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AIG pulls out of Uganda in strategy to exit smaller markets

Catherine Igathe, AIG Kenya managing director. PHOTO | FILE
Catherine Igathe, AIG Kenya managing director. PHOTO | FILE 

US multinational AIG, which also operates in Kenya, says it is withdrawing from the insurance business in Uganda as it reduces presence in smaller markets.

AIG, which this year announced a global strategy to retreat from some markets abroad, says it has already started a phased withdrawal from the east African nation.

“AIG is creating a simplified organisation that positions us to achieve our global strategy based on capabilities and market opportunities.

‘‘After careful consideration and an in-depth review, AIG will stop offering insurance products in the general market in Uganda,” AIG said in a statement. Officials were not immediately available to elaborate on the pullout plan.

However, the firm assured its customers that its existing clients will continue to receive full administration and claims support until expiry of the policies.

“We will remind our clients of this change at the expiration of their policy. We will ensure smooth transition through this change and we are working with our stakeholders to avoid any customer or market disruption,” AIG said.

AIG established a presence in Uganda in 1961 and from the head office in Kampala offers a range of policies for consumer and corporate clients through a network of agents and brokers.

As one of Uganda’s only international insurers, AIG played a key role in the insurance market, insuring a significant number of Uganda’s leading businesses. It has 50 employees, a branch in Mbarara as well as an agency office in Kampala.

In 2013, AIG’s business in Uganda was grouped with AIG’s business in Kenya under a broader East Africa business region.

The firm at the time said the new structure “will allow AIG to focus on the development of insurance across the wider East Africa region to key markets such as Tanzania and Ethiopia.”

AIG was established in Kenya in 1967. In Nairobi where it is headed by Catherine Igathe, who replaced long-serving MD Japh Olende, it has just under 80 employees. Besides the City head office it has a branch office in Mombasa.

It offers a range of insurance products for both the consumer and corporate sector through brokers, bank partners and a large network of agents.

Last month the insurance giant announced it would sell some of its Latin American and Eastern European businesses to Canadian company Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited after its decision to leave several markets.

The firm, formerly American International Group, was in 2008 bailed out by the US.

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