Insurer merges with SA firm in growth tactic

Thursday January 24 2013

PHOTO | SALATON NJAU The Insurance Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer, Sammy Makove (left) and the Association of Kenya Insurance Chief Executive Officer Tom Gichuki (right) at a past event.

IRA chief executive officer Sammy Makove (left) said the merger would enable the company to offer a one-stop shop for financial services, enabling it to increase its profits. Photo/SALATON NJAU NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MWANIKI WAHOME [email protected]

Kenbright Insurance Brokers Ltd has merged with South African firm NBC Holdings in a move meant to grow their business and spread their foothold in Africa.

The new company will be known as Kenbright NBC Risk and Financial Services. It will exploit the existing potential of actuarial services on the continent.

“We have decided to conquer the next frontiers by widening the scope of our products. To achieve this goal, we have entered into a strategic partnership,” said the group’s chairman, Mr Paul Gondi.

Wide product range

The company will offer a wide range of acturial-related products for defined contribution retirement funds, defined benefit retirement funds and social security schemes.

The company’s new strategy comes at a time when the regulator, Insurance Regulatory Authority, has ordered insurance companies to set up actuarial desks to help in risk management through proper pricing, reserves and underwriting.

The company’s chief executive officer, Ms Anne Mbugua, says they will offer statutory and other actuarial valuations for retirement funds.

They will also advice clients on benefits and investment strategies, analyse the impact on change of rates and change in benefit structures and perform asset and liability modelling for retirement funds.

The company will also offer financial consulting, fund administration and accounting services.

Kenya is the tenth country in Africa where the South African firm has formed a partnership. Others are Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Ghana, Cameroon and Zambia.

Strategic move

“We consider Kenya as very strategic since we plan to expand to other East African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan,” said Mr Bassie Maisela, the group’s non-executive chairman based in South Africa.

The merger comes at a time when some insurance companies in Kenya are contemplating expanding to the region to take advantage of social and sector reforms.

IRA chief executive officer Sammy Makove said the merger would enable the company to offer a one-stop shop for financial services, enabling it to increase its profits.

He said the insurance industry had continued to grow in asset base, investments and premiums, but added that the potential for growth was still huge.