Armour Group Invests in Cobalt, Shariah Compliant Re/Insurance Provider

London-based Cobalt Insurance Holdings Ltd. has announced a strategic investment by Armour Group Holdings Ltd., the Bermuda-based diversified insurance group. Financial considerations were not disclosed. The strategy of Armour focuses on niche operations in the re/insurance and asset management sectors. Armour’s operations include underwriting operations, re/insurance companies, asset management companies and specialist service companies. The investment coincides with additions to the board of Cobalt of former Lloyd’s Chairman Max Taylor as chairman, and Sean Dalton of Armour as a non-executive director. John Turner, chairman of Aon Risk Solutions (UK & Americas), and former Brit Insurance Group CFO Andrew Baddeley also join the board in non-executive capacities.

Premier in London on Islamic finance mission

Premier of Bermuda, Craig Cannonier, and Finance Minister Bob Richards are in London this week to lead efforts to bring Islamic finance business to the Island. The pair will attend the Global Islamic Finance and Investment Group (IFIG) Conference and speak to a number of industry stakeholders. The objective of the IFIG Conference is to highlight the necessary regulatory frameworks for Islamic finance and to outline strategies for successful international collaboration. In addition, the Premier is due to meet with UK Government Minister Mark Simmons of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and representatives of the UK Treasury. Bermuda has already established partnerships with the main financial centres in a range of Muslim countries and has signed double taxation agreements with Qatar and Bahrain.

Islamic Insurance: Bermuda’s ‘Clever Play’

In a study made by Ernst & Young on Islamic insurance it is underlined that the move of Bermuda’s new emphasis on attracting this business is a smart one.
The conclusions of a Bermuda Finance Ministry feasibility study were that there are no major legislative or regulatory impediments to introducing Islamic financial product offerings in Bermuda.

Bermuda: ‘Obvious’ Hub For Islamic Finance

Bermuda wants to set itself as global leader in the Takaful sector.
Cheryl Packwood, Business Bermuda CEO, stated that the island intends to leverage its position as a dominant regional financial and business hub to attract new.

Expansion of Shari'ah-compliant insurance market

Historically, Bermuda has been at the forefront of the growth and success of the global, conventional insurance and reinsurance market. However, interest has been sparked in the relatively new and growing market of Shari'ah-compliant takaful and retakaful, the insurance and reinsurance of the Islamic world.
The immense wealth held in the Middle East and North African region bodes well for global growth in takaful and retakaful businesses, as well as pointing to a growing need for Bermuda service providers to support such opportunities. It is widely accepted that the conventional insurance model is incompatible with Islamic beliefs – consequently, Shar'iah-compliant structures have been developed as a way for Muslim clients to share risk.
Bermuda is the world's leading domicile for captives so it makes sense that there are opportunities for Middle East corporations to form takaful/retakaful captives on the basis of mutual indemnification of losses. There are also opportunities to develop retakaful and retro-takaful entities for the US market due to Bermuda's prime global location.

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