Richmond, Va. - Markel International Ltd., the company's London-based operation, will enter the Asian market with marine and professional liability products, the company reports. Markel Vice Chairman Steven Markel told INN that the push in Asia is in conjunction with its operations as a syndicate of Lloyd's of London.
"Lloyd's is opening a trading floor in Singapore and we are part of that process," said Markel.   The 75-year-old Richmond, Va., company, which sells specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets, is one of eight to 10 syndicates participating with Lloyd's in this opportunity, Markel added.
In June, Markel CIO David Egbert told INN that the company was currently evaluating its information systems support infrastructure to meet the challenges inherent with the demands of their growing business.
"Management understands that our information systems are so important. So we are starting with a strategic plan," he said.
Markel's vice chairman, meanwhile, confirmed its technology plan to make the Asian move a smooth one. "We will tie in to and leverage our existing technology systems and processes that we operate for our Lloyd's office in London."
The Markel announcement follows research published by Lloyd's earlier this year called "New Openings: Quantifying Opportunities in Asia," which identified key shifts in the Asian insurance market and earmarked four specialist classes of business for growth: marine cargo, product liability, directors & officers (D&O) and professional indemnity (PI).
The research also pointed to the key role brokers will play in driving premium growth in the area. Almost a third of insurance companies seeking reinsurance and a fifth of insurance buyers in Asia expect to increase their use of brokers by the end of 2007.  
International banking group HSBC also made the news earlier this year with its decision to further penetrate the Asian market with the acquisition of the non-life insurance portfolio of Hong Kong-based Jerneh Insurance via its HSBC Insurance unit. The group also is trying to enter the Vietnamese insurance market with the establishment of a new office in Hanoi.  
Sources: Markel Corp., PR Newswire, INN archives

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