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Belarus names Cooper Gay as broker


MINSK, Belarus—The Belarusian government has named Beauchamp & Savrassov Ltd., part of the London broker Cooper Gay & Co. Ltd., as the appointed reinsurance broker for its state-owned Belarusian National Reinsurance Organization.

The government created the Belarusian National Reinsurance Organization in October last year, the idea being that in 10 years' time, all reinsurance will be ceded to the organization.

Beauchamp and Savrassov entered into an agreement with the national reinsurance organization as appointed broker on January 17.

Beauchamp & Savrassov is the only Western reinsurance company with a permanent presence in the former Soviet state. An office was established in the capital, Minsk, in 2005.

At the moment, the Belarusian insurance market is small, with an annual gross written premium of $220 million, and reinsurance spend of $10 million a year. "Insurance penetration is very low," concedes Kirill Savrassov, managing director of the Minsk-based firm. "It's less than 1% of GDP," he added.

But Mr. Savrassov believes that the market could grow to $1 billion to $1.2 billion over the next seven to 10 years if the government stimulates growth.