Equivalence with the Chinese mainland and a new insurance regulator are both cited as big opportunities for Hong Kongese re/insurers

Monte Carlo presents an important opportunity for Asia Pacific re/insurers to engage with their Western Hemisphere clients, according to Chris Kershaw, Peak Re’s managing director for global markets.

“It’s also a good chance to explain what’s happening in Hong Kong at the moment,” Kershaw told GR.

Two major changes could be auspicious for Hong Kong-based re/insurance sector firms, such as Peak Re, he suggested.

“The first of these is the new Hong Kong insurance Authority (HKIA), said Kershaw.

“The new HKIA has been set up as independent from government and is ably led by Clement Cheung who was previously insurance commissioner under the old regime and has been a strong advocate for the industry,” he added.

The second major development he stressed is the granting of regulatory equivalence for Hong Kong’s re/insurance sector firms with the Chinese mainland.

“Registered insurers in Hong Kong will have equivalence with onshore insurers in China,” said Kershaw.

“It’s not so much for mainland business to come to Hong Kong, as for insurers based in Hong Kong to make themselves relevant and appeal to mainland Chinese clients,” he continued.

Much of Hong Kong’s re/insurance business already comes from mainland southern China, he suggested, with a high degree of integration already achieved for Hong Kong’s island economy. A quarter of Hong Kong-based Peak Re’s book comes from mainland China. “We see that continuing,” he added.