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Daily Nation : February 21st 2014
DAILY NATION Friday February 21, 2014 Advertising Feature I CIC Plaza Today, another jigsaw piece in CIC Insurance Group’s Pan-African plan falls into place as President Uhuru Kenyatta officially opens the 12-storey twin tower CIC Plaza II. The insurance firm with an ambitious regional expansion now has a new, bigger home in Nairobi’s Upper Hill business district. Towering above the 5-storey CIC Plaza I directly facing Mara Road, the new CIC Plaza raises the firm’s corporate profile a notch higher. But more than that, the unveiling of the office block is loaded with significance for CIC’s millions of stakeholders. This office block has sprung up ten years after the first one, at a time when CIC is a much stronger organisation. Additionally, it is an important milestone coming in the wake of CIC’s 35th anniversary that arrived in December 2013. This is further testimony that the Group continues its diversification drive with new investments in real estate. It is, above all, a statement of corporate intent: that the CIC Insurance Group is aiming higher and that adding a new building to the Upper Hill skyline is a continuation of this journey. CIC Plaza Phase II will create more space for rental income as well as providing additional space for company expansion. From this edifice, CIC will execute its grand dream of helping secure the financial future of the masses in sub-Saharan Africa. The insurance firm has a ready blueprint that details the strategies that will catapult it into the PanAfrican economy. The daring five-year road-map to CIC Insurance Group’s future is designed to take the firm to new markets and make it the biggest regional player in its chosen sector. According to Mr. Nelson Kuria, the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, the company has set out to accomplish this by increasing access to its brand of affordable insurance and investment products in the region. The firm’s expansion kicks off with the commencement of operations in South Sudan, Uganda and Malawi this year. Mr. Kuria estimates that the South Sudan business will be up and running by April or May while the Uganda and Malawi operations will take off in July and August, respectively. “We are going out to the rest of Africa in partnership with co-operatives, in line with the international co-operative principle of co-operation among cooperatives,” said Mr. Kuria, explaining CIC’s tie-up with existing co-operative institutions in the new markets. In South Sudan, CIC will establish a joint venture company for conduct of insurance business collaboration with the Co-operative Bank of South Sudan. To enable CIC widen its existing markets for insurance business through offering insurance services to co-operatives in Uganda, it will establish a joint venture company in collaboration with Uganda Co-operatives Savings and Credit Union to conduct insurance business in Uganda. These are the vehicles through which the CIC Insurance Group will venture into sub-Saharan Africa. Arguably, sub-Saharan Africa is now one of the most talked about regions in terms of emerging investment opportunities and sources of new growth for firms. Its economies represent a quintessential frontier market and they are set to develop into an area of long-term investment interest. Figures gleaned from the CIC Insurance Group’s 2014-2018 development blueprint paint a picture of a highly ambitious conglomerate focused on conquering the region. Within five years, the financial services group intends to grow its gross written premiums from Sh.9 billion as at 31st December 2012 to Sh.45b by 31st December 2018. Over this period, it expects to record a profit before tax of Sh12.5b and to have accumulated net assets worth Sh30b. CIC’s sterling financials over the last few years paint a clear picture of a firm on a steady growth curve in revenue and profitability. With a total assets of Sh14.1 billion, shareholders’ equity of Sh.5.5 billion and 1.8 million clients, CIC ranks among the most successful insurance companies in Kenya and is the leading cooperative insurer in Africa. Over the last five years, CIC has experienced a meteoric rise and is one of the fastest growing insurance companies in Kenya. CIC Plaza - The new CIC Building in Upperhill Nairobi, Kenya | 2014 Mr. Kuria states matter-of-factly: “We aim to be the largest insurer in the region by 2018,” he declares boldly. “We want to be big in terms of premium income and become a household name by touching the lives of the biggest number of lives. However, our measure of success is not just commercial; it is also about our social mission and the greater purpose of why we exist.” In only three years, the CIC Insurance Group has vaulted to the Number Two company in Kenya based on gross written premiums. He emphasizes that it is about “serving those who have been left out from the mainstream and giving them financial solutions.” Mr. Kuria notes that the development of CIC Plaza II is part of the Group’s strengthening of its financial position by adding new assets to its stable. This is contributing to enhancing CIC’s reputation as a growing institution standing on solid ground. On August 7th, 2013, GCR, the Global Credit Rating Company, assigned an initial national scale claims paying ability rating of A (KE) for CIC General Insurance Limited and rating of A+ (KE) for CIC Life Assurance, with group outlook rated as stable. GCR accords both local currency national scale rating (which are typically tiered against an assumed “best possible” rating of AAA and enable appropriate differentiation of credit quality within each country) , as well as international scale rating ( which asses the capacity to meet commitments using a globally applicable scale, and as such are directly comparable across all countries). This rating reaffirms the two subsidiaries’ focus to provide exceptional and industry-leading services meant to exceed customer expectations. Former President Hon. Mwai Kibaki, CIC Insurance Group C.E.O. Mr. Nelson Kuria And M.D. Faida Investment Bank Mr. Bob Karina, view group shares & live trading, during the CIC Insurance Group Limited share listing bell ringing ceremony at Nairobi Securities Exchange on 18th july, 2012. CIC Insurance Group CEO Nelson Kuria plants a tree at KCA University during the launch of the CIC I’m a Co-operator’ Initiative.
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February 22nd 2014