Protection and indemnity giant NorthStandard is expanding its presence in Asia with the addition of a permanent office in the South Korean capital Seoul.

The new office, its eighth in the Asia Pacific region, will initially be staffed by Shang Doe Shim and will be operational from late spring 2024, NorthStandard said in a statement.

The move comes one year after the club established its combined Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore.

NorthStandard describes itself as “a significant player” in the Korean market, providing P&I, freight, demurrage and defence and specialist lines cover for a “sizeable amount” of owned and chartered business.

It is the shipping industry’s second-largest P&I mutual insurer.

The club’s Korean business has historically been serviced from Singapore and the UK, with support provided by exclusive Korean correspondent Ins-Ship Aide.

David Roberts, NorthStandard head of Asia-Pacific, described the move as a “natural step” to strengthen the company’s service platform across the region.

“South Korea is one of the most significant individual country markets in Asia and is NorthStandard’s largest market in the region. We aim to bring additional service value to an important customer base,” he said.

James Moran, NorthStandard’s chief operating officer, Asia Pacific, said the club sees “considerable potential to provide a more localised service offering to our expanding membership, with a particular focus on claims support”.

Shim is a Korean national who joined Standard Club in 2008, having previously worked for a leading South Korean shipping company.

He is described as a “highly experienced and respected claims handler with a deep understanding of the Korean market”.

Longer term, NorthStandard said it aims to build a “team of local experts” in Seoul who are familiar with the local shipping market.

South Korea is the fourth-largest ship-owning nation, after China, Greece, and Japan, according to NorthStandard and the world’s second-largest shipbuilder after China.