Insurance HR Committee at EIBFS Finalizes 2017 Training Roadmap

The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, met with its eight-member Insurance Sector Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to review current programs and discuss the 2017 training roadmap for the sector.

The Technical Advisory Committee comprises distinguished Human Resource (HR) and Talent Development managers from local and international insurance companies based in the UAE. This week’s meeting of TAC discussed the objectives of the committee, which includes, technical advice to the management of the institute in all matters related to the development of the insurance training programs review the curricula of EIBFS programs, suggestions regarding introducing new programs, and providing recommendations that would enhance the cooperation between the institute and the insurance companies. The TAC also discussed 2017 Training Need Analysis Roadmap.

Also as part of the meeting’s agenda, Mr. Hani Hirzallah, Senior Vice President Human Resources and Administration, at Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company and Amal Osman, Regional Senior Talent Development Manager of AXA Insurance Gulf were elected as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Committee.

The 2017 training plan includes insurance operations and management programs and English training program. In addition, the it also will offer the Al Shamil National Development Program, as well as other customized programs for companies. The first session of Al Shamil was conducted in Dubai on March 19, while the second session is set to commence in Abu Dhabi on March 26 with a total of 24 participants.

At the meeting, EIBFS informed TAC members that a Services Excellence Survey will be conducted between 28 April and 11 May, 2017 to measure satisfaction of the training programs and services led by EIBFS Training Department, as well as capture feedback on areas for improvement. The survey will integrate feedback from companies into EIBFS’s Training need analysis plan in order to develop a more efficient partnership and offer greater support to insurance companies. The survey will be administered internally through an online link, providing each user with a unique survey link for confidentiality purposes. A total of 50 insurance companies will be invited to participate in the survey.

Other members of the TAC include Eiad Abbsi, Human Resource Manager from Al Fujairah National Insurance Company; Fiona Fernandes, Head of Human Resources, Emirates Insurance; Souraya Ajineh, Senior Manager, Reinsurance and Risk Management, Insurance House; Gladys Kimweli, Head of Learning Development & Talent from Metlife; Aruma George, Director, HR, Administration and Communications RSA; and Benny Baby, Administration Manager from Al Sagr National Insurance Company.

Speaking on TAC and its integral role at the institute, Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager at EIBFS, said: “EIBFS is deeply committed to engaging with the insurance sector in planning course content. Our training department regularly collaborates with HR directors and talent and leadership development managers of various insurance companies to receive feedback to understand current industry trends and human resources requirements based on industry demands. In this regard, the analysis and recommendations provided by the Technical Advisory Committee are invaluable. We continue to invest in faculty and technology resources to provide best-in-class training for the nation’s most promising professionals – further reinforcing our position as a premier academic and training institution.”

EIBFS organized Al Shamil training program exclusively for the insurance sector

EIBFS organized Al Shamil training program exclusively for the insurance sector , the main objective were to Understand and recognize the value and concepts of the insurance industry and Strengthen trainee’s communication skills, particularly in common work situations. To Equip trainees with a comprehensive understanding of how an insurance companies works.

The Program duration was for 15 days covering the ( Soft skills, English Training, Insurance Operations) designed for New joiners – Entry level in the insurance sector.

First program commenced on 19th March in Dubai & Second batch 26th March in Abu Dhabi with Total 24 participants

EIBFS selected 11 senior and executive Emiratis bank managers to attend a two-week executive development program at Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.

The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, selected 11 senior and executive Emiratis bank managers to attend a two-week executive development program at Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.

Concluding its eighth offering, the Leadership Development Program (LDP) equipped the Gulf region’s top executive managers with leadership skills and strategic perspectives necessary to keep pace with an increasingly global and competitive environment.

Devoted to personal and professional growth, the program incorporated a variety of leadership development techniques including case study analyses, simulations and skill assessments to explore real-time business challenges and solutions and test new management strategies while actively developing business acumen, new ways of thinking and leadership competences.

The candidates were selected from Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, RAK Bank, Noor Bank, Commercial Bank International and Union National Bank.

Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, said: “We congratulate the high achieving participants for successfully completing the intensive Leadership Development Program. Through our sustained partnerships with prestigious international academic institutions, such as Darden School of Business, EIBFS will continue to offer world-class training and academic programmes that develop and enrich the leadership cadre of the UAE.”

Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies Hosts High-level Bankers Workshop to Discuss Strategies for IFRS 9 Implementation

Dubai, UAE – Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, hosted a high-level interactive workshop attended by more than 60 senior bankers and finance officers to discuss strategies being deployed by banks in the UAE to address challenges associated with the implementation of IFRS 9.

The institute welcomed financial experts from prominent local and global financial establishments including PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Emirates NBD and National Bank of Fujairah.

Comprising six lectures, the one-day workshop touched upon a variety of issues including the differences between IAS 39 and IFRS 9, potential business impact, overcoming the challenges of IFRS 9, role of regulators, and the efficacy of IFRS 9 as a safeguard to help avoid the repetition of the global financial crisis.

Explaining the context around the event, Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, said: “IFRS 9 is an International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and is a resolute move by the regulator to avoid a recurrence of the events that led to the global financial crisis of 2008, and ensure stability in the banking sector worldwide. IFRS 9 will replace the outgoing IFRS for financial instruments, IAS 39, when it becomes effective worldwide in January 2018.”

He added: “The UAE’s banks are actively preparing for this shift, and our workshop today serves as a platform for experts piloting the transition to discuss strategies effectively. At EIBFS, we take our responsibility to educate and create more awareness among our various stakeholders on the rapidly changing financial environment and the challenges that come with it very seriously. We are committed to conducting workshops led by experts who share valuable insights on important industry developments.”

Attendees were keen to gain insights into the implementation challenges and discussed several points relevant to issues of risk and finance, impact of macroeconomic factors, IT systems and disclosures.

Madhukar Shenoy, Partner at PwC Middle East, who also made a presentation at the workshop, described IFRS 9 as “one of the most complex accounting standards ever to be issued”, and said that banks need to be ready for the multi-faceted challenges associated with its implementation. He added that the business model tests and the decision trees underlying classification, initial and subsequent measurement must be woven into financial control and risk management processes, and properly documented.

Shenoy added: “Under the new standard, impairment accounting and loan loss calculation have become highly complex – they are more art than science, and require expert judgment. Comparability between banks is severely impacted by how judgment is exercised in areas where there is room for interpretation. An added complexity is the interplay with regulatory or Basel III definitions. Regulators and auditors must be satisfied that the implementation approach meets their expectations.”

To match regulators’ expectations, Shenoy recommended that banks must ensure their auditors and regulators are kept aware of their IFRS 9 implementation plans and consulted on a timely basis. He summed up that ensuring an adequate governance over the IFRS 9 related models, audit trail and documentation, and robust and verifiable processes go a long way in satisfying regulators.

Review of credit underwriting processes was also discussed at the workshop.

Sumit Malik, Head of Credit at the National Bank of Fujairah, said: “IFRS 9 will, in my view, influence the type of business that is done. Underwriting would be impacted by the need for recognition of assets held on amortized costs or on fair value through profit and loss, and the provisioning requirements. The former would become a significant consideration for the nature of the asset to be booked. The provisioning requirements of the new standard are stringent regarding the quality and early recognition of the problems in a loan portfolio.”

Malik added: “Given these changes, assets with long tenors and low pricing could drain profitability. We have also seen existing products in the market with no fixed expiry dates, on which pricing would be affected by the new standards. As Credit Risk Officers, we need to be mindful of these changes and accept businesses that not only meet these principles, but also their structure and pricing to compensate the cost of risk.”