Argo Opens Office In Dubai

September 27, 2011

Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. has established a locally domiciled insurance operation in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

The new company — Argo Re (DIFC) Ltd. — is a subsidiary of Argo Re, Ltd. in Bermuda, and a fully licensed insurance manager and intermediary in Dubai. The operation, which will serve as Argo Group’s hub for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, will focus initially on casualty, professional and financial lines insurance. Regional Chief Underwriting Officer Lina Hantas and Casualty Underwriting Manager Samir Hemsi will be leading the operation.

“A presence in the MENA market is a key component of our international expansion strategy,” said Argo Group Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Watson III. “Dubai represents one of the world’s fastest growing global financial centers and a local presence there serves to enhance the scale, flexibility and value we offer to our customers.”

“I’m excited about the strength of our new underwriting team in Dubai and their local knowledge of the MENA Region,” added Argo Group Chief Underwriting Officer Andrew Carrier. “I’m confident that Lina and Samir will make a positive impact through new and existing relationships with brokers and insurers as we offer an expanded product line in an important growing market.”

Argo Re Chief Underwriting Officer Nigel Mortimer commented, “Combine our strong financial rating with the best-in-class team we’ve hired, add the ability to leverage our global platform, and you have a unique franchise — one which can protect our clients and their exposures so that they can focus on building strong businesses in this dynamic and evolving legal environment.”

The product suite Argo Group will offer in the MENA Region will consist of a broad range of casualty, professional and financial lines coverages, including major construction projects and energy risks.

Dubai is the latest international business center in which Argo Group has established operations, following the opening of offices in Paris and Sao Paulo earlier this year.

Ms. Hantas will be responsible for building, developing and underwriting the liability book of business for Argo in the Middle East & North Africa region. She has worked in the insurance sector since 2003 and has a wide array of experience in liability in the MENA Region.

Mr. Hemsi will be responsible for building, developing and underwriting the professional liability and casualty book of business for Argo in Dubai and Jordan. He has worked in the insurance sector in the region since 2004 with experience in professional liability, casualty and property insurance.

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