Olaf Brock, managing director and CEO of Hannover Re’s Bahrain branch and Hannover ReTakaful, provided GR with a pre-DWIC Q&A.


Olaf, you’re new to the region and have just started your new role. What are you expecting from Dubai World Insurance Congress (DWIC) 2024?

Since January I’m responsible for Hannover ReTakaful and our Bahrain Branch.

Both operations have left a strong footprint in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with an exceptional commitment to our clients resulting in strong business relationships.

I’m truly honored to build on this. We are fully committed to the MENA region. Undoubtably, the DWIC offers an important platform to address current global issues with a regional lens.

It fosters cooperation among Arab insurance/takaful as well as reinsurance/retakaful markets and related bodies. This valuable exchange is promoting stronger relationships and coordination of various activities.

Tell us about your first impressions and your perception on the current re/insurance market in the region.

I’m thrilled by the expertise and commitment of all market participants.

This I’m sure will ensure we can turn challenges such as the recent devastating floods in Dubai into opportunities for all market participants and to the benefit of all our clients.

Why did Hannover Re choose Bahrain as its regional hub?

We chose Bahrain because of the opportunities that it holds. Bahrain’s insurance, takaful and retakaful market has emerged as dynamic and innovative due to strong emphasis on digitalisation and investments in insurtechs.

The whole market is growing strongly and steadily in demand. Bahrain comprises traditional insurance/takaful and reinsurance business as well as retakaful business and Hannover Re can offer its clients both Sharia-compliant and conventional solutions on from one location. That is why Bahrain is our location of choice.

Tell us about Hannover Retakaful in the region.

We have always been risk-selective with a strong focus on profitable underwriting. We are a lean and capital-efficient reinsurer and we are committed to this approach. Hannover ReTakaful is pragmatic, with highly qualified staff and a strong focus on our core business.

What would you say Hannover Re is doing differently in the region compared to its peers?

The concentration of our activities in the Arab world enables our clients to profit from even greater market intimacy and access to our full range of services from a single location. This is what makes us truly unique. We are in close contact with our clients on the ground and therefore have a good understanding of regional challenges and the market.

Do you see growth opportunities in the region, and, if so, where do you see them?

Hannover Re’s group strategy for the years 2024-2026 has the title “Staying Focused, Thinking Ahead”.

Our business in the MENA region is growing, and we will focus on the areas where we expect to have profitable business. In doing so, we will keep in mind the economical development in the region and the mega projects that certain countries are witnessing.

Therefore, reinsurance/retakaful services are needed, and we are here to cater all the needs and provide the necessary and suitable solutions. Overall, we will be there for our clients when they need us in all product lines they are seeking service for.