KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
BRITISH life assurance firm, Prudential, has acquired 100 percent stake in Professional Life Assurance Zambia, a move that will result in the company becoming market leader in the life assurance industry over the next few years.
The acquisition of Professional Life Assurance by Prudential was concluded last month after a regulatory approval.
Both Prudential Africa chief executive officer Matt Lilley and Prudential Life managing director Krishnaswamy Ragagopal disclosed at a media breakfast yesterday that the acquisition of Professional Life Assurance will enhance the provision of life assurance cover to the public.
Dr Lilley said the firm, which also operates in African countries including Kenya, Ghana and Uganda and paid out claims worth US$2.5 million last year, wants to leverage on its expertise to contribute to the growth of Zambiaâ€™s life assurance industry.
Prudential, listed on the London, Singapore and Hong Kong stock exchanges, has 24 million life insurance customers in the UK, Asia, the United States and Africa, and US$660 billion of assets under management.
â€œWe are building our footprint in all the markets that we operate in to enable us build strong businesses that have the capability of reaching thousands of customers and help them see the benefits that saving for the future will protect them against misfortunes,â€ he said.
He said the continent has a growing need for life assurance and the provision of the service will go a long way in cushioning the adverse impact of calamities.
Dr Lilley, however, noted that the low number of actuaries, who are professionals dealing with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty, remains a challenge for the growth of the industry in Africa and to address the challenge. The firm has been providing scholarships and internships for students to study actuarial science.
He also said the firm will partner with commercial banks to roll out the services.
Meanwhile, Mr Ragagopal said the public needs to develop a culture of saving more and borrowing less and this will be done through insurance.
Mr Rajagopal also said, â€œWe are excited to be part of one of the worldâ€™s strongest and most respected companies and look forward to working with colleagues globally to provide high quality products for our customers. I am also delighted that we will be able to make a substantial investment to offer 1,000 Prudential Scholarships over five years to support marginalised young people.â€
KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka