Barclays Africa Goes Big On Insurance, Acquires Kenyan Insurer

Barclays Africa Goes Big On Insurance, Acquires Kenyan Insurer

Barclays Africa has reached a deal to acquire a controlling stake in Kenya’s First Assurance Limited. The Bank said it will pay about $29 million for a majority shareholding in the Kenyan insurer.

Lanz Zulu, Barclays Africa’s managing executive for Wealth Management and Insurance business, said the intended acquisition was “a good strategic fit” for the bank.

In April this year, Barclays Africa entered a joint ventures deal with Kenyan businessmen Ayisi Makatiani, founder and chief executive at private equity firm Fanisi Capital, and Darshan Chandaria, of Chandaria Industries, to form a life insurance firm know as Barclays Life Assurance Kenya.

“Barclays Africa wants to extend its footprint of holistic financial products and services across the continent in the most convenient, accessible and affordable way possible to meet the evolving needs of customers,” Willie Lategan, the CEO of Wealth Management and Insurance business at Barclays Africa, said during the launch.

Lategan said Barclays Life Assurance Kenya will target 500,000 customers through its sister company Barclays Bank of Kenya in the bancassurance model which allows lenders to sell insurance products as agents.

According to a report on BDlive, Barclays Africa now plans to expand its insurance business in Ghana after formally entering Kenya’s life insurance market. The group will also use it Kenya subsidiary to expand to East African countries such as Tanzania and Uganda, where it has banking operations.

Kenya is the fifth market in which Barclays Africa has set up a life insurance business. Other markets include South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

“For us the key market was to first expand to Kenya and secondly to shift the attention to Ghana. That’s the next priority,” Lategan said.