Posted on: 6th Aug 2020
As Nigeria’s foremost life insurer, we have been awarded the ISO 22401:2012 certificate for Business Continuity Management (BCM). The certificate which was awarded by the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB) signifies that African Alliance has met the requirements for Business Continuity Management (BCM).
“We promised our stakeholders that we would be with them for life, the achievement of the ISO certificate for Business Continuity Management further validates that promise. It is another testament to our unflinching commitment to providing our customers the best of us come rain or shine,” said Olabisi Adekola, our Executive Director, Finance, who also doubles as our Business Continuity Management Leader. “Recall that at the start of the global pandemic, African Alliance was one of the earliest to activate its Business Continuity plans which enabled us to effectively deliver on our various commitments to our esteemed customers nationwide with very little disruption,” She added.
ISO 22301:2012 is a globally recognized Business Continuity management standard developed and published by the International Standards Organization (ISO). This standard provides a model that organizations of all types and sizes can use in building an effective Business Continuity System. ISO 22301 specifies the requirements for a management system to protect against, reduce the likelihood of and ensure a business recovers from disruptive incidents.
In his statement, our Brand, Media and Communications Manager, Bankole Banjo, said “For 60 years and counting, we have navigated the murkiest of waters and survived it all. The achievement of the ISO 22301 accreditation, therefore, provides further assurance that African Alliance has a robust program in place to maintain business continuity, even under the most unforeseen and challenging conditions.”
Incorporated in 1960, African Alliance is a leading life insurer with over 20 branches and sales outlets servicing over 50,000 customers nationwide.
Posted on: 13th Jul 2020
MRS Funmilayo Omo is one of the leading lights in Nigeria’s and Africa’s corporate world steering the affairs of the 60-year-old company.
With about 30 years of experience and proven track record of success in insurance sales, product development, technical underwriting, result-oriented people management having to be a part of the transformation and advancement of the Nigerian insurance industry; she earned her position as the first female Managing Director/CEO of African Alliance Insurance Plc (AAI).
Funmi Omo is the first MD in the history of the company to champion and successfully accomplish the rebranding and digital transformation of the firm since its inception. Recently, she was named amongst the top 100 female CEOs in Africa by Reset Global in acknowledgment of her performance and excellence in the industry.
In this interview with Daily Sun, the innovative and transformational leader talks about her company at 60 in business operations, issues in the insurance industry, and the way forward post COVID-19.
Alliance at 60: Journey so far
African Alliance is a foremost life insurance company, incorporated on May 6, 1960, and founded by the inimitable duo, of Chief S.L Edu and Mr. Talabi Braithwaite, who were widely regarded as the first chartered insurance practitioners in Nigeria. Munich Re was a coowner and technical partner. Their vision was simple: to be the most preferred life insurance company of choice. To achieve these, the firm set out to make the customers its primary focus, that would create a lasting legacy for themselves in the lives of Nigerians.
Building a lasting legacy means having a string of innovations under your belt. African Alliance is notably famous amongst others for being the first life insurance firm to introduce Takaful; an Islamic compliant insurance scheme in Nigeria. This feat was achieved under the leadership of the then CEO, Mr. Ope Oredugba in 2002, who had, in the wake of the introduction of the Sharia law in parts of the north, felt there was a niche in that line of insurance that could appeal to the region. The impact of Takaful in Nigeria was so great that less than six months after its formal launch, the company was being inundated with requests from within and outside the African continent by those seeking to benefit from the products. Today, Takaful has grown into one of the most viable business lines in AAI so much that it has easily warmed its way into the hearts of non-Muslims alike.
In the past 60 years, through consistent hard work of its managers, AAI has steadily grown to become among the top five life insurance companies in the country. From humble beginnings at 112 Broad Street, Marina, Lagos, it has expanded its operations to 18 branches nationwide and has a regional subsidiary, Ghana Life based in Accra. Its customer base has also grown with over fifty thousand (50,000) policyholders in its books.
Targets, priorities as CEO
My immediate priority is to drive premium income along all the product lines and business units.
