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AIG makes staff changes in its East Africa unit

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Models at it when AIG Kenya Insurance changed its name to Chartis. AIG has made several staff changes in its East African business as it eyes expanding across the continent. File

Models at it when AIG Kenya Insurance changed its name to Chartis. AIG has made several staff changes in its East African business as it eyes expanding across the continent. File 

By Mugambi Mutegi

Posted  Monday, February 18  2013 at  17:35

In Summary

  • AIG President for Middle East and Africa says the changes have been made in line with the firm’s continental objectives and the need for having the right leaders in key positions to help achieve these expansion goals.
  • The staff changes come after its rebrand in November from its previous name Chartis Kenya that it dropped in 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.
  • Kenya’s insurance industry has 45 companies, 22 which are the general and short-term insurance business, nine which offer life insurance and 14 composite companies.

Global general insurance firm American International Group (AIG) has made several staff changes in its East African business as it eyes expanding across the continent.

Japh Olende has been promoted to the Head of East Africa though he will still be leading the Kenyan operation as the managing director.

Alex Wanjohi, who has been the Managing Director of AIG Uganda, moves to Nairobi to be the Director of Reinsurance and Business Development in the region.

Anna Othieno replaces Mr Wanjohi as the AIG Uganda head, ostensibly marking the end of her tenure as the General Manager in charge of Commercial Lines Business in Kenya.

Mike Whitwell, AIG President for Middle East and Africa, said the changes have been made in line with the firm’s continental objectives and the need for having the right leaders in key positions to help achieve these expansion goals.

“Africa is of strategic importance to the company and expansion across the continent is an essential component of our future value creation,” said Whitwell.

“We are engaged in seeking new opportunities as part of our objectives going forward.”

AIG’s expansion plan will focus on four regions— North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa and East Africa.

AIG’s staff changes come after its rebrand in November from its previous name Chartis Kenya that it dropped in 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.

The global insurer adopted Chartis name in 2009 after the financial crisis witnessed in America in 2008 to protect its businesses with Kenya being part of the change.

Some of its businesses in other parts of the world were sold.

Mr Whitwell said Mr Olende had the capacity to provide strong and focused leadership across East Africa and will be collaborating with leaders of the other clusters in order to implement strategy and achieve a coordinated expansion.

Mr Wanjohi will be expected to develop the region’s re-insurance business through the reinsurance unit – American Home Assurance Company, while at the same time focusing on developing primary insurance for business which cuts across the region.

He has previously worked as the General Manager at Lion of Kenya (now ICEA Lion).

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