office in Singapore does not affect its sister company, Antares Asia, which will continue to operate on the Lloyd’s Asia Platform.
Gunther Saacke, CEO of Qatar Re, explained the rationale behind the move, “Like many of our peers, we have been looking very closely at our business with a view to enhancing underwriting profitability and operational efficiency in what continues to be a very challenging environment for global reinsurers.
“As a reinsurer committed to the long-term sustainability of our business, it is appropriate that we should continue to reflect on the performance of our underwriting portfolio and the effectiveness of our distribution network and to adapt our approach where we believe this to be in the best interests of the Company, our policyholders and our shareholder. We remain committed to providing the highest levels of service to all our clients and broking partners across our global franchise.”
The move reflects a rationalisation of the global platform Qatar Re has built, likely in response to cost pressures that reinsurers currently face.
The ability to achieve lobal reach has also changed though, and it is perhaps becoming less vital for reinsurers to maintain branch offices in as many locations across the globe as it used to be. This trend could continue as technology allows reinsurers to deploy capacity efficiently with broader global reach without the need for as many physical offices.