Meet Tariq Al-Salihi, Head of Crisis Management, London Market & Europe Insurance
Tell us a bit about your background?
I have been underwriting in the Lloyd’s and London market for 20 years, most recently at Fairfax Financial Holdings where my role was as Head of Political Violence & Terrorism. Prior to that I was responsible for launching the Terrorism account at Sagicor Syndicate, with major focus on Middle East and Latin American markets. Joining Sompo International, with its broad array of products across all jurisdictions and the opportunity to build a new client offering was a great next step.
What is crisis management?
This is suite of insurance products that provide a comprehensive response to an event and not just indemnification of a financial loss, so it includes kidnap and ransom, political violence and political risk coverage. These events tend to be low frequency, high severity risks that the clients face, and clients tend to face all of them in certain industries or geographies. As a result, these products sit naturally together as a package of solutions.
Why is Sompo International offering these products now?
Crisis management is an area where we can deliver first class solutions for clients in a comprehensive manner. As a major(re)insurance company, there are plentiful opportunities to be able to offer a full range of products with core London market product lines such as Property, Energy and Accident and Health, as well as creating alignment with the Sompo Holdings global network and partnering with them to offer these products.
Why should clients talk to you?
Clients are looking for a number of things when they buy these solutions – technical expertise, balance sheet strength, long term commitment, international reach and a willingness to pay valid claims promptly with minimal fuss. Sompo International has all of these in abundance as well as industry specialties in core industries that tend to face these risks such as upstream and downstream energy and renewables. This means that we can be strong partners for businesses looking for these solutions.
How are you building out the business?
Our strategy is twofold – first, we will build our network primarily with regional and local brokers in high risks territories. On the ground knowledge and personal relationships are key in understanding the risk profiles that our clients face so being in direct contact with people locally is a key component in our offering. Second, we will complement our network by supporting and offering thought leadership to our brokers and distribution partners in the London market.
After several decades in the market, I am fortunate enough to have built extensive underwriting experience both in the Lloyd’s and London market. My philosophy is that if you can’t or won’t visit a place, then you should not write business there. Obviously, the current global pandemic makes that a harder philosophy to enact but having visited many of the countries we will be looking at, and having the local knowledge from our partners, means that we can hit the ground running even if travel is restricted.
We will be welcoming new team members shortly and look forward to talking to our brokers and clients about this exciting new offering.