The Swedish Club will open a new full-service Singapore office on 1 August, its first move in Asia outside of Hong Kong.

Brian Png, leader of the club’s new “Team Singapore” told TradeWinds that the office is responsible for members in Singapore and other markets in Asia, including India, Japan and Thailand.

“The Swedish Club has grown quite considerably in Asia, especially in Singapore and the surrounding countries, so it makes sense to be accessible to clients,” he told TradeWinds.

“Singapore is widely recognised as one of the most important maritime hubs in the world and the opening of this new office is an important step for us because Singapore has a very strong marine insurance broking community, so there is also the potential to expand the business here,” he added.

Png, whose background is in marine engineering, switched to marine insurance when he joined the Swedish Club in 2009, becoming deputy managing director of its Hong Kong office.

His five-strong team in Singapore will complement the Hong Kong office, and further enhance the club’s position in Asia.

“Marine insurance capacity has reduced worldwide, but particularly in Singapore where some Lloyd’s syndicates underwriting hull losses have moved out over the past two years,” Png explained.

He said this has led to a decline in claims lead and capacity insurers in Singapore, which he believes is an area that will give the Swedish Club an opportunity to expand both its hull underwriting business and protection and indemnity book.

“In every deal we do, we like to be the claims lead,” he said.

Having a registered office in Singapore will also give the Swedish Club a licence to do local underwriting.

The Swedish Club, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, is among one of the smaller members of the International Group of P&I Clubs, with 92m gt under P&I cover.

In June, outgoing managing director Lars Rhodin bemoaned soaring claims costs, due in part to the emergence of what he called social inflation — costs imposed by claims from governments that have no correlation to the loss.

Despite the troubles of the P&I world, the club has maintained its S&P Global Ratings A- rating.