Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. hired senior underwriting managers for a new Dubai reinsurance operation as the company seeks expansion in the Middle East and Africa.

Peter Thompson, formerly of Assicurazioni Generali SpA, was assigned to the Dubai hub along with Gulf Re’s Houcine Zouaoui, and Swiss Re AG’s Attilio Tornetta. All three men will report to Abdallah Balbeisi, senior executive officer and head of Middle East and Africa, the Bermuda-based company said in a statement Monday.

Aspen is looking to diversify risks and push into new markets after rebuffing a hostile takeover bid from Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. in 2014. Reinsurers take on risks written by primary carriers.

“The Middle East and Africa region offers significant opportunities for profitable growth and we look forward to serving our clients in Dubai and beyond,” Aspen Re Chief Executive Officer Stephen Postlewhite said in the statement. “Peter, Houcine and Attilio have extensive experience working in the region and we are pleased that they are joining.”

Thompson focuses on complex property risks. Zouaoui will concentrate on underwriting across the Middle East and North Africa, while Tornetta specializes in sub-Saharan Africa. Aspen was granted a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority in December, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emma Orr in New York at eorr6@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net, Steven Crabill

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