L-R: Mr. Wale Banmore, Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Ltd; Mr. Nnamdi Oragwu, Director; Ms. Sheila Ezeuko, Company Secretary/Group Head, Legal Services; Mr. Benjamin Agili, Managing Director; Mrs. Jane Ekomwereren, Executive Director; and Mr. Chukwuma Kalu, Head, Agric. Business, during a press briefing on the strategic investment in Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Ltd in Lagos on Monday.
BY NKECHI NAECHE—-Top underwriter Royal Exchange Plc, has said the acquisition of 39.25% stake by InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF), into its company will enable the company to reach out to over 1million farmers in Nigeria within the next five years.
L-R: Ms. Sheila Ezeuko, Company Secretary/Group Head, Legal Services, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Ltd; Mr. Benjamin Agili, Managing Director; Mrs. Jane Ekomwereren, Executive Director and Mr. Chukwuma Kalu, Head, Agric. Business, during a press briefing on the strategic investment in Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Ltd in Lagos on Monday.
Managing Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance, Mr. Benjamin Agili disclosed this during a media briefing in Lagos that that acquisition will enable the general insurance giant offer the best-of-bred agric-insurnace services to enable them increase their productivity, and impacts the economy with growth of our GDP and the agro-allied economy.
“Other strategic impacts this investment will bring to the company will be in the areas of Information Technology, Market Expansion, as well as helping the company meet its financial inclusion targets by enabling REGIC develop new products, as well as create alternative channels of distribution to reach our various clientele, especially those who are financially excluded as a result of accessibility, availability and knowledge of insurance and how insurance can improve their well-being.”
Going forward, he said: “We will be able to meet the new capital requirements as set forth by the insurance industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) increased market presence, leading to growth of our market share, introduction of new products, adoption and leveraging on technology to increase penetration.”
He also disclosed that InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF) has also injected technical grant worth $250,000 dollars for training and retraining of staffs, capacity building and to drive technology. Royal Exchange General Insurance had last week announced 39.25 per cent acquisition in its general insurance subsidiary, by IIF.
The acquisition, which results in a N3.6billion capital injection into the REGIC is in line with the National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM) directive for insurance companies to increase their share capital in line with the new regulatory requirements recently introduced.
As one of the leading non-life insurance companies operating in the insurance market in the country and having a strong presence in the agric-insurance space through its partnerships with The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and some State governments, this investment by the KfW is expected to have a huge impact on the company’s presence in the agric-insurance space to enable REGIC increase its presence even further.
The proceeds of the investment will help REGIC to spur growth by increasing its risk capital and supporting its underwriting capacity in agriculture, hereby extending its outreach to low income farmers.
Senior Vice-President Private Equity at BlueOrchard, Ernesto Costa, said: “The history, team and commitment of REGIC to agriculture insurance make it a great addition to our portfolio. REGIC is uniquely positioned to capture the opportunity presented by 30 million under insured small scale farmers in Nigeria. We are thrilled to partner with and support REGIC with capital, technical assistance and our international network in the agriculture insurance space, with the objective to increase the resilience of small scale farmers to climate change.”
Chairman, Royal Exchange Plc, Kenny Ezenwani Odogwu, also speaking on the investment said, “REGIC has entered into strategic alliances with various stakeholders in the agricultural space to drive insurance within that sector of the economy. Agriculture and retail insurance, we believe is the future of insurance and at Royal Exchange, we will continue to develop products and services to ensure that we remain relevant in this space. REGIC is determined to take advantage of growth initiatives available in the industry. Our strategy has always been to ensure we attract the best technical experts globally and capital to meet regulatory requirements and the needs of our stakeholders in the 5 subsidiaries where we currently have 100% shareholding.
Odogwu further added “people need to understand that insurance is an enabler of the economy and is needed to bolster the agriculture industry (20% of GDP) which is a major priority for the Government. Royal Exchange has entered into strategic alliances with various stakeholders in the agricultural space. We will continue to develop products and services to strengthen our leading position in this space while leveraging technology to expand ourrevenue base and ultimately, our bottom-line. We will soon be expecting major investments in other subsidiaries of the group, namely, our life insurance firm, the HMO, micro-financebank and the finance company.”