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Foreign investors bringing capacity for bigger risks – Salami

The Chief Responsibility Officer, Ensure Insurance Plc, Mr. Salami Owolabi has said that the coming of foreign investors into the Nigerian insurance industry will enhance the local skills and provide the capital to underwrite more special risks in the country.

According to him, when global players come into any industry, the level of customer service increases tremendously because they invest in technology to give the clients better sales.

Owolabi said this while speaking on Allianz Group’s acquisition of Ensure Insurance.

He said, “In this industry, there are still areas of insurance underwriting where we lack the technical knowhow to underwrite, such as aviation, oil and gas and other special risks’ business that we don’t have the full knowledge and experience to underwrite. The foreign players bring that knowledge into Nigeria and we get exposed to how to write those risks.”

He added that the investors would have fairly deep pockets to provide the required capital to retain more business in the country.

He also said that the coming of the foreign investors would beef up competition among all players, which would not be driven by prices but by the level of services offered to the consumers.

Owolabi said that Allianz Group, one of the global players, saw huge prospects in Ensure Insurance and decided to buy the company.

He noted that Allianz had turnover of about €122bn, and over 86 million policyholders.

The Chief Responsibility Officer noted the group had a lot of benefits that it would bring into the Nigerian firm and that it would help the underwriting company to achieve and accomplish its growth plans.

He said that Allianz would bring in the skill and capital that would enable the company to become a better underwriter and one of the leading firms in the Nigerian insurance industry.

While noting that the group had bought 98 per cent stake in the company, he said that the acquisition process would be perfected after the regulatory approval of the National Insurance Commission.