Oct. 21, 2020

Ahmad Idris

UAE, Abu Dhabi

Ahmad Idris


“The unhealthy competition is still ongoing except for large complex risks where pricing and underwriting is in the hands of a global reinsurer, whereby the local insurers are not in a position to set the prices and terms for such large risks.”


Ahmad Idris is the Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC). He has extensive management and leadership experience, having worked in the insurance industry for over 40 years. Known for his professionalism and commitment to quality, Mr. Idris's proven leadership abilities have made him a veteran in developing and motivating others to achieve their goals. In his role, he is responsible for leading, developing and executing the company's strategy. He has been instrumental in propelling ADNIC to ever greater heights over the past 5 years as CEO. Under his leadership ADNIC has won several prestigious industry awards and has registered steady financial growth. While he assumed the role of CEO in 2014, he has previously had an illustrious career at ADNIC, which spanned over two decades. His last role at ADNIC before assuming the role of CEO was Deputy CEO. Starting his career at Kuwait Insurance Company in 1977, he brings a wealth of knowledge and industry experience to ADNIC. He is one of the most influential thought leaders in the industry and has also won several regional and international awards for his leadership. He holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mathematics from Kuwait University.

Where were your strengths and weaknesses when the pandemic first hit, and how resilient were you in managing the situation?

The first hurdle was to quickly adjust to working fully remotely. Doing that successfully was one of the key aspects of ADNIC's resilience. Another strength was our strong financial and resources position. Human capital is a strength and we have a robust brand that customers look to more than ever in difficult periods. Despite challenging market conditions, ADNIC delivered a resilient performance which is driven by our strong reliability and financial strength. For ADNIC, the events of 2020 were an opportunity and that shows in the way we grew over the first half of 2020, expanding 9.1% at the top line and posting much higher growth at the bottom line. ADNIC has proved the ability to adapt to new situations, and the expertise to put the customer first and provide them platforms that function 24/7 in order to meet their requirements.

How did you collaborate with the government and how would you rate its response?

One of the first steps we took was to form a business continuity committee. The committee is tasked to monitor the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on our business and ensure adherence to following government guidelines. The guidance of the government for us is a road map and we will stay on top of it. The response in the fight against Covid-19 in the UAE has been phenomenal. Abu Dhabi Government, UAE Federal Government and other entities across the emirate have implemented several initiatives and relief measures over the pandemic period to help minimize the impact.

Did the state's COVID-19-related financial incentives impact ADNIC's operations?

We were not directly involved in the financial incentives implemented by the Government, as they are more meant to support individuals and SMEs, offering them special re-payment restructuring of working capital facilities, lower interest rates and grace periods. However, these initiatives indirectly benefit all businesses including companies like ADNIC, because when our customers receive financial incentive it provides stability to the market and everyone benefits.

Did the pandemic affect ADNIC on the health insurance policy side?

The impact of the pandemic is reflected in the number, frequency, and intensity of the inflow of claims to ADNIC and other insurance companies. The effect was positive because the normal trend of people visiting doctors has changed. No one visited a doctor without having a strong reason. Additionally, the outbreak has not caused any significant delays in policies issuance and claims settlement.

Do you believe the pandemic could have an impact on the overly crowded nature of the insurance market?

The unhealthy competition is still ongoing except for large complex risks where pricing and underwriting is in the hands of a global reinsurer, whereby the local insurers are not in a position to set the prices and terms for such large risks. By design, the competition will be in the international market where they compete. When they compete in the international market on large risks the competition remains at acceptable levels.