Islamic business leaders have been told London has the ability to deliver highly rated re/insurance capacity to meet their desire to have risks covered in a Shariah compliant way.
Speaking at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum Cobalt Underwriting’s CEO Richard Bishop noted that the Cobalt is the first Shariah compliant underwriting agency based in London. He also indicated that, while much has been said about the growing role of London as an Islamic banking and investment center its ability to underwrite risk should not be underestimated or recognized.
Bishop was taking part in the finance session held in the British Pavilion at WIEF in London’s Excel Centre, which attracted over 2000 delegates and 17 heads of state from across the world.
The event saw the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, announce the launch of a UK Sovereign Sukuk (Islamic Bond) and the finance session explored the “Practice of Islamic Finance in the UK.” Bishop participated in a panel discussion with lawyers and bankers, representing the insurance industry.
He told the session: “As a relative newcomer to the Islamic financial space the insurance industry has been relatively forgotten when it comes to the City of London’s Islamic offering. However, the City’s oldest institution is Lloyd’s, founded 350 years ago, and founded in a mutual basis which is not too far removed from the Islamic finance model. The market still sources its business from countries across the world and I would think there are few places where Lloyd’s policies do not have risk covered.
“We can provide Shariah compliant coverage in London backed by highly rated global insurance capacity and interest from the underwriting and Islamic business community is growing,” Bishop added. “London brings with it the expertise and knowledge in underwriting and product design that can aid Islamic markets to grow.”
Prime Minister Cameron also announced that there would be an Islamic investment indices on the London Stock Exchange, a move Bishop welcomed. He said: “Insurance company investments tend to be short term so access to such an indices will benefit underwriters when planning the investment strategy for their premiums and is a further benefit to London as a major global Islamic financial center.”
Source: Cobalt Underwriting
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