T’azur granted Takaful licence
Manama, November 26, 2007
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has granted a Takaful licence to Unicorn Investment Bank’s T’azur Company, a new regional Takaful entity with an authorized capital of $500 million, offering family (life), medical and general Takaful business lines.
Capital for the new venture has been raised from founding institutional investors in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Unicorn is also a founding investor in the new company which will operate as an independent entity.
“The founding of T’azur marks the culmination of over two years of intensive research, due diligence and capital raising on the part of Unicorn’s Takaful division and is a response by Unicorn to a clear gap in the market for a major regional Takaful player able to meet the demands of a marketplace that continues to grow in geographical span, penetration level and sophistication,” said CEO and managing director of Unicorn Majid Al Sayed Bader Al-Refai.
T’azur’s expansion strategy will combine a sound level of organic growth with a phased programme of acquisitions. The company has Takaful license applications in the pipeline for several key markets and will continue to raise capital in line with its phased growth plan and projections.
“T’azur’s vision is to become a global leader in serving the vast and largely untapped market for Islamic insurance and savings solutions. The company seeks to be a major player in a presently fragmented market that shows vast potential,” said head of Unicorn’s Takaful initiative Omar Clark Fisher.
T’azur’s appointed CEO is Bernhard U. Schluep, who joined from Zurich Financial Services Group in New York and Switzerland.
Schluep has over 15 years of global senior level leadership experience covering both life and general insurance, including M&A and business turn-around activities.
He leads an international management team comprised of seasoned insurance professionals and Takaful experts. T’azur will be backed by “A” rated reinsurance and is to underwrite its first Takaful policies before year-end 2007. – TradeArabia News Service