Old Mutual Gearing For Life Insurance Penetration In Africa

Old Mutual CEO

VENTURES AFRICA – CEO of Old Mutual Group, Julian Roberts sees both life and short-term insurance penetration in Africa as an important part of the firm’s strategy.

According to Roberts, the company will use “specialist mass-market skills in South Africa to target the growing middle classes in Africa”.

“For example, we will roll out the full retail mass market product suite in Nigeria in 2013, using the expertise, knowledge, product and back-office systems from our South African MFC business”, he added in an interview with Renier De Bruyn, an investment analyst at Sanlam Private Investments (SPI) recently.

The interview is published in SPI’s latest official monthly newsletter, Mastermind.

Old Mutual is Africa’s biggest life insurer. It is also an international wealth manager targeting emerging markets, where it will focus on growing its footprint in Africa. It also has operations in the developed world, where it wants to grow Old Mutual Wealth and the US Asset Management.

Old Mutual recently bought the life assurance business of Oceanic Bank in Nigeria.

Roberts said Old Mutual will employ a multi-distribution strategy, using a combination of tied agents, brokers, direct distribution, Bancassurance partnerships and mobile phone technology.

The company maintains that its key strategy is on expanding in Africa, but mainly focusing on East and West Africa where it will use its existing presence in Kenya and Nigeria as the hub for further expansion into the region.

The firm has split R5 billion ($557.7 million) between a strategic investment fund of R2 billion and further capital of R3 billion and planned to deploy the money over next 3 to 5 years in the African continent. Further expansion into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) markets is also under consideration by the group.

About 80 percent the group’s earnings are from emerging markets, with South Africa generating 74 percent if the group’s total earnings.