Warren Buffett’s commercial insurance unit is expanding into the Middle East as it seeks to win over new clients in the region.
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co. said it hired Alessandro Cerase as senior executive officer and Neeraj Yadvendu as his deputy, according to a statement. The insurer set up an office in Dubai International Financial Centre.
The financial center is the Persian Gulf business hub and home to the regional offices of global banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance’s other regional hubs include Hong Kong and Singapore as well as operations in Malaysia and Macau.
“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,” according to the statement.
Cerase, who was previously global head of energy and engineered risk at American International Group Inc., will be leading first party lines for BHSI’s Asia Middle East region. Yadvendu most recently was regional head of casualty and financial lines at AXA Asia, and will head third-party lines for the Middle East at BHSI.
On a side note, last week, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced that they were launching a healthcare company to offer services to their hundreds of thousands of employees in the U.S.
The extent of coverage was not clear, but if successful, this joint project could disrupt the healthcare insurance business and create a new model for businesses to follow. After the announcement, shares in U.S. healthcare companies plunged. Although this is currently limited to the U.S., it is unclear whether the initiative might evolve and spread to the companies’ employees across the globe said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.