• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Unlocking growth potential through increased financial capacity

Insurers rake in N615.8bn on retiree life annuity

Playing in a competitive industry like insurance, particularly at a time when the financial services sector is facing intense competition and increased volatility occasioned by economic headwinds, are issues occupying managers and business owners.

The situation is streamlining the number of operating companies with recent mergers and acquisitions, while also identifying new and stronger brands including foreign players. Those who are waiting to be on their own maintain brand identities and are going all the way to boost capacity.

For instance, underwriting firm Sovereign Trust Insurance (STI) plc, one of Nigeria’s professional underwriting firms, which aims to sustain its brand identity and also unlock inherent potentials in the brand, recently opened a Rights Issue, precisely on January 14, 2015, placing on offer a total of 2,290,585,798 Ordinary Shares of 50 kobo per share for every three ordinary shares of 50 kobo each held as at the close of business on Thursday, June 19, 2014. The offer will come to a close on February 20, 2014.

The management is reaching out to all its existing shareholders to take advantage of this unique opportunity once again in consolidating their ownership of a brand that is set to transform the insurance landscape home and abroad. Sovereign Trust Insurance plc clocked 20 years on January 2, 2015, and is preparing to roll out drums of professional underwriting and a heritage of true entrepreneurship.

Read also: 5 important money questions to ask

The vision of one of Oluseun Ajayi, Nigeria’s finest underwriters, came to fruition with the able support of another prominent business personality in the person of Ephraim Faloughi. Together, this duo shared a common dream that has become a reality today.

A veritable and formidable team was put in place under the leadership of Ajayi, the visionary pioneering managing director, and it was ably supported by Wale Onaolapo, the incumbent managing director/CEO, as the head of technical operations at inception.

Two decades after, the underwriting company has become a force to reckon with in the comity of insurance companies in Nigeria and beyond, recording so many pacesetting initiatives as it journeys through the years. The company has never looked back since it commenced operation, ensuring that adequate cover is provided in the most professional manner to everyone that has at one point or the other related with the company.

The company has metamorphosed a great deal in the span of its two decades of existence, having commenced business in 1995, following the restructuring and recapitalisation of the then Grand Union Assurances with an authorised and paid-up capital of N30m and N20m respectively.

STI, with its current corporate head office in Lagos, has 16 other offices spread across major commercial cities in the country and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on November 29, 2006.

With an authorised share capital of N5.2bn divided into 10.5bn units of 50kobo per share with a fully paid-up capital and Shareholders’ funds of over N3.4bn, the company has with diverse shareholders from a wide range of individuals and institutional investors.

The company boasts of innovative products and services that can latch onto the avalanche of emerging opportunities in the Nigerian Insurance landscape and beyond, just as it is always willing to collaborate with every relevant stakeholder in the industry.

Over the years, the company has continued to invest in research aimed at developing top-of-the-notch innovative products and services while deploying information technology to accelerate its operation in ensuring efficiency and as a means to reaching out to its teeming customers across the country.

The company has adopted several initiatives to develop the retail end of the insurance market; one of such products was the birthing of SWIS-F in 2008, (Sovereign Trust Wellbeing Insurance Scheme for the Family), a personal accident form of policy with an annual premium of N1,500 for adults and N250 for children between the ages of 6-17years. Benefits range from N250,000 to N650,000 and it could be graduated depending on the insured preference when taking up the policy.

Sovereign Trust Insurance plc has put in place a five-year strategic blueprint which became operational in 2013 to take advantage of the opportunities in the industry which will enable the company amongst other things, enlarge its business scope, reinforce its position as a reckoning brand in the comity of insurance companies in the country, increase its market share by enhancing and leveraging on strategic alliances to improve customer service, deepen competency and increase product range.