Mohamed Ali Bouabane is leading AIG GCC and North Africa to address the needs of the region’s businesses and insurance market.
As the General Manager of AIG Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and North Africa, Mohamed Ali Bouabane leads the organization’s onshore operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ali is also responsible for AIG’s offshore (facultative reinsurance) business based out of Dubai, serving jurisdictions such as: GCC, Levant, Francophone and Arab Africa, as well as Turkey and select Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries—helping clients manage risks and expand their businesses as the region’s population and economies grow.
Identifying emerging risks helps Ali and his team develop new insurance products to address potential gaps in coverage. Ali, who joined AIG in 2007 through the management associate program and initially worked as an accident and health underwriter, notes that AIG was one of the first carriers in the region to provide insurance coverage for cyber liability, directors & officers (D&O), and Defense Base Act insurance.
Most recently, AIG introduced environmental liability insurance to the region in response to clients’ growing demand for coverage related to climate change and environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related risks.
“The risks of climate change are more apparent than ever and it’s becoming a key component of boardroom conversations,” says Ali, noting that many Boards of Directors have prioritized ESG standards of doing business as investors focus more on such areas. In addition, local entities are cognizant of the global attention to the region’s own sustainability commitments with the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) being hosted in the UAE this year—an annual event where approximately 200 countries and jurisdictions discuss and find climate-related goals and solutions.
As companies become more focused on their carbon footprint, such coverage can help them manage risks, mitigate environmental losses, conduct loss control, and optimize emergency responses. AIG GCC and North Africa underwriters’ local expertise on environmental exposures is supported by their international network of over 30 underwriters across more than 20 countries.
“Underwriting environmental coverage can be complex, as risks to our planet continually change,” says Ali. “AIG helps provide organizations with solutions to help manage their growing environmental commitments as they become more focused on ESG goals.”
Supporting local insurers in an emerging market
In addition to providing innovative coverage solutions to clients, Ali and his team recently turned the business’s focus to helping other insurance companies manage their portfolio of risks.
In 2020, AIG GCC and North Africa launched a facultative reinsurance (FAC RI) hub based in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) to meet the region’s unprecedented high requests for coverage across core product areas including casualty, commercial property, financial lines and marine.
“Our growing economy means more businesses need insurance, but not all local carriers have the capacity to provide the amount of coverage needed,” Ali says. “We provide them with capacity, and also the benefit of our experience and multinational footprint.”
AIG’s FAC RI business in the DIFC currently partners with dozens of reinsurance brokers and over 100 local insurance carriers.
“The support we give our reinsurance clients helps fuel growth in the insurance industry as well as overall economic growth in the GCC and North Africa,” Ali says. “We are here to meet our clients’ needs.”
Collaboration with local insurers is key, Ali says. As a facultative reinsurer, AIG helps carriers in the region manage their clients’ risks effectively by sharing best practices in underwriting excellence and criteria. Insurers can also receive training and technical assistance on topics such as emerging trends and product capabilities. In partnership with local insurers, AIG also helps clients develop their own risk management capabilities such as building loss control programs and scanning for cyber vulnerability.
Working with key brokers in the region, AIG has launched new products, streamlined initiatives, and digitalized processes with the aim of becoming the local markets’ preferred FAC RI provider.
“What unites AIG across all these offerings is its commitment to helping individuals, businesses and communities prepare for and respond to times of uncertainty,” Ali adds. “Whether serving those facing natural disasters or striving for global growth, we have the specialized expertise to help clients better manage risk.”