We have come a long way since we started in 1998. Two decades into our leadership as a global investment group in the insurance and reinsurance field, our 1400 strong team across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia has far more to conquer.
Today’s ‘economy of uncertainty’ has disrupted and built up entire industries and businesses. Nowhere has our world’s vulnerability to sudden change been clearer than during the COVID-19 pandemic. And with our scale and leadership, comes great responsibility to plan for adversity and succeed at speed.
It took a great deal of integrity, passion, and ambition for our group to have grown beyond borders and against odds in the last 23 years. We built our name on our consistent delivery of quality services and solutions, strong market relationships, and borderless talent and technology. The year 2010 marked a turning point for our expansion, with the launch of Seib Insurance and that of the Chedid Insurance Brokers Network. In 2015, followed our entry into Africa with the acquisition of City Brokers, Mauritius and East Africa’s leading insurance broker. That same year, we celebrated our relationship with Lloyd’s, which began in 1998, with Chedid Re’s official registration as a Lloyd’s Broker.
As I write this message, the ink is drying on our group’s 80% acquisition of Ascoma’s (Ascoma Assureurs Conseils) leading brokerage business in Africa – a network of 29 subsidiaries and 700 people across 23 countries; another milestone for our vision to lead insurance brokerage in the Middle East and Africa, and a testament to our shared values with the Husson family behind the ASCOMA legacy since 1950. The Chedid – Ascoma positioned our Group as a leader in Africa and the Middle East.
Our group’s next growth stage is yet another leap of faith on how we operate, innovate, and deliver on the needs of our partners and people.
Customer centricity, management expertise, power partnerships and product and service innovation still anchor our growth in meeting higher demand for reliable insurance and reinsurance brokerage and consultancy management. And in an uncertain present, risk management remains the core foundation to our operations, our stakeholder relationships, and our market leadership.
In a region largely underserved by oversight and monitoring, corporate governance is another focus area for our group. Today, half of our board of directors is represented by independent specialists who positively challenge the way and the ‘why’ we do things. It is an open culture we built on transparency, trust, and honesty – values that are core to our group, but paramount for our industry’s survival.
In parallel, our focus is on growing and protecting our most invaluable asset: people. Over the years, we have heavily invested into attracting, retaining and empowering top talents in the field. More ambitiously, we have raised the bar for insurance and financial expertise at an industry-wide level. It is how Chedid Academy, our in-house academy for specialized training came to be in 2010. Followed, in 2019, the landmark launch of our Corporate Risk Management Institute (CRMI) in partnership with the renowned IRM (Institute of Risk Management) London.
As we ring in the next decade, digitization and technology on both operational and strategic fronts will be core to our transformation. In 2020, we launched E-DARAT, an HR and insurance management software. Now, we are ramping up our investments into ICT of the future, as data protection and cybersecurity have become critical for our industry’s ‘new normal’ – more so in the post COVID-19 era.
Many unknowns lie ahead. But our robust talent and technology infrastructure has proved resilient in absorbing the global and regional shocks that challenged our group over the years. The COVID-19 pandemic was no exception.
Our people and commitment to practice what we preach are the pillars to our success. And we are taking them to new heights across existing and new territory.
Chairman and Group CEO