Prudential plc, the UK-based international financial services group, announced entry into the Kenyan life insurance market with the acquisition of Shield Assurance Company Limited.
Over the next 12 months, Prudential, founded in London in 1848, intends to invest KES 1.4bn to build a market-leading insurer serving the protection and long-term savings needs of Kenyan families.
By 2020, the Group plans to have created 4,000 new jobs, a mixture of direct employees and self-employed agents.
Prudential, which has major operations in the UK, US and Asia, also said Nairobi will become the headquarters of a planned new East African division, enabling the Group to contribute to the region’s rapid economic growth.
Listed in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, Prudential specialises in providing health and protection insurance, alongside long-term savings products for needs such as university education and retirement.
The Group, which has US$ 770bn of assets under management and is double-A rated for financial strength, will honour all legitimate claims made by existing life insurance customers of Shield, which will in future trade under the Prudential brand.
Matt Lilley, CEO of Prudential Africa, said: “Today’s announcement is an important milestone for Prudential and represents our first step towards the creation of new business in East Africa. Kenya is a great place to do business and we would like to thank the National Treasury and the Insurance Regulatory Authority for supporting this investment. We look forward to create the country’s leading life insurer, generating jobs and serving our customers.
“The life insurance market is growing at 20 per cent every year, but our sector still represents a tiny fraction of Kenya’s rapidly expanding economy. Therefore, we see exciting opportunities to enable many more families to protect themselves against life’s misfortunes and save for long-term aspirations, such as education and retirement,” Mr. Lilley said.
Charles Man’gee, CEO of Shield said: “We are excited to be joining the Prudential family. Prudential has been meeting the needs of families for 166 years and, with its double-A financial strength rating, it is a name that customers will always be able to rely upon. The investment being announced today will allow us to take the business to the next level, creating innovative new products and expanding our distribution to allow us to serve more customers throughout Kenya.”