M.K. – Itzhak Cohen, Deputy Chairman of Minister of Finance,
Mr. Ron Hulday, the Mayor of Tel-Aviv Jaffa,
Mr. Graham White, Deputy Chairman of Lloyds & Managing Director of Argenta Private Capital Limited,
Mr. Yadin Antebi, the commissioner of capital markets and insurance at the FinanceMinistry of Israel,
I would like also to take this opportunity already now and to congratulate Mr. Yonnel Cohen, the CEO of Migdal who will be elected as the chairman of the life Insurance Companies Limited at the coming general assembly which will take place next week on 22.6 and therefore I would like to greet also the life reinsurers on behalf of Mr. Yonnel Cohen.
Distinguished guests from all the world and Israel,
Welcome to the 3rd Tel Aviv Reinsurance Conference.
It is hard to believe that we are already celebrating the 3rd reinsurance conference in Tel Aviv. I am glad to say that this conference is becoming more and more popular from year to year.
Every year there are more and more reinsurers from all the world who are coming to the Tel Aviv Reinsurance conference and this makes it certainly an international event like the reinsurance conferences in Monte Carlo and Baden-Baden.
The large number of participants at the 3rd Tel Aviv Reinsurance Conference only demonstrates the very tight and close relationship between the Israeli insurance market and the worldwide insurance and reinsurance market.
The Israeli insurance market is producing nowadays a total premium of life and non-life business which exceeds $ 8 billion. Taking in consideration that our population is about 7.5 million people, means that Israel is producing more than $1,000 per capita premium, being one of the most insurance minded countries in the world. I believe that the Israeli market is also known as being a very interesting and attractive reinsurance market.
It is also remarkable that in spite of the worldwide financial crisis, the Israeli insurance market has stayed stable. It is important to mention that likewise the worldwide trends, the Israeli insurance industry has gone through various changes in the past years and the most significant one is that nowadays the Israeli insurance industry has become also a very important player in the financial and capital market.
It is for the people of Tel Aviv and for myself, as being born in Tel Aviv and have lived in Tel Aviv all my life, a special privilege that this Reinsurance Conference is taking place at the occasion of Tel Aviv celebrating this year its 100 anniversary.
I believe that if peace will prevail in our region, Israel will become one of the most important insurance centers in the world.
I am glad to advise you that during the last 2 years 3 new members have joined the Israeli Insurance Association like ILD and Shlomo Insurance Company and lately also Bituach Haklay. I would like to welcome all of them for joining the association. There are actually only 3 companies left: IDI, AIG Israel and Shirbit who still have not joined the insurance association.
I would like to take this opportunity and to thank Mr. Zeev Even-Chen, Managing Director of Israel Insurance Association & Association of Life Insurance Companies Ltd. and to Hedva Vanunu of the Insurance Association and to "Kenes Tlalim" for working hard during the year in organizing this event and finally also to my dear wife Hana who has helped us so much as a volunteer.
I wish all of you very successful discussions during the forthcoming days and an enjoyable stay in Israel.
Wishing you all an enjoyable evening.
About Mr. Gideon Hamburger, Chairman of the Israel Insurance Association (RA) and President of Harel Ltd