Today saw the formal introduction of giant UK financial services firm Prudential into Kenya. The 166-year old Prudential, which is listed in 4 countries and has $770 billion of assets under management, announced the Kshs 1.4 billion (~$16 million) investment into the country, that commenced with a buyout of 100% of Shield Assurance, a local company
Kenya is the second African country for Prudential who only deal in life insurance. They are also in Ghana, and their representatives said Kenya was the most developed insurance market in Eastern Africa in terms of regulation and skills.
At the launch, Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, said Africa contributes only 2% of global insurance premiums and that Kenya will need to mobilize more savings (up to 30% of GDP) to sustain double-digit economic growth for the country. He said that there’s a link between insurance penetration and economic growth, and that through a new insurance bill in Parliament, Kenya plans to replace the current old laws (e.g. (life insurance capital is currently Kshs 150 million), and enable larger stronger insurance companies with diverse investors that are able to offer products like 30 – 40 year bonds and expand into other countries.
EDIT: Shield Assurance was hived off the collapsed Blue Shield. It’s relatively tiny and with Kshs 200 million of liabilities that will be settled by the new buyers.