Leading Ivestment Company in Africa

Heirs entry to disrupt insurance sector, retail space

…as announcement sends jitters

The coming of Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Heirs Holdings into the nation’s insurance industry will cause a major disruption in the country’s insurance space.

Analysts say that both intuitions have large insurance buy that have been managed over the years by other insurance companies, but with their coming on board, there is the tendency that they will move such accounts to their subsidiary.

Besides that, they argue that the new insurance companies will take advantage of their group’s large customer base to grow their retail sales, thereby increasing competition among companies.

For example, Stanbic has a large customer base from banking, pensions where it is the largest player with over 1,709, 000 registered clients assets under management worth over N2 trillion. While Heirs, on the other hand, is also a conglomerate with an investment portfolio in power, oil and gas, financial services, hospitality, real estate and healthcare sectors.

The announcement of their coming which was announced about two weeks ago in a National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) advertorial has sent jittery into the market, with some players already raising concern on new market completion.

NAICOM in an advertorial published on Thursday 24th July announced that four firms – Heir Insurance Limited (General); Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited; Heirs Life Assurance Limited and Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited have indicated interest to operate in Nigeria.

The publication said “The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has received applications from the under listed companies for registration as insurance companies to transact insurance business in Nigeria.

“In fulfilment of the statutory provisions of extant laws for the registration/licensing of insurance companies, the general public is hereby informed that the Commission has commenced the process of registering the companies. Members of the public are requested to submit/report any objection or otherwise against these registrations to the Commission within 21 days from the date of this publication, please.”

Meanwhile, the companies have also picked chief executive officers: Heir Insurance Limited (General), Olaniyi Stephen Onifade: Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited, Akinjide Orimolade; Heirs Life Assurance Limited, Abah Okoriko and Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited, picked, Fumilayo Abimbola Omo.

An insurance CEO who doesn’t want his name mentioned, said: “I expect that their coming will change the market structure, particularly with Stanbic IBTC and Heirs that already have brokerage firms that are also doing very fine”.

The CEO, however, said that the space is big enough for everyone, after all, we have only done less than one per cent, stating and there are lots of untapped opportunities in the industry, particularly in the retail space.

There are currently 55 registered (underwriting) insurance companies in Nigeria, with 28 as general business underwriters, 14 life underwriters and 13 composite underwriters.

Read original story here