NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – Local non-bank financial services firm, Sanlam Kenya PLC, has outlined elaborate growth plans focusing on its insurance businesses.
The firm which is also listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) will be seeking to accelerate growth from its Sanlam General Insurance and Sanlam Life Insurance subsidiaries by leveraging on local, regional, continental and multinational opportunities.
Last March 2018, the Sanlam Group announced the completion of a US $1billion corporate acquisition of the North Africa headquartered insurance firm, SAHAM Finances.
The acquisition, billed as the single largest insurance firm transaction in Africa in recent times, allows the Sanlam Group including Sanlam Kenya, to become a truly Pan-African insurance, investment and ancillary services group, able to service multi-national clients and their intermediaries more effectively than any other group operating across the continent.
Under a unified business delivery model, Sanlam Kenya will be stepping up its efforts to explore and retain strategic partnerships with leading local institutions in the public and private sectors including Banking institutions, Savings and Credit organisations and Academic organisations among others.
Speaking, when he addressed a year opener media briefing at the firm’s new Sanlam Towers Headquarters, Sanlam Kenya PLC Group CEO Patrick Tumbo, said the firm will be pursuing what he described as a consolidated group synergies strategy with a potential to realise more than 30% operating cost savings.
As part of regulatory requirements and readiness to ensure compliance with the new Insurance Act that provides for Risk Based Compliance, Sanlam Kenya, he disclosed has continued to recapitalize both the Sanlam Life and Sanlam General business in readiness to comply with 2020 Risk Based Capital deadline.
The firm’s adoption of an operating strategy focusing on its Life and General insurance businesses, Tumbo said, follows the recent amalgamation of Sanlam Kenya’s former Investments and Asset Management subsidiary (Sanlam Investments Limited) into the new Sanlam Investments East Africa Limited (SIEAL), allowing for dedicated focus on insurance services by the group.
“This year and moving on, Sanlam Kenya will be focusing purely on our insurance businesses as we pursue a consolidated group synergies strategy. We are well positioned and resourced to meet business needs and service clients locally and across the borders as part of Africa’s largest non-bank financial services firm; the Sanlam Group,” Tumbo said, adding that, “This strategy will seek to leverage sales and distribution synergies between Sanlam General Insurance and Sanlam Life Insurance through improved customer experience, while sustainably growing revenue profitably for the good of all stakeholders.
As part of the strategy, the firm has shifted its headquarters and central customer experience centre to the new purpose built Sanlam Towers in Westlands to provide an all under one roof solution for life and general insurance clients. Previously, Sanlam Life had been operating from Sanlam House along Kenyatta Avenue and Sanlam General Insurance from Gateway Place along Milimani road, Nairobi.
“The consolidation of our subsidiaries nerve centres provides a good foundation for Sanlam Kenya to enhance its operating efficiencies through a unified distribution and sales management model,” Tumbo said.
Last year, at the release of the firm’s Half Year financial results, Tumbo who was recently appointed as the Group CEO, confirmed that the firm had kicked off a strategic business recovery strategy.
“It will no longer be business as usual. We have adopted a revised business model and we will be pursuing key initiatives geared at elevating the business back on a profitability path,” Tumbo had said.
The firm, he disclosed has already made positive strides focusing on improved governance and leadership through the application of best practice corporate governance principles and retention of an experienced talent pool including senior management team members.
According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) Insurance Industry Release Report for Quarter 3 2018, long term insurance business in Q3 2018 experienced a growth of 3.9% compared to a growth of 16.9% recorded in the previous year during the same period. The long term insurers’ including Sanlam Life Insurance’s asset base grew by 11.9% to KES 380.40 billion and largely composed of income generating investments to the tune of KES 343.53 billion with total assets of KES 44.48 billion funded by shareholders through paid up capital and shareholders’ equity.
Within the same period, general insurance premiums recorded a marginal growth of 1.7% compared to a growth of 7.2% recorded in the previous year. The general insurance business underwriters incurred KES 43.88 billion in claims as at end of Q3 2018.