Who are Gulf Insurance Group?
Gulf Insurance Group trades under the brand name GIG and was established in 1962. The largest insurance Group in Kuwait in terms of written and retained premiums, its operations in life and non-life, as well as Takaful insurance, have made it one of the largest insurance networks in the Middle East and North Africa.
Currently operating in the GCC, Levant and North Africa, GIG has actively sought both investment and expansion as part of its growth strategy and in 2020 made a number of high-profile business moves, of which the acquisition of AXA Gulf was perhaps the biggest, boldest and most well-known.
That’s interesting! Tell me more about the acquisition.
AXA Gulf was a major player in the GCC insurance market with a very large customer base, revenue from insurance and related services sales and extensive product range. However, it decided after many years that it no longer wanted to operate in the region and made this known. In contrast, gig was looking to expand its already extensive operations across the Middle East and North Africa and therefore saw AXA’s decision as a perfect opportunity to strengthen its business through acquisition. In November 2020 it therefore decided to “do a deal” and buy AXA Gulf. In recognition of brand strength and existing policyholders, the two companies currently still operate separate websites but have announced re-branding. Instead of the “hinted at” AXA gig insurance, AXA Gulf will become GIG Gulf. GIG insurance in Dubai and indeed GIG insurance in the UAE as a whole will trade from AXA’s current offices for the immediate term.
OK, I understand that now. So, tell me more about gig.
The group is considered to be one of the largest and most diverse in the region, and is both well-known and widely respected across the GCC, with approximately 3500K policyholders and a high financial security rating. Quoting from its Vision Statement, it aims to be the most admired insurance brand in the MENA region. With a presence in 13 countries, and operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Algeria the group is headquartered in Kuwait from where it derives 39% of its revenue. It holds market leading positions in Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt and employs around 3,500 people.
What kind of insurance does gig offer?
Like most major insurance groups, GIG is a “composite” insurer: meaning it writes different classes of insurance. Unsurprisingly, the major lines are Medical and Motor (49.6% and 26.7% of revenue respectively) followed by Life (6.6% of revenue). Other key revenue streams include Property insurance (5.4%), Liability classes (5.1%) and Engineering (3.9%).
What are its most recent achievements?
GIG is well respected by its peers and testament to this is its success as being named the winner of the “General Insurance Company of the Year 2021” award at the 8th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards (MIIA). One of their senior managers, Ahmed Ragab, was also named “Corporate Risk Manager of the Year”. They are the only insurance company in Kuwait to have been given a triple rating by Standard & Poor, AM BEST and Moody’s, attesting their financial security and reputation in the market.