The UK’s Chartered Insurance Institute (the CII Group) announced “a strategic partnership for the Middle East” with JWZ Insurance Solutions, a newly-formed insurance training and educational consultancy firm, under the brand name CII Saudi Arabia.
“JWZ is now the exclusive strategic partner for the CII in the territories of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran following the signing of a distribution agreement,” said the announcement, “- the first such partnership offered by the CII worldwide.”
CII head of business development (Middle East) Mark Greenwood said the partnership with JWZ would provide training and testing materials for CII qualifications. He explained: “The insurance market in the region has boomed in the past decade and the demand for people who have the skills, knowledge and the understanding has grown with that market.”
Greenwood added that the training is designed to help address the growing skill shortage in the region’s insurance and Takaful insurance companies as well as raise standards. “It’s not just standards of knowledge, it’s also about behavior and ethics,” he stated. “In the Middle East the regulator tends to regulate products, whilst in other parts of the world the regulator looks to monitor sales and the competence of the person selling the product.
“This reflects the importance of individual competence. If you get that wrong then you get all sorts of mis-selling problems, such as those experienced historically in the UK. Raising the level of professionalism within the industry by improving competence can only have a positive effect.”
Dr Suzanne White, CEO of JWZ, added: ‘We are delighted that the CII will now have a local presence in KSA, Yemen and Iran through JWZ. This strategic alliance has come at an opportune time with the insurance markets in these territories expecting to see unprecedented growth and therefore in need of a larger talent pool. Our aim at JWZ is to further enhance the skills and qualifications in the financial services sector in the Middle East and this fits well with the vision of the CII.’
Source: The CII Group – www.cii.co.uk