MEA December 2017

14 MEA MARKETS / December 2017 , Oman Insurance Company (OIC) is one of the leading insurance solution providers in the Middle East headquartered in Dubai, UAE. Louise O’Donnell tells us more about the region, as she features as Most Trusted Executive Vice President (Head of Internal Audit) for Providing Outstanding Business Services in the United Arab Emirates. Outstanding Insurance Solutions Established in 1975, OIC is a public stock company, listed on the Dubai Financial Market stock exchange. With GWP at AED 3.56 billion in 2016, OIC is the leading insurer in the UAE. Louise explains what type of work the firm does, as well as discussing a little bit about her own role within the company. “Here at OIC, we possess strong operations across all Emirates in the UAE through an intensive distribution network of branches, brokers, bancassurance partners, agencies and call centres. Additionally, our geographic footprint also extends to Oman and Qatar, with a subsidiary in Turkey. “As the Head of Internal Audit, my role focuses extensively on providing assurance to the Executive Management teams and the Board Audit Committee on the overall effectiveness of internal risk management controls and compliance processes. Often, this involves a close examination and evaluation of policies and procedures across all corporate functions working towards business objectives. This helps us to guarantee adherence as per defined corporate governance standards and government regulations.” Regarding her clients, Louise works mainly with internal stakeholders, including the Board Audit Committee, Executive Management team, Operating Management teams and the employees that work for OIC. Furthermore, Louise and her team work with External Auditors and Regulators when required, and she tells us what she feels are the most rewarding aspects of her role. “One of the most rewarding aspects of my role, heading Internal Audit, is the opportunity to interact with various functions across the company and understand the business trends and challenges from very specific perspectives. This presents an insider’s view of the business routine of various departments, from the heart of underwriting, to the complexities of claims and the day-to-day demands at our operations and also our call centre desk.” It is now recognized as an independent function within OIC with qualified auditors, with insurance backgrounds. This has been integral to the successes achieved by our team in the past few years, now recognized by internal customers as a team of reliable in-house auditors, practicing and adding immense value to the various business functions, in accordance with global standards. As a testament to this success, the department has recently completed a quality assessment, led by the UAE Internal Auditors Association and was given the rating of ‘Generally Conforms’. OIC is the first insurer in the UAE to receive this accreditation. Working with a variety of people both internally and externally has led to Louise being recognised worldwide, and she describes how it feels to have been selected in the MEA 2017 Leading Decision Makers as the Most Trusted Executive Vice President (Head of Internal Audit) for Providing Outstanding Business Services - United Arab Emirates. “This is really fantastic and I am truly honoured to have been chosen as a trusted EVP, particularly the Head of Internal Audit. Every Head of Internal Audit aspires to be a trusted adviser to their business partners and audit committees. This recognition is also a strong validation of the team that I lead, whilst providing outstanding services to our organisation.” Differentiating the business from similar firms, OIC is able to distinguish itself from other competitors and ensure clients know that they are the best option, thanks to its versatility and adaptability. 1712ME01 “OIC has always been able to differentiate itself due to the wide-ranging insurance covers offered, our core expert and experienced insurance professionals, and refined operations and claims processes. Most importantly, we constantly review and assess our strengths and weaknesses to maintain strong market relevance and drive continuous improvements.” In her concluding comments, Louise signs off by outlining the overall mission of OIC, and what clients and staff can look forward to in the future. Outperforming competitors, delivering new and innovative solutions and placing a firm emphasis on the customer are all integral aspects of OIC’s success. “Fundamentally, at OIC we look to constantly outperform, delivering new or enhanced solutions that are aligned to market developments and demands. However, we also look to move business boundaries from protection to prevention, helping our clients by not only absorbing their risk, but raising awareness on their industry specific risk and how to avert them.” “More importantly, over the past few years we have shifted to a customer centric business approach, delivering products and services that empower our