Reinsurance major Swiss Re has obtained permission from Inter-African Conference of Insurance Markets (CIMA) to set up an office in Ivory Coast.

The new underwriting office will be located in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The reinsurer noted that the new office will start functioning from 1 October this year.

Swiss Re West Africa head Awa Koné has been given the responsibility to oversee the operations of the new office.

Swiss Re says the move will facilitate an expansion of its services in the region, including core reinsurance solutions and transactional opportunities.

Commenting on the launch of new office, KONE said: “Swiss Re is excited about increasing our engagement in the CIMA region.

“A presence in the Ivory Coast will allow our clients to access the full range of Swiss Re’s Reinsurance services.”

Swiss Re said that opening of new underwriting office forms part of its wider market presence strategy.

The move comes after the re-domiciling of Swiss Re’s Southern African property and casualty business to South Africa and the creation of Swiss Re Africa last year.

East & Africa market executive Beat Strebel said: “As one of the world’s leading risk knowledge companies, our presence in Abidjan means that insurers across the CIMA region will benefit from increased reinsurance opportunities, as well as having access to Swiss Re’s research and risk expertise ….”

Earlier Swiss Re’s UK-based subsidiary ReAssure Group agreed to acquire the UK closed book business of British wealth manager Quilter for £425m ($515m).

Last month, Swiss Re suspended the $4.5bn initial public offering (IPO) of its UK subsidiary ReAssure Group citing weak investor demand.