If India wants to become a reinsurance hub, it needs “to liberate and open it market more”, according to Dominic Burke, chief executive at broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT).
Speaking to local business paper Economic Times, Burke said that Dubai was already succeeding in becoming a reinsurance hub. “Dubai created an economic zone, gave liberalisation around licences, and how you can treat ownership”, said Burke, adding that “if you want to create a hub you don’t just need capital but intellectual capital, actuarial capabilities, brokers to analytics, reinsurance, loss assessment and forensics”
Burke thinks that, to become a reinsurance hub, India needs to liberate and open its market more. “The government needs to have a clear path. It needs to set the policies right or it could miss the bus”.
However, he accepted that India had already done away with a large number of restrictions and that this had made things easier for JLT.
Referring to the major competition to JLT in India, Burke said that he thought Marsh was a fine organisation, although it was “big and slow to turn the wheel”. He felt that they were a little too institutionalised and bureaucratic for him. He also felt that Aon and Willis had “gone the route of commoditisation and abandoned their specialty”. He added: “We don’t have any of those issues. We celebrate the role of the broker. We feel there is great opportunity for us to differentiate with our competitors”.
Talking of the challenges of operating in India, Burke said that talent was the biggest challenge. “There is massive opportunity but dearth of knowledge. We do not want to market commoditised products, but specialised products.”
JLT’s JLT Independent Insurance Brokers began in December 2014 has a joint venture with Chennai-based Sunidhi Group.