The commercial insurance unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has expanded into Dubai, after getting a license from the local regulator. Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) established an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre, the company said in a statement.
BHSI will provide speciality and commercial insurance products to its brokers and companies in the areas of construction, energy, property, marine, casualty and executive and professional lines, according to the statement.
As part of the move, BHSI appointed Alessandro Cerase as senior executive officer in charge of leading first party lines for the company in the Middle East and Asia. BHSI already has regional hubs in Hong Kong and Singapore, and operations in Malaysia and Macau. Cerase was previously the global head of energy and engineered risk at AIG.
“We are excited to expand BHSI’s footprint in this region which will service those markets in the Middle East and beyond who seek (re)insurance support in the DIFC,” said Marc Breuil, BHSI’s President of Asia Middle East, in the announcement. “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.”
BHSI’s parent company Berkshire Hathaway made waves last month when it announced a partnership with Amazon and JPMorgan Chase to launch a healthcare company to offer services to their hundreds of thousands of employees in the U.S.
If successful, such a project could disrupt the healthcare insurance business and create a new model for companies to follow. Although this initiative is currently limited to the U.S., it is unclear whether it might evolve and spread to the companies’ employees across the globe—Amazon bought Dubai-based e-commerce startup Souq.com in March 2017 and JPMorgan Chase has a presence in the Middle East.