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Chuks Udo Okonta
GCR Ratings, a leading African rating agency, has upgraded Leadway Assurance Company Limited’s national scale financial strength rating to AA(NG) from AA-(NG), the second-highest financial credit rating, in their October 2021 Report.
This rating indicates Leadway Assurance’s superior capacity to meet financial commitments and obligations in its insurance and investments businesses. The upgrade is also indicative of the company’s stable and consistently growing outlook.
This outlook is underpinned by the leading insurer’s dominance of the industry’s Gross Written Premium (GWP), with an estimated market share of 9.1 per cent and a relative market share of about 5.4x in FY 2020. According to the rating agency, “Leadway Assurance’s national scale financial strength rating is a reflection of its strong financial profile, strong brand franchise, long track record of over five decades, well-entrenched relationships with brokers, and sustained penetration into the retail segment.”
In addition, GCR also projected their expectations that “Leadway will continue to defend its competitive position despite the increasing competitive dynamics. We expect the insurer’s retail growth strategy to gradually improve premium diversification and earnings capacity, and we also anticipate persistent internal capital generation to support capital growth.”
Speaking on the milestone, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, stated that “the report further underpins Leadway’s financial strength, enabling us to deliver on our obligations to customers promptly. We are pleased that the Agency also recognised our industry claims-paying records in the last six consecutive years, with our highest claims paid ever recorded at N43.5bn in 2020; despite the evident and challenging global socio-economic realities on individuals, households, and businesses in 2020 precipitated by coronavirus pandemic and other adverse economic indices.
“The robustness of the company’s balance sheet, which has seen us grow our Total Asset Base by 32% from N396billion in 2019 to N523billion in 2020, was hinged on a strong return on our investment portfolios. With a Board of reputable professionals whose strategic actions are anchored on strong corporate governance, our core values and global best practices, there is assurance of delivering sustainable performance and results.
“As we continue in this new decade, we reaffirm our mission to deliver world-class insurance services to individuals and corporates in Africa. With support from digital transformation, robust risk management tools, innovative solutions and superior financials, our existing and prospective stakeholders can rest assured that we will continually fulfil our quest of “insuring the happiness” of our publics.”