ABDULLA BIN ALI AL ASSIRI

Qatar 2020 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW
Abdulla Bin Ali Al Assiri
BIOGRAPHY

Abdulla Bin Ali Al Assiri was appointed CEO of Al Khaleej Takaful Insurance in 2019. He started his career at Qatar Petroleum (QP) in 2004 where he worked in corporate finance and planning. His last responsibility at QP was heading corporate business planning. He has a master's in finance, summa cum laude, from ESSEC Business School in Paris and a bachelor's in finance from Qatar University. He is particularly interested in investment, corporate finance, and planning, governance, and enterprise risk management.

What is your overview of the insurance sector in Qatar in recent years?
In 2018, we faced several flash floods that affected the financials of the insurance sector. This year is better, and we have seen improvements in almost every company, especially Al Khaleej, where we have seen excellent improvements in profitability. The appetite for insurance in the market, especially at the retail level, has increased. In the last 10 years, there has been huge downward pressure on the price of insurance, increasing premiums at the expense of profitability. The good part is that lower prices became attractive to new customers. Medical, car, and property insurance are also becoming more popular.

With what do you associate the successful results of this year?
Part of it comes from insurance, which is doing better, but it is also because of the measures we have introduced for claim management and writing assessments. The investment part has played a role as well. Insurance companies have two major lines of business: insurance and investment. The results have been much better than the last few years.

Where do you invest primarily?
We have a relatively balanced portfolio with investments in real estate, equity, cash and its equivalent, deposits, and bonds. Insurance companies to some extent can be the go-to for investors. One can invest in a portfolio as well as insurance.

What main contracts have you been involved in over this last year?
We write motor insurance, medical, life, and general insurance for engineering and properties. Some are growing fairly rapidly, like medical and life. There has also been a change in demographics that will likely continue, with people more into risk management, partially because they can afford it and because of their education level.