Insurance policy holders in Africa can now expect greater gains in their portfolios in the coming years, said leading African private equity fund management firm, AFIG Funds.
This as financial institutions such as bankers and private equity players continue to engage African insurers with ambitious growth strategies for insurance at the annual Journée de la Finance.
The event, now in its fifth edition, was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on 17 February 2016 with the goal to increase partnerships and synergies between financial and insurance institutions. Over 194 companies from 29 countries in North and Sub-Saharan Africa were present to listen to finance and insurance industry leaders from across the region.
“With over US$50 billion of collected premiums each year across the continent, and unprecedented year-on-year growth, it is important that African insurers think more strategically at where they invest their portfolios,” says Papa Madiaw Ndiaye, AFIG Funds Founder and CEO.
The annual daylong event was the brainchild of AFIG Funds, and the Federation of African Insurance Companies (FANAF). The inaugural event took place in 2010, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, with the goal of improving the insurance industry’s investment portfolios.
The event is held annually as part of FANAF’s weeklong general assembly, which gathers more than 1 000 participants every year. This year’s Journée de la Finance featured the CEO of BRVM, Edoh Kossi Amenounve, and the Group MD of NSIA, Janine Bénédicte Diagou, as well as representatives from the African Development Bank, Agence UMOA Titres, AXA Mansard, Bank of Africa, Deloitte, Ecobank, and Group SUNU Assurances.
Also present were CIMA, the sector regulator, as well as leaders of tomorrow such as the CEO of Quick Cash, and an astute observer of and active participant in the continent’s economy, Eric Kacou, who challenged the audience on what the growth and the emergence of the continent mean.
“At present, the portfolios of African insurers are essentially made up of real estate investments, term deposits and low yield debt securities. These can either be potentially risky or produce low yields,” added Monira Diallo, Investment Manager at AFIG Funds.
“The result is an industry where revenues are increasing but profits are not. A shift to diversify their investment strategies into public markets and alternative assets is key to sustained growth.”
Continued dialogue and brainstorming of ideas are key to growth in the sector. FANAF and AFIG Funds have already begun planning for 2017, when the conference will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco.