Rating agency AM Best has established a new office in Singapore as part of its commitment to the region.
The new office, will offer internationally recognised ratings to insurers, reinsurers, takaful operators and captives in Singapore and across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)/Australasia regions.
Dr Roger Sellek, chief executive officer of AM Best’s operations outside of the Americas will lead the operation. He will relocate from the rating agency’s London office. MM Lee, head of analytics for Asia Pacific, will lead a team of specialist credit rating analysts.
Singapore is AM Best’s second office in Asia Pacific after Hong Kong, where the group opened 16 years ago. The Hong Kong office will continue to support the rating agency’s client base in Greater China, Japan and Korea.
The rating agency said that a specific driver for the establishment of its new base was the impending arrival of the ASEAN Single Market which is due to come into being at the end of 2015. AM Best believes that a rating from an international rating agency will be a prerequisite for insurers that wish to conduct cross-border business within the Single Market in the future.
Sellek said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of our new Singapore office which we believe will ensure we are even closer to our expanding client base of insurers and reinsurers in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
“Singapore is the obvious choice for a credit rating agency serving the insurance sector as it is home to almost 250 insurers, reinsurers, captives and broking companies. It can truly lay claim to be the international insurance and reinsurance hub of Southeast Asia.”
AM Best, Asia-Pacific, Dr Roger Sellek, Insurance