Already, we have targets set for this purpose. My second priority is organizational development; to develop our people in the organization because we can only be as strong as the quality of people in the organization. The third one is to ensure that we sustain and possibly improve on visibility because driving visibility will also help the brand and dovetail into the bottom-line. So, for us here at African Alliance, those are the key priorities for this year and I believe we have put structures and mechanisms in place to enable us to achieve these objectives and we are driving it aggressively.
To improve our visibility; I mean we want to be in the mind, face, and in the heart of every Nigerian. We just don’t want to be a household name but a household thought. We want to be the best, the preferred.
I wish I could specifically list our step-by-step plans towards recapitalisation but as you know, this is
a very sensitive topic and I cannot say much. However, I can assure you that we have the support of the shareholders on our plans and we are already in the middle of the execution of the plans we have towards recapitalisation and; we are sure we will be long done before the deadline. We are confident that with the kind of support we have received from shareholders and the plans we have in place; we will meet the deadline.
Business strengths and sustainability
Being in existence for 60 years means there must be something we are doing right The major thing that has kept us in business is the customer and the customer experience and that is what we keep improving on and this is how we keep raising the bar. So, every activity here is channeled towards improving customer experience and this is what has distinguished us from as an organisation and sustained the brand.
Relationships go a long way in sustaining businesses and this has been my value proposition for three decades now. Keeping relationships is where my interest and passion come from so, the ability to manage customers overtime, retain them, keeping them satisfied continuously has kept us in business.
Hence, infrastructure, processes, and the personnel all focus on our customers. We have a team of professionals that manage the business and we constantly improve on our processes in the business. We just recently got our ISO Certification and this is part of business advancement because we have a business continuity plan in place which supports that.
Lastly, we have strength in the familial leaning of the company. We are one big family. This culture has been with us since inception and I am the latest in line of home-grown CEOs the company has seen, albeit the first female CEO.
Challenges and lessons learned
The challenges we have had over the years have been competition, the business environment. As you can see the investment climate has been very volatile right now and interest rate fluctuation is sometime else. Another challenge is the global economy generally because the world has become a global village and whatever happens in business on the global scene has a way of impacting businesses locally.
A typical example is this current pandemic; the COVID-19 the world is battling with. With this pandemic now, we still need to manage the recapitalisation exercise and still run our business. The major lesson these challenges has taught us, especially COVID-19, is that you must always factor into your business the fact that things can change at any time and this is why business continuity is very crucial; because it is the continuity of the business that will make you meet targets and also deliver value to all stakeholders.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic
The impact of the pandemic on the company’s profitability means more income for the company because life insurance is likely to sell more this period. As people who ordinarily do not give attention to the importance of life insurance which we have been preaching will do so now. On the flip side, there would be more claims as many affected by the pandemic would need to dip hands into their investments to get by. This was the reason they bought the policies in the first place; so, for any insurer to turn profits from the increased income, they have to ensure their actuarial valuations are top-notch so the expected increase in income is not wiped off by excessive claims.
Government role in easing challenges
Essentially, the government needs to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. The interest rate needs to be stabilized by the government. The government also needs to ensure that each sector needs to operate optimally. For instance, with respect to life insurance, up till now, the government that is the high spender is yet to pay a premium. In fact, throughout last year till now, it is yet to pay group life premium. What this means is that any employee of the federal government who died in service, will not get any death-in-service benefit.
Insurance performance in Nigeria
In terms of performance, there is still work to be done; we need to be more innovative and creative. These two elements are essential to insurance taking its rightful place in the industry. Huge creativity, innovation is needed and the delivery method of insurance needs to be improved upon. When these are structured, it will increase the level of penetration in Nigeria. It will bring a lot of investment in the retail sector of the economy because that is where we have most of the population; the bottom of the pyramid.
COVID-19 and the industry operation
Like every other company, COVID-19 has altered operations as digitalization is the new order now. Our digitalisation process has been accelerated. Now, most of our products are completely available for sales online without the need for any physical contact with a salesperson. Before now, we had gone paperless meaning we do minimal paper processing in-house, up to 98 percent of in-house processes are paperless.
