Insurance specialist Ard Daatgal Insurance Company has undergone exponential expansion in recent years and is targeting the country’s hugely untapped retail sector.
The first private insurance company in Mongolia, Ard Daatgal launched operations in 1994 and dramatic levels of growth in recent years have made it today one of the leading non-life insurance enterprises in the country. In 2008, the 15-year-old company employed just six people and had no branches outside its head office in Ulaanbaatar. It had a premium income of around 300 million MNT ($161,000) and with total assets of some 1.7 billion MNT. Today it is the number three company in the sector, with 28 branches nationwide and employing more than 100 people. Its premium income has now topped 10 billion MNT and its assets have rocketed to 9 billion MNT.
According to D. Chuluuntsetseg, CEO of Ard Daatgal Insurance Company since 2008, the introduction of compulsory insurance laws and the rise in personal wealth have helped boost demand and fuel the company’s exponential growth. She also expects Mongolia’s booming mining industry to help keep this momentum for insurance into the foreseeable future, especially as many players are hopeful that Mongolia’s current premiums-to-GDP ratio of around 0.4% can reach figures closer to 6-8%.
In 2004 Ard Daatgal pioneered the industry’s first joint venture when it partnered up with the Wittington Group of the U.K. Its merger and acquisition of Grand Insurance in May 2011 represented another first for both the company and the Mongolian insurance sector. Mrs. Chuluuntsetseg believes that their door will be open to further partnerships with large foreign insurers once the market has become more developed and greater regulation has been established.
“When the market has grown quite mature then of course the big players will come in, and in this situation we can discuss joint ventures together with the foreign companies,” she says. “This kind of process is going on in the auditing market. We can see the big four have already come in and taken over the small companies by buying or acquiring them, or entering joint ventures. Right now it is too early to discuss it. And why aren’t the big companies coming into the market? It is because there is also another way to come into our market: there is reinsurance – a sector in which Ard Daatgal excels.”