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West of England Club opens Singapore branch

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 7 years ago

The West of England Club is launching in Singapore as competition increases to be the marine insurance hub for Asia. 9 of the 13 International Group protection-and-indemnity (P&I) clubs will have offices in Singapore but Hong Kong remains the traditional centre for Asia, with 12 of the clubs conducting business there. The West of England’s Singapore operation will have underwriting and claims-handling functions from the outset and opens with Malcolm Pedley as chief executive, David Griffiths looking after underwriting and Julien Rabeux in charge of claims. All three were previously located in the club’s Hong Kong office. Kay Kaur Williams will manage the office, with the club looking to grow its Singapore-based team. The West of England Club’s shipowner directors are to hold their May board meeting in Singapore, with the occasion used to flag the club’s arrival in the city-state. This meeting is set to also sign off on the accounts, which should show the free reserve growing to more than $300m from $276m a year ago. The West of England Club has been in Hong Kong since the early 1980s, so is well established in this gateway to China. The club has therefore eyed Singapore as a second outpost in Asia rather than joining the trio of clubs in Shanghai. Tom Bowsher, the West of England Club’s underwriting director said, “Singapore is a very important maritime centre so the new office is as much about servicing our worldwide members as growing and supporting the membership in Asia.”