The latest in a line of strategic moves positioning the US insurance firm

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has been awarded an insurance licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority to open an office in Dubai.

The new office will be established in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

According to reports, the new unit will provide a suite of specialty and commercial insurance and reinsurance products to its network of brokers and ceding companies. It will focus primarily on construction, energy, property, marine, casualty and executive and professional lines.

BHSI has appointed a well-established team to lead the new unit. Alessandro Cerase has been appointed senior executive officer (SEO).

Cerase joins BHSI with 20 years of global experience spanning both the engineering and underwriting sides of the insurance business. Prior to this role, Cerase held the position of global head of energy and engineered risk at AIG. In addition, Cerase will be leading first party lines for BHSI’s broader Asia Middle East region, which includes BHSI’s other regional hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as its operations in Malaysia and Macau.

Neeraj Yadvendu has also been appointed deputy SEO and head of third party lines for the Middle East. Yadvendu joins the company from AXA Asia, where he held the position of regional head of casualty and financial lines. He also brings with him more than 20 years’ industry experience.

BHSI president of Asia and Middle East Marc Breuil said: “We are excited to expand BHSI’s footprint in this region which will service those markets in the Middle East and beyond who seek insurance and reinsurance support in the DIFC.”

The announcement comes exactly one year after BHSI reported opening an office in London to service the UK and southern European countries, including Spain, France and Italy.

Furthermore, just six months ago BHSI opened an office in Dublin – a strategic move to cater to expand on its existing European offering with Brexit on the horizon.

According to AM Best, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co. has a current Best’s Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior).

The news of the Dubai offices comes not long after BHSI announced that it would introduce professional first financial institution professional indemnity (FIPI) insurance in Asia.

The policy is designed for medium to large financial institutions, including securitites dealers, regional banks, insurance companies, reinsurance companies, diversified institutions, and fintech and corporation advisory firms.