Risk professionals, insurers and reinsurers taste success at the second StrategicRISK and GR event in Dubai

mea awards

Risk managers, insurers and reinsurers were celebrating in Dubai on Sunday after tasting success at the second MEA Risk and Insurance Excellence Awards run by StrategicRISK and our sister publication Global Reinsurance.

More than 150 people attended the event at the Four Seasons, Jumeirah Beach, sponsored by Aon, Apex Insurance, Clyde & Co, Crawford and RSA.

Alexander Larsen of Lukoil triumphed with the main individual risk management award, Risk Manager of the Year, heading a highly competitive field which also saw Mark Hamill, vice president risk management, Abu Dhabi Airports, highly commended.

The judges praised Larsen for “successfully implementing risk management processes in a very challenging environment in Iraq and overcoming a number of barriers which would have deterred many others”.

They added: “The result of his work and dedication is clearly demonstrated by the fact that there is now a risk management culture and understanding of risk within all levels of his organisation.”

The effectiveness of the risk processes at Larsen’s company Lukoil was further demonstrated when it also won the MEA Risk Communication Strategy of the Year Award for bringing together “the whole spectrum of risk processes across the organisation - from the implementation of a global risk database to the quantification and analysis of individual risks”.

Competition in this category was very strong and the judging panel said like for like comparison of the finalists was not straightforward.

As a result they made two awards – one for general business, won by Lukoil, the second was for a service provider.

In the service provider category, Bahrain National Insurance was highly commended and only narrowly beaten by the winner Aon for the “vision, effectiveness and execution of its communication strategy for the Saudi Electricity Company”.

MEA Enterprise Risk Management Programme of the Year went to Kuwait Petroleum International for an “exceptional programme which uses ERM to bring objectivity, structure and a common language to each strategic option and helps the business focus on what is most important in terms of achieving its objectives.”

The judges singled out Areej Al-Sagheer for her role as ERM team leader for the winning entry and added: “This is a well-conceived strategy that has produced clear and obvious KPI returns.”

Dana Gas and it corporate internal controls and risk manager Bob Sehmi was a highly commended entry in this category.

One of the highlights of the evening was a Special Recognition Award which was given to Dr Riyad Jaddal of Wataniya Mobile and the Go Global consultancy.

The award was selected by StrategicRISK editor-in-chief Mike Jones, who told the audience that it recognised unique endeavour in developing an understanding of risk and the promotion of risk management itself in the MEA region.

He told the audience: “Dr Jaddal’s remarkable achievements in testing circumstances have brought him both national and international recognition and highlighted the importance of risk management for businesses in Palestine.

“His methods and ideas both at Wataniya Mobile and his own Go Global consultancy have even helped push risk management onto a governmental agenda.

“Single-minded and highly motivated, our winner is a remarkable ambassador for the profession in the MEA.”

Endeavour and leadership within the MEA regional insurance and reinsurance industry was also celebrated at the event.

The MEA Industry Achiever of the Year was Farid Chedid of Chedid Re. Announcing the award, Jack Grocott, publisher of StrategicRISK and Global Reinsurance, said Chedid had “bucked the trends of major European companies setting up in the Middle East by expanding into Europe and becoming a Lloyd’s registered broker, in spite of not having a physical office in London”.

He added: “Chedid Re has earned a reputation as a company people want to do business with and established the broker as a trusted international partner.”

Earlier, there was a tie in the MEA Insurer Ceos’ Ceo of the Year category with both Ahmad Idris of ADNIC and Omer Elamin of Orient Insurance Group sharing the same number of winning votes from the judges.

The Reinsurer CEOS’ CEO of the Year for the second year in a row is was Fadi Abunahl from Trust Re, while Tony Saada of Lockton was a clear winner as MEA Broker CEOS’ CEO of the Year.

Earlier in the evening, Marsh won MEA Commercial Broker Initiative of the Year while NGI landed MEA Commercial Insurer Initiative of the Year for the “impressive work undertaken by this company to meet the strict and robust criteria set by the Dubai Health Authority to become Participating Insurers – specifically to cover ‘blue collar’ workers”.

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company won MEA Insurer Claims Initiative of the Year, while the MEA Reinsurer Initiative of the Year went to Africa Re.

The MEA Training and Education Initiative of the Year was awarded to BIMA, while Milliman triumphed for the second successive year as MEA Business Partner of the Year.