Warren Buffett’s company opens outpost in DIFC

An insurance subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway holding company has opened an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

In a statement published on Monday on the Business Wire website, another Berkshire Hathaway entity, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co (BHSI)  said it had opened the office after having received its insurance license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Named to head up the office as its senior executive officer was Alessandro Cerase, while Neeraj Yadvendu was named deputy SEO and head of third party lines for the Middle East, BHSI said in the announcement.

Cerase will also be leading first party lines for BHSI’s broader Asia Middle East region, which includes BHSI’s other regional hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore as well as its operations in Malaysia and Macau, the statement added.

BHSI already has Asian regional hubs in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as operations in Malaysia and Macau.

Marc Breuil, president of Asia Middle East for BHSI, said the company was looking forward to expanding into new markets in the Middle East and beyond that desire “(re)insurance support”.

“The strategic location of Dubai, as well as the stability and efficiency of the DIFC, make it an ideal hub for BHSI to support economic growth in the region,” he added.

The company said it plans to provide its network of brokers and ceding companies in Dubai and the greater United Arab Emirates and Middle East market with “a suite of specialty and commercial (re)insurance products to  with a focus on construction, energy, property, marine, casualty and executive and professional lines”.

BHSI is part of Berkshire Hathaway’s National Indemnity group of insurance companies.

The opening of the DIFC office by BHSI was welcomed by Dubai’s news organisations, with the Khaleej Times referring to the “long-awaited Middle East business debut in Dubai” of “the Oracle of Omaha”, who, it noted, “is currently the third-richest person in the world”.

There was no mention of any plans by the Oracle himself to make an appearance at the DIFC in the near or distant future.

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