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Global Health Services Company Cigna Launches in Lebanon; Looks Towards Expansion

July 10, 2017
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Global Health Services Company Cigna Launches in Lebanon; Looks Towards Expansion

Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI), a global health services company, today announced its launch in Lebanon, as the premier provider of both health and wellness services to individuals, groups and government entities in the country. The announcement follows Cigna’s successful acquisition of general insurer, Zurich Insurance Middle East (SAL) in June, expanding the company’s operations across the Middle East to include Lebanon, UAE, Kuwait and Oman markets, further complementing its capabilities across the region..

The announcement was made at a media reception held in Beirut, which was headlined by H.E. Raed Khoury, Lebanese Minister of Economy & Trade, Elizabeth Richard, U.S. Ambassador to the Lebanese Republic, Nadine El Habbal, Acting Head of Lebanon’s Insurance Control Commission (ICC), and hosted by Jason Sadler, President of Cigna International Markets, and Howard Gough, CEO of Cigna for the MENA Region, Global International Private Medical Insurance (GIPMI), and Global Government segment. They were joined by Lebanese government officials, representatives from the financial sector and Cigna’s local partners.

The Republic of Lebanon is central to the success of Cigna’s development strategy in the region. With plans to significantly expand its operations in the country over the next few years, the company is set to create new jobs and invest in talent from the local market. By engaging insurance professionals from within the Lebanese market, Cigna will look to complement its global expertise, and create a tailored and personalized approach to meeting the healthcare needs of Lebanon.

 

Speaking at the event, H.E. Minister Khoury said: “We are delighted to welcome Cigna to Lebanon, and congratulate them on their new phase of operations in the region. Lebanon is pushing forward with economic development, and the entry of multinational companies such as Cigna is testament to our position as a business hub. We look forward to working with Cigna to further enhance the health insurance sector in Lebanon.”

Cigna has named Arthur Cozad, former CEO of Cigna Taiwan, as CEO for Middle East markets. Howard Gough continues as CEO of Cigna for the MENA Region, Global International Private Medical Insurance (GIPMI), and Global Government segment.

In line with regulatory compliance, the newly acquired entity will be called ‘Zurich Insurance Middle East, a Cigna-owned company.’ The company will assume a name that aligns with the Cigna brand once all formalities have been completed.

Sadler said: “Cigna has enjoyed a strong presence in the Middle East for more than 15 years through our local partners. In the region, we view Lebanon as a high-growth market, and see the acquisition of Zurich Insurance Middle East as an opportunity to further develop our presence here. We have set an ambitious plan to capture this growth, which will include a strong localization effort that combines job creation and strategic development through knowledge-sharing, governance, and collaboration with local partners.

“Moreover, Cigna aims to improve the health, well-being and sense of security of our customers in Lebanon and across the wider region by providing full access to our global expertise and wide range of specialized healthcare benefits, products and wellness programs.”

In the Middle East region Cigna delivers group health products and services for small businesses and family-owned enterprises through to multinational companies. Through the establishment of this new entity, Cigna will provide even more personalized products to individuals, corporates, and government entities; 24/7 customer support; multilingual call centres located across nine global locations; specialized clinical services, and access to one million medical and healthcare professionals and facilities worldwide.

Gough added: “We are witnessing a dynamic change within Lebanon’s health insurance sector, with research indicating strong sector growth of over seven per cent year-on-year. As the market demand continues to expand, we believe Cigna’s healthcare benefit products and its preventive wellness solutions will meet a vital need for companies, and local and globally mobile individuals in Lebanon.”

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