From left: Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company, Wale Banmore; Director, Nnedi Orajun; Company Secretary, Ms. Sheila Ezeuko; Managing Director, Benjamin Agili; Executive Director, Jane Ekomwereren and Head, Agric Business, Chukwuma Kanu at the firm’s press conference today in Lagos.
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Royal Exchange Plc, Nigeria’s foremost finance and insurance services group has announced the 39.25 per cent acquisition in its general insurance subsidiary, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC) by the InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF), established by the German Development Bank (KfW) and managed by by Swiss based Impact Investment Manager, BlueOrchard Finance Investment Limited (“BlueOrchard”).
The acquisition, which results in a N3.6billion capital injection into the Royal Exchange General Insurance (REGIC) is in line with the National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM) directive for insurance companies to increase their share capital in line with the new regulatory requirements recently introduced.
As one of the leading non-life insurance companies operating in the insurance market in the country and having a strong presence in the agric-insurance space through its partnerships with The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and some State governments, this investment by the KfW is expected to have a huge impact on the company’s presence in the agric-insurance space to enable REGIC increase its presence even further.
The proceeds of the investment will help REGIC to spur growth by increasing its risk capital and supporting its underwriting capacity in agriculture, hereby extending its outreach to low income farmers.
From left: Company Secretary, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company, Ms. Sheila Ezeuko; Managing Director, Benjamin Agili and Executive Director, Jane Ekomwereren at the event.
Managing Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance, speaking on the importance of this strategic investment, said “With this investment, REGIC will be able to achieve its key objective of reaching out to over 1million farmers within the next five (5) years, offering the best-of-bred agric-insurnace services to enable them increase their productivity, make Nigeria more self-reliant in food production, which impacts the economy with growth of our GDP and the agro-allied economy.”
“Other strategic impacts this investment will bring to the company will be in the areas of Information Technology, Market Expansion, as well as helping the company meet its financial inclusion targets by enabling REGIC develop new products, as well as create alternative channels of distribution to reach our various clientele, especially those who are financially excluded as a result of accessibility, availability and knowledge of insurance and how insurance can improve their well-being.”
Senior Vice-President Private Equity at BlueOrchard, Ernesto Costa, said: “The history, team and commitment of REGIC to agriculture insurance make it a great addition to our portfolio. REGIC is uniquely positioned to capture the opportunity presented by 30 million under insured small scale farmers in Nigeria. We are thrilled to partner with and support REGIC with capital, technical assistance and our international network in the agriculture insurance space, with the objective to increase the resilience of small scale farmers to climate change.”
Chairman, Royal Exchange Plc, Kenny Ezenwani Odogwu, also speaking on the investment said, “REGIC has entered into strategic alliances with various stakeholders in the agricultural space to drive insurance within that sector of the economy. Agriculture and retail insurance, we believe is the future of insurance and at Royal Exchange, we will continue to develop products and services to ensure that we remain relevant in this space. REGIC is determined to take advantage of growth initiatives available in the industry. Our strategy has always been to ensure we attract the best technical experts globally and capital to meet regulatory requirements and the needs of our stakeholders in the 5 subsidiaries where we currently have 100% shareholding.
Odogwu further added “people need to understand that insurance is an enabler of the economy and is needed to bolster the agriculture industry (20% of GDP) which is a major priority for the Government. Royal Exchange has entered into strategic alliances with various stakeholders in the agricultural space. We will continue to develop products and services to strengthen our leading position in this space while leveraging technology to expand ourrevenue base and ultimately, our bottom-line. We will soon be expecting major investments in other subsidiaries of the group, namely, our life insurance firm, the HMO, micro-financebank and the finance company.”
Top executives of the firm
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) have approved the investment and issued a Letter of No Objection to Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC), while the Nigerian Stock Exchange have been duly notified, as the parent company, Royal Exchange Plc, is quoted on the Exchange.
Ernst & Young Nigeria acted as the financial due diligence advisor to IIF, while AlkebulanLimited acted as financial and corporate advisers to Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC) for this transaction. Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie acted as the exclusive legal advisor to IIF, Sefton Fross acted as legal advisor to REGIC and Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors were professional advisers to Royal Exchange Plc.
About InsuResilience Investment Fund (“IIF”)
Luxembourg-based IIF was set up by KfW, the German Development Bank, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The overall objective of the IIF is to contribute to the adaptation to climate change by improving access to and the use of insurance in developing countries. The specific objective of the fund is to reduce the vulnerability of low-income households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to extreme weather events. The IIF has been set up as a public-private-partnership and combines private debt and equity investments in two separately investible sub-funds as well as technical assistance and premium support. The fund aims at both financial return and social impact. For further information, please visit:
About Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited (“REGIC”)
REGIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Exchange Plc, licensed by the National Insurance Commission to offer the full range of general and special risks insurance products. With 100 years in the Nigerian market, REGIC has an enviable reputation for reliability, integrity, professionalism, technical competence and financial strength. The company operates from 15 locations country-wide to ensure maximum reach and complete accessability to its customer base. The recent implementation of a web-enabled backbone IT system will further enhance its ability to provide top-notch service, while its capacity to underwrite oil and gas risks is widely acknowledged, as well as its oil and gas treaty, seen as one of the best in the industry. With its unwavering dedication to its core values, the company continues to maintain its lead on many of the major corporate risks in Nigeria.
For further information please visit:
About BlueOrchard Finance Limited (“BlueOrchard”)
BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment management firm dedicated to fostering inclusive and sustainable growth while providing attractive returns for its investors. BlueOrchard offers premium multi-asset class solutions and is an expert in innovative blended finance and public-private-partnership mandates. With a major presence in emerging and frontier markets and offices on four continents, BlueOrchardhelps its partners around the world make profound investment decisions and meet their objectives.
Founded in 2001 by the initiative of the United Nations, BlueOrchard was the first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. The firm has utilized its know-how and experience to steadily expand into asset classes including credit, private equity, and sustainable infrastructure. To date, BlueOrchard has invested more than USD 4bn across 70 emerging and frontier markets, enabling fundamental social impact. BlueOrchardFinance is a licensed Swiss asset manager authorized by the FINMA. Its Luxembourg entity is a licensed alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) authorized by the CSSF. For additional information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com.