Global reinsurance giants are in the process of setting up their top team in a bid to kickstart their India operations after receiving licenses from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA).
With a new Insurance Act that allows entry of branch operations of foreign reinsurance giants and 49 per cent foreign equity in place, Swiss Re, the second largest global reinsurer has appointed Kalpana Sampat, currently the chief — customer serviceand operations at ICICI Pru as the chief executive officer & managing director of its operations in India. Swiss Re has recently been allowed to open branch offices in the country.
US-based RGA (Reinsurance Group of America) has appointed Thomas Mathew, former acting chairman and managing director of Life Insurance Corporation as the managing director of its India operations. Mathew who joined the company on March 30 has already resigned as LIC’s nominee director on the boards of various companies.
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Though Swiss Re has a major exposure in Indian general insurance business through its reinsurance operations, sources point out that the reinsurance major was looking for a professional with sound expertise in life insurance and health segment to head its India operations.
Munich Re, the largest global reinsurer, appointed Hitesh Kotak as the new CEO of its India operations. The company has also shifted its India headquarters from Kolkata to Mumbai and sources point out that it is expanding its India team.
Joseph Augustine who has been heading the India operations of Catlin will continue in the same position. Catlln which was recently taken over by US insurer XL in one of the largest international M&A, would soon announce the new structure of the merged company in India.
Other companies like SCOR and Lloyd’s will also name new India chief executive officers soon. Sources said that global reinsurers who were so far operating through their service companies or representative offices will be setting up their full-fledged India operations soon and will be hiring a lot of Indian professionals.
Insurance regulator IRDA has already issued draft norms for allowing branch operations of international reinsurers in India.