AGCS Financial Lines and Bajaj Allianz

Hemant Kaul, CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance; Hartmut Mai, AGCS Global Head of Financial Lines; and Jim Amberson, AGCS Financial Lines Regional Manager – Asia addressed the topics of corruption and corporate governance at two evening seminars in Mumbai on January, 20 and Delhi on January 21.

Both events drew a very large crowd. Among the attendees were representatives of some of India’s largest and most dynamic multinational corporations. Both nights all seats were taken and both of the events were attended by more than 550 brokers and corporate risk managers as well as finance executives.

Hemant Kaul discussed the dynamic growth in the service sector of the Indian economy which would drive the need for sophisticated liability products, such as Directors & Officers Liability (D&O) and Professional Indemnity.

Financial Lines seminar with Bajaj Allianz

Hartmut Mai emphasized the importance of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as the UK Bribery Act, which legislates the "anglocizing of global business practices". These two laws create a significant risk to companies and their directors and officers in India. D&O underwriters are evaluating these as part of their underwriting assessment, and will also suggest measures for directors & officers to prevent themselves from falling foul of the legislation.

Jim Amberson highlighted the impact of independent directors on corporate governance and their impact on share prices of Bombay Stock Exchange companies following the mass exodus of independent directors from Indian listed companies after the Satyam fiasco of 2009. The fourth largest Indian software company’s board had approved acquisition of family affiliated companies using USD 1.2 Billion of Satyam’s cash holdings. After disclosure of the fraudulent accounts, Satyam’s shares fell more than 77% in one day, with six million shareholders being affected. The case entailed a general reassessment of risks of being an independent director. Jim Amberson explained how Allianz’s D&O policies could assist companies in attracting and retaining quality independent directors as well as, responding to some of the exposures of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act.

"With a robust economy well on its growth path and corporate India’s global ambitions, the D&O symposium provided our customers with global perspective of D&O cover in the light of latest legal developments", says Hemant Kaul about the seminars.

The audience engaged in lively questions and answers sessions following the presentations continuing until late at night. Corruption and Corporate Governance proved to be a full evening’s entertainment.