Nodjoumi was speaking in the wake of sweeping changes to Bahrain’s insurance industry which means it is now mandatory for all those working as independent financial advisors, to attain internationally recognised qualifications.
To underpin the move the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has worked alongside the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, to create a tailor made qualification for the regional market – the Award in Financial Planning is available in both English and Arabic.
“We strongly welcome the move to CII-qualified advisors that Bahrain has taken which is in line with the in-house training we already offer all our financial advisors. Improving the competencies of individuals advising on insurance, will undoubtedly enhance insurance services on offer to clients across the country,”
The move by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) makes it the first country in the Middle East to introduce international level qualifications for independent financial advisors , in all other countries anyone can set up as an advisor in the largely unregulated insurance sector.
The CII expects Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to follow Bahrain’s lead, according to
Mark Greenwood, head of the Middle East Region for the institute.
“The CBB is the first in the Middle East to introduce international standards for insurance advisors, bringing it in line with the US, EU, Hong Kong and Singapore. It is a natural progression that will improve public confidence in the insurance market,” Greenwood said.
Nexus, which has offices in Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, has run in-house CII accredited training for its financial advisors since 2004, and encourages all participants to take the CII Qualification within one year of joining Nexus.
As a result some 80 percent of advisors across Nexus are CII qualified. In recognition of the firm’s lead on training and standards within the industry, Nodjoumi was appointed International Vice-President of the CII in November 2007.
Nexus’ approach to training should be used by other firms as an example of how the region’s insurance industry should develop, Greenwood added.
“Nexus is the only regional player that I know of which has insisted their people have an international standard of qualification. They are leading the way in this area and others should follow their example,” he said.
“We are delighted to be offering CII training, and have been working closely with the CII to deliver this as part of our promise to deliver the highest standard of financial advice,” Nodjoumi said.
Nexus also has a long-term commitment to Bahrain and is pleased to offer training to Bahrain Nationals who wish to join them. Nexus is hoping the new rules will encourage more locals to enter the business.
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