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MENAFN - Arab News - 21/10/2010

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Henri de Castries, chairman and chief executive officer of AXA Group, second right, addressing the press conference in Riyadh on Wednesday.
(MENAFN - Arab News) AXA Cooperative Insurance Company (AXA Cooperative), a recently registered Saudi public joint stock company, said it is committed to train Saudi youths in the field of insurance.

We want young Saudi men to get the foreign expertise of our organization which has been serving in the Kingdom for the past three decades, Henri de Castries, chairman and chief executive officer of AXA Group, told newsmen at the press conference held here on Wednesday.

The briefing was attended by top officials of the AXA Group and the AXA Cooperative board to explain the future plans and programs of the company and to create an awareness among the residents and citizens in the Kingdom on the services offered by the company.

In February 2010, the Saudi company, AXA Cooperative, received from the Kingdoms regulatory authorities its companys registration and appropriate licenses. To mark an almost full year of operations, AXA Cooperative organized this press conference in Riyadh, Castries said.

Around 37 percent of our 172 staff are Saudis and we hope to increase the Saudi staff by five percent annually to reach the Saudization target of our company, he said, adding that the firm is keen on giving the necessary training to Saudi staff both in and out of the Kingdom to make them efficient resource personnel in the insurance field.

We will therefore continue leveraging our international expertise and adapt these for the Saudi market. We will also continue investing in our employees and use the large pool of well-educated nationals as a prime source for recruitments.

It is a matter of great privilege to be here in the Kingdom. The launch of AXA Cooperative in the Kingdom at the beginning of the year is a pivotal step towards expanding our footprint in the country. The Kingdom offers great business potential and our objective is to grab this potential by meeting the local needs of the customers," de Castries said, pointing out that the company is the fifth largest in the Kingdom. We hope to become one among the top three in the future.

There are 31 insurance licensed companies and the volume of business is estimated at 3.5 billion in the Kingdom. AXA has paid more than SR330 million of gross claims in the Kingdom during the past 12 months.

As a group, AXA has been operational in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for over three decades and the establishment of AXA Cooperative will enable the company to develop its operations to better serve the needs of both businesses and private clients in the Kingdom.

Emphasizing the growth potential of AXA Cooperative, Jean-Louis Laurent Josi, chief executive officer (CEO) of AXA Insurance Gulf, said the Kingdom is critical for the company's strategy in the Gulf as it offers the largest market potential in the entire Middle East.

AXA is currently among the largest insurers in the Kingdom with a well diversified product offering. On top of that, with more than 170 employees, offices in the three main cities of the Kingdom and a presence of now 30 years in Saudi Arabia and 60 years in the Gulf. "We were honored recently to secure insurance arrangements of several large contracts in the Kingdom including Power Generation, Railway and Telecommunications projects, he said..

In the current worldwide economic turmoil, the establishment of AXA Cooperative will reinforce AXA's position as a solid and healthy company. We have already seen very encouraging signs as in the past four years. Indeed, AXA in Saudi increased its premiums by more than 20 percent per year. This demonstrates AXAs ability as one of the world's largest international insurers to settle claims locally and provide financial support to clients when they need it most, said Paul Adamson, managing director of AXA Cooperative.

By Md Rasooldeen


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