Marsh Inc is the first foreign insurance broker to have received a licence from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority to transact business in India.
Marsh India Pvt Ltd, a 26:74 joint venture between Marsh and Rampart Group, will undertake both direct and reinsurance broking.
Managing director William D Jones said the company intends to offer seamless service to its clients in the country. "We can create products and also arrange the reinsurance of the same in the London market," Jones said.
"India's insurance market will become a strategic component of Marsh's global operations. The licence will help us create and deliver risk solutions and services that are increasingly critical given the dramatic changes taking place in the global and Indian insurance markets," Jones said.
Marsh has another advantage over the insurance broking community in the formation of Axis Speciality Ltd, an insurance entity set up after September 11.
With a lot of insurance and reinsurance capacity being wiped out post the terrorist attacks on September, the parent entity through its investment management arm, MMC Capital, developed additional source of insurance and reinsurance capacity.
The company was set up with a share capital base of $1.6 billion. Marsh's entry into India follows its intention to cater to its global clients.
Jones said, "We cater to 80 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies, many of which are in India today." Marsh is itself a Fortune 500 company with $ 5.8 billion in revenue earned in terms of commissions. It has been catering to India prior to the privatisation of the insurance industry.
Jones sees immense potential in India to offer value addition to its clients, both insurance companies and corporates.
Apart from focussing on multinational clients, Marsh intends to tap public sector undertakings too, which account for over 50 per cent of the gross premium income in the country in terms of non-life insurance.