Universal Insurance set to pursue recapitalization plans
Universal Insurance Plc is set to pursue its recapitalization plans, in line with approvals received from its shareholders at her 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos. The company is set to deploy in motion, strategies that would see it raise N10 billion recapitalization requirement as prescribed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for the general business category.
The board had sought and obtained the shareholders’ approval to raise the company’s capital through Right Issues, Share Reconstruction, to raise additional equity capital for the company up to the maximum limit of the authorized share capital.
According to Anthony Okocha, acting board chairman of the company, the Universal Insurance Plc has over thirty billion registered shares and out of which, sixten billion has been issued while 14billion is still warehoused and could be brought up for issuance if need be.
The acting chairman disclosed that the company has in its kitty, N6.5billion and would need N3.5billion to make up for recapitalization requirement as a general business insurer.
On steps to meet up with the exercise and beat the June 30 2020 deadline, Okocha stated: “More discussion is ongoing but could not be discussed prematurely. We are also looking at Right Issues, the company is in discussion with core investors and probable foreign influence into your company.”
On financials, he said: “notwithstanding the shape and color of the global economy in 2018 and its effect on the macroeconomic landscape in Nigeria, your company recorded about 45per cent increase in gross written premium (GWP) from N753million in 2017 to N1.69billion in 2018. Claims expense decreased from N463million in 2017 to N263million in 2018. However our underwriting expense rose from N166million in 2017 to N452million in 2018.”
Okocha said it is the intention of the board and management to intensify the corporate strategy in order “to identify the needs of potential customers, their behavior and culture and have an attentive ear to market-feedback so to create products that will address them.
He disclosed that the company would continually invest in information technology so as to create an insurance driven by technology that will not only deliver services real-time and in seamless manner but will also deliver on the numbers, adding that the Universal brand has stood the test of time and the values created over the years are embedded in the loyalty and commitment the firm has enjoyed from all stakeholders.
In the same vein, Ben Ujoatuonu, the managing director and Chief Executive of the company craved the indulgence of the shareholders to approve that they, the board and management, go out there and raise the required funds so as to retain the company’s brand.
He added that the management is strategizing to develop new products with 12 new products awaiting the NAICOM’s approval as a measure to deepen the market.
Ujoatuonu disclosed that the company has obtained an approval from the regulatory agency to underwrite Agric insurance.