Rwandans will be able to access an enhanced range of professional services from insurer, UAP Holding following its merger with South African insurance giant, Old Mutual last month.
Old Mutual increased its shareholding in the group from 23.3 per cent to a 60.7 per cent controlling stake in the soon to be Nairobi Securities Exchange listed firm for $97.6 million.
UAP’s group chief executive officer, Peter Mwangi said last week that the new entity, UAP-Old Mutual Group, will now offer services in general insurance, banking and asset management, with a wider and more accessible distribution network, and digital innovation.
UAP opened office in Rwanda two years ago, which has seen insurance penetration levels grow in a market that is struggling to attract clients.
With over 10 insurance companies in the country, the penetration rate stands at less than two per cent, below the continent’s average of three per cent.
The low penetration presents an opportunity for industry players like UAP to introduce more products and increase coverage. Among the new products that the Old Mutual subsidiary is introducing are in the motor insurance segment.
“I am confident that through our combined strengths and talent we will be able to serve customers, employees and other stakeholders in the region better,” said Mwangi.
Meanwhile, Mwangi said the merger means immense career growth opportunities for the firm’s employees; skills transfer, including options such as job rotations and secondment, and all the ‘benefits of being part of a multinational business’.
“Although all mergers inevitably involve some business restructuring, we have managed to ensure that everyone has been absorbed, with no job losses,” he said.
He said the UAP-Old Mutual Rwanda chief executive officer, Pauline Wanjohi, will continue to head the ‘fast-growing’ Rwanda business.
In a related development, Richard Mugisha, the managing partner at Trust Law Chambers, has been appointed UAP-Old Mutual Rwanda board chairman.
“We are confident that Mugisha will steer the vision of the business in the market as per the Group strategy,” said James Muiguiyi, the outgoing chairman. Mugisha has served in various capacities in the UAP board since 2012 and was the deputy chairman at the firm before this appointment.