Sanlam Group, South African partners and major shareholder in Nigeria’s FBN Life Assurance Company Limited is excited about the progress in the Nigerian Company, which has broken even two years and three months after its establishment.
Sanlam said the FBN Life history is record breaking, as it takes majority of insurance companies five years or more to break even and record profit.
This according to the Sanlam Group has earned the Nigerian Company its “Rising Star trophy” after emerging tops amongst its investments across 11 other countries including India, Uganda and East Africa.
Annually, Sanlam Group holds what it describes as nation’s cup for its investment subsidiaries across the continent, usually in three classes- Premier, Major and Rising Star, where the rising star is for upcoming companies.
Heinie Werth, chief executive Officer, Sanlam Emerging Markets who was in Nigeria over the weekend to present the trophy to the management of FBN Life said beyond profitability, emphasis for winning the trophy are on sustainable business practice, new developed opportunities and future prospect.
“We are interested in how the management has conducted the business and its sustainability going forward.”
Werth joined by Margret Dawes, executive director, Sanalm Emerging Market said the Nigeria market holds a lot of growth potential with quality credentials of a growing GDP as well as analyst predictions of Nigeria’s GDP to exceed South Africa’s in the next 10-years.
“South African market has an insurance penetration of 10-11 percent, whereas Nigeria is less than 2 percent, so we seen huge untapped market in the most populous country in Africa.”
Making projection on the future of the company he stated that in the next five years, FBN Life would become the number one insurance Company in Nigeria, given the unique qualities of FBN Holdings plc and Sanlam Group, which has helped to build trust for the insurance company. “What the company requires is just the right business model and practice,” he said.
According to Werth, Sanlam would continue to give its support with new investments, exposure to varieties of products and result oriented strategies. Val Ojumah, managing director and CEO of FBN Life who expressed excitement about the recognition said “this is about the best time in my whole career life”.
“The award is recognition of our effort and also a challenge to achieve greater result,” he said.
Ojumah said the Company is going to get much bigger soon, when it becomes a composite underwriting firm, expressing confidence that it would happen before the end of 2013.