Ali Al-Wazani

Ali Al-Wazani

CEO of First Insurance Company

/ Jordan

“FIC is the most solvent insurance company in Jordan”

Can you tell us some background about First Insurance Company?
Today, First Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Solidarity Group Holding that is based in Bahrain. In late 2016, we started using the trademark Solidarity, however the legal name of the company is still First Insurance Company. Before the merger, First Insurance was a general insurance company, but today we are a composite company that can sell life insurance products with stock capital valued at 28 million JD.

Can you give us an overview of the insurance sector in Jordan?
The contribution of insurance to GDP is close to 2%, which is in line with the Middle East’s ratio. We have 24 insurance companies operating in Jordan, which is very fragmented and means that many players are competing over a small pie worth approximately $950 million. We’re not even one-tenth in terms of market size when compared to the UAE, but when we compare the GDP of Jordan, it is smaller than the GDP of Lebanon, and this market size is relative for an economy worth $38 billion.

What type of growth has FIC experienced recently?
FIC has been the fastest growing company in Jordan during the last five years with a compound annual growth rate of 25%. It is diversified along all lines of business, but mostly because we have the largest distribution channel or network in Jordan with 19 sales branches and sales points. Most importantly, FIC is the most solvent insurance company in Jordan in terms of solvency margin.

How does your credit rating of B++ reflect your performance?
Today, there are five companies that enjoy a secure rating in Jordan. We’re one of those companies, and the next step in the rating would be A-. In terms of capital, we have a solid risk-based capital base that supports our operations and it’s purely safe. It’s supported by a high-solvency margin. In terms of underwriting, we have one of the best diversified portfolios in terms of split of lines. We have a very conservative investment policy, where most of our investments are held in cash and deposits, and are held to maturity investments. We have two portfolios: one in GCC and one in Jordan. But equity markets were not doing well in the last annum, but held to maturity is doing fine. We have also other risk factors for the whole region like Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia.

What would be your value proposition for a GCC investor who is looking to make sure his assets are insured here?
You came through the Airport Road to Amman. This was built by Saudi’s financial aid to Jordan, which we insured during the construction phase of this project. We offered them international expertise with a local perspective. There are a lot of insurance regulatory requirements in Jordan, and we’re one of the companies that have very good experience in large-scale, foreign-managed projects.