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Zamara eyes Nigeria, Rwanda entry after rebrand

From left, Zamara Group chairman Michael Waweru, Cabinet Secretary, Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Adan Mohamed and Zamara Group CEO Sundeep Raichura at the unveiling of Zamara on August 23, 2017. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
From left, Zamara Group chairman Michael Waweru, Cabinet Secretary, Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Adan Mohamed and Zamara Group CEO Sundeep Raichura at the unveiling of Zamara on August 23, 2017. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Financial services provider Zamara, previously known as Alexander Forbes, has set its sights on African markets as it seeks to capitalise on the growing demand for insurance, brokerage and similar services on the continent.

The firm adopted a new corporate identity following a change of ownership that saw South Africa-based Alexander Forbes Group cut its controlling stake in the Kenyan company.

Zamara group CEO, Sundeep Raichura, said today that the firm has already identified Nigeria and Rwanda as the first regional markets where it will immediately expand its operations.

“We are in the process of establishing a presence in Rwanda and Nigeria and will be looking at further opportunities in East, West and Southern Africa to expand our business model,” said Mr Raichura at the unveiling of its new brand Wednesday.

The CEO added that Zamara is exploring alternative and new long-term savings strategies that would increase uptake of products for financing home ownership, medical care, education and retirement plans.

“We understand the importance of promoting a savings and protection culture in Africa and empowering individuals and businesses through innovative, yet relevant financial and insurance solutions that meet their needs,” said Mr Raichura.

Foreign ownership

Reduction of Alexander Forbes South Africa’s stake was to enable the local unit to comply with recent amendments to the Retirement Benefits Act that limit foreign ownership in a pension fund administrator to a maximum of 40 per cent.

The changes will see Alexander Forbes SA's stake in the Kenyan firm drop from the majority 60 per cent to 31.3 per cent.

The company said the new entity is now majority owned by Kenyan investors and employees through the Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Its management remains unchanged - led by board chairman Michael Waweru, group chief executive Sundeep Raichura and executive director James Olubayi.

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