Listed regional underwriter Jubilee Holdings #ticker:JUB is set to start offering financial services come October after receiving a licence from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
Regional chief executive Julius Kipng’etich said the insurer is betting on its experience and vast information on the insurance sector to venture into the pension funds, unit trusts and wealth management segment.
“We are recruiting staff as we got our licence on May 6 and are currently mooting products that we shall offer to the market.
“This comes in as a natural progression that responds to the needs of the market,” he said yesterday at the firm’s annual general meeting, adding Jubilee would target high-net-worth individuals, middle and low-end segments.
Dr Kipng’etich said the insurer is also looking into partnering with financial institutions to grow uptake of its products.
Speaking at the same forum, board chairman Nizar Juma said Jubilee had also initiated talks with authorities in Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo seeking a nod to enter the two markets.
“Equity Group #ticker:EQTY, as well as KCB Group #ticker:KCB, received approvals to start operations and we are optimistic that Ethiopia will consider our request to launch our operations in the 80 million-strong market,” he said.
Mr Juma said the planned expansion was aimed at opening new revenues streams for their shareholders, adding that the firm is in talks with several Kenyan and Tanzania underwriters on possible takeovers to help grow its footprint in the region.
Mr Juma said the expansion drive was also aimed at enhancing penetration of insurance in East Africa via new products and that the firm had adequate cash reserves for the planned acquisitions.
“Uganda’s insurance uptake stands at 0.7 percent, Tanzania (0.9 percent) while Kenya’s penetration is a paltry 2.93 percent.
“East Africa remains a virgin market that we are keen to capture via new products targeting the lower end of the market,” he said.
Jubilee has operations in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius.
It is Kenya’s leading insurer by market share, followed by CIC Insurance, APA and Britam, according to the latest industry data.