Way forward post COVID-19
Way forward is what we call the new normal. Working from home will become a norm and already our Human Capital department is reworking its policies to ensure performance management is less dependent on presenteeism and about outcomes and results not just outputs.
Post recapitalisation narrative
Post recapitalisation, there will be more confidence on the part of the insuring public and financial strength on the part of operators. Recapitalisation aside bringing financial stability is equally part of confidence-building aimed at ensuring that the insuring public is happy, comfortable, and confident that their risks are being managed effectively. Therefore, since the exercise is to guarantee there is sufficient capital to match the risks that are being managed by insurers, I believe to a large extent that it will further instill and sustain the confidence the insuring public has in insurance and likewise change the negative perception of the industry since companies will have adequate capital to fully carry out their obligations effectively.
Enforcement of compulsory insurance
Regarding compulsory insurance, the government has tried by instituting it but they have also aided in ensuring it is not adhered to because they are not setting good examples for others to emulate by not paying their own parts of compulsory insurance premiums.
The government has a vital role to play in ensuring that they live up to the commitment they have made, thereby encouraging both the informal and private sectors to also obey the law. If the government obeys its laws, then the private and informal sectors would have no choice but to follow their lead. The only way we can ultimately have people obtain compulsory insurance is to have sanctions and this will happen when there are adequate management mechanisms put in place by the authorities.
Claims payment remains a sour point in the insurer-insured relationship
When people say claims are not honored, the first question I usually ask any person who says claims are not paid is if it is his/her experience or someone else’s. This is because there are times one thinks he/she has an insurance policy in place but in reality, there is none.
This could be a result of a variety of reasons; for example, the government issue of not paying group life premiums. In life insurance when a premium is not paid and the policy is not enforced if anything happens to that individual and death occurs, the beneficiary will not get any benefit. If the benefactor lays his/her hands on the document and comes for a claim, he/she is not entitled to any claim because premiums were not paid.
Also, in some cases, you find out that the cover and the claim are two different things. This means that what one is claiming may not be covered in the policy.
Posted on: 7th Jul 2020
African Alliance Insurance Plc wishes to notify its esteemed shareholders and other stakeholders that the Company’s Audited financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2019 (AFS) together with the Unaudited financial statements for the period ended 31st March 2020 could not be filled within the period of the extension granted by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (30th June 2020).
However, the Company has since concluded with the auditing of its accounts and has submitted the same to its primary regulator (the National Insurance Commission) for approval. Regretfully, the Company is yet to obtain the approval of NAICOM, hence the delay.
We sincerely regret any inconvenience that the anticipated delay may occasion to our esteemed shareholders and investing public at large. Please be reassured that the Management of the Company is working assiduously in following up with NAICOM to ensure that the said accounts are filed with the Exchange on or before 30th July 2020 or immediately the Commission (NAICOM) grants approval; whichever is earlier.
Posted on: 8th Jun 2020
African Alliance Insurance Plc (hereinafter referred to as “the Company”), wishes to notify its esteemed shareholders and other stakeholders that the Company has obtained the approval of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (The Exchange) for extension of time to file its Audited Financial Statements (AFS) for the period ended 31st December 2019 and First Quarter Unaudited Financial Statements (UFS) for the period ended 31st March 2020.
The delay in filing the aforementioned accounts is due to the fact that the Company is still awaiting approval of its primary regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on the said accounts.
We sincerely regret any inconvenience that the anticipated delay may occasion to our esteemed shareholders and investing public at large. We are following up persistently to ensure that the company’s accounts are filed with The Exchange on or before 30th June 2020.
Posted on: 29th May 2020
The place of African Alliance as a foremost life insurer in the comity of insurers in Nigeria is assured.
Incorporated on the 6th of May, 1960, the Company was founded by the inimitable trio, Chief S.L Edu (CON), Mr. Talabi Braithwaite (CON), widely regarded as the first Chartered Insurance practitioner in these climes, and Chief M.E.R Okorodudu who provided legal support. They had technical support from global reinsurer, Munich Re, and their vision was simple: to be the most preferred life insurance company of choice. To achieve these, the Company set out to make the customers the primary focus, and create a lasting legacy for themselves in the lives of every Nigerian.
In building a lasting legacy and achieve the vision of a Company, it is important that the internal stakeholders have a sense of ownership and belonging. This much has been the driving force behind the African Alliance’s staying power: the family bond. Members of Staff see themselves not as colleagues but as members of one big family. Little wonder the Company boasts perhaps the highest number of long service personnel anywhere around. And it starts with the leadership, one ingrained with the culture and vision, and is able to pass it on. The current crop of leaders mostly began their careers in the Company and grew through the ranks. From the legendary Mr. Talabi Braithwaite to Chief M.O Odele, down to the venerable Mr. Ope Oredugba, and then the immediate past CEO, Mr. Alphonse Okpor and currently, Mrs. Funmi Omo, the first female CEO in the Company’s 60-year history, African Alliance has enjoyed homegrown inspirational leadership that works.
Mr. Ope Oredugba worked forty-odd years at African Alliance and retired as the Managing Director. In his words; “I was recruited by the first CEO, Mr. Talabi Braithwaite, who handed me to the best hands within the business who never gave up on me despite my tendency to be rascally.” Talk about a family looking out for one another. Mrs. Funmi Omo started her career at African Alliance in 1990, thirty years on, she leads a crop of professionals devoted to the Company like of old. “When I joined African Alliance I was a young passionate employee, and like many young people, the concept of being a CEO of such a large Company was far into the future…Today I have seen our Company rise and rise. I have witnessed transformations beyond my imagination. I have seen our people develop and become a family,” she said in a recent interview.
Building a lasting legacy means having a string of innovations under your belt. African Alliance is notably famous amongst others for being the life insurance Company to introduce Takaful in Nigeria. This feat was achieved under the leadership of the then CEO, Mr. Ope Oredugba in 2004, who had, in the wake of the introduction of the Sharia law in parts of the north, felt there was a niche in that line of insurance that could appeal to the region.
Takaful, also known as ethical insurance is based on the principles of mutual co-operation, solidarity, common interest, shared responsibility, joint indemnity, and brotherhood against unpredicted risk or catastrophes, in which the participants involved are expected to contribute genuinely. The innovation of Takaful in Nigeria enabled ethically-minded Nigerians to participate in insurance and get life covers for themselves and their families without any worry about their principles being compromised. The impact of Takaful in Nigeria was so great that less than six months into the formal launching of Takaful, an Islamic compliant insurance scheme, African Alliance was being inundated with requests from within and outside the African continent by those seeking the benefit from the products. It gets interesting. Today, Takaful has grown into one of the most viable business lines in the Company so much that it has easily warmed its way into the hearts of non-muslims alike.
In building a lasting legacy, African Alliance Insurance has ensured that they have been woven into the fabrics of Nigeria’s history. Incorporated in 1960, the same year Nigeria gained its independence, since then the Company has been there through every monumental event in the country’s history. During the Nigerian Civil war, African Alliance was fully in operation. The Company operated a closed fund for the eastern accounts, this means the premiums gathered from the east were not touched. Rather they were safely kept until the war was over and surrendered policies and claims were paid to policyholders efficiently and effectively. This created love for the African Alliance brand in the east and till date, the east, especially Onitsha, is one of the Company’s most lucrative locations in terms of premium income earned. This singular act demonstrates integrity, one of the core values the company upholds. This has been further demonstrated again and again in the history of claims settlement. In 2019 alone, the Company paid over 9 billion Naira in claims settlement.
Where there is history to be made and national interest to be protected, there you will find African Alliance. When COVID-19 broke, the Company dug deep and started its charity from home, supporting a food outreach for residents of Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, its immediate community. African Alliance also made financial contributions to