SEADRIF Announces the Endorsement of the Proposed Appointment of Mr. Yoshihiro Kawai as Initiative Director to Strengthen Disaster Risk Finance Implementation in the ASEAN+3* Region

April 18, 2024

[Singapore, 18 April 2024] – The Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF) is pleased to announce that the SEADRIF Council of Members has endorsed the proposed appointment of Mr. Yoshihiro Kawai as the SEADRIF Initiative Director.

The SEADRIF Initiative was established by ASEAN + 3 governments as a regional platform to strengthen financial resilience to climate shocks and disasters for ASEAN+3 member countries through access to policy advisories, knowledge, technical and financial solutions.

The newly-created function of the Initiative Director will strengthen the governance, capacity building and stakeholder management within the SEADRIF Initiative, enhancing its beneficial impact for ASEAN + 3 countries.  Mr Kawai’s appointment is expected to officially commence after completion of the requisite governance procedures.

In his new position as the SEADRIF Initiative Director, Mr. Kawai will lead the implementation of the Initiative's strategic vision aimed at fostering a more financially resilient ASEAN+3 region against disaster and climate shocks.

Mr. Kawai brings with him a wealth of both industry and policy experience in the field of Disaster Risk Finance (DRF). He served as the Board Chair of the SEADRIF Insurance Company since May 2023. Under his leadership, the Company has significantly bolstered internal capacities, shaped strategic partnerships, and positioned itself for future growth. Mr. Kawai is recognized globally and within the region as an influential leader in DRF, with notable roles such as Chair of the OECD Insurance and Private Pension Committee, Chair of the Global Asia Insurance Partnership (GAIP), and Advisor to the Commissioner of Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA), among others.

Additionally, Mr. Kawai will concurrently assume the position of Secretary General of the ASEAN+3 DRF Initiative, which was launched by the ASEAN+3 Finance Process.

The SEADRIF Initiative looks to grow and align with the broader regional DRF agenda, including the implementation of the ASEAN+3 DRF Initiative. The appointment of Mr. Kawai will be pivotal to realizing a strong management function required in advancing the strategic goals of enhancing DRF and closing the protection gap in the ASEAN+3 region.

Additional Information about Mr. Yoshihiro Kawai

Mr. Kawai has led the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) for 20 years as Deputy Secretary General (1998-2003) and Secretary General (2003-2017). He was instrumental to the dynamic growth of the Association and has contributed to keeping the world’s financial systems in order.  During this period, Mr. Kawai was also a member of the Financial Stability Board (formerly Financial Stability Forum).

Mr. Kawai’s professional career began with Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Co. and the Ministry of Labour, Japan. He later served on the Secretariat for the OECD Insurance Committee in Paris. From 1995 until 1998, he acted as Advisor to the Minister of Finance and the President of the Insurance Supervisory Authority Poland in Warsaw.

He earned his PhD in insurance in 2000 from City University, London. His PhD was preceded by a BA in Education and Sociology from the University of Tokyo and a MBA from INSEAD, France.

About the SEADRIF Initiative

SEADRIF is a regional platform that provides participating nations with advisory and financial services to increase preparedness, resilience and cooperation in response to climate and disaster risks. SEADRIF is established and owned by ASEAN+3 countries with financial support from the Governments of Japan and Singapore. The World Bank is the lead technical partner to SEADRIF.

About the SEADRIF Insurance Company

The SEADRIF Insurance Company is incorporated in Singapore and licensed as a general insurance company to offer insurance solutions to member countries. It is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The SEADRIF Insurance Company closely collaborates with member countries to develop products that help governments better manage the costs when natural disasters hit.

*ASEAN+3: ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.  ASEAN+3 comprises Southeast Asian countries plus China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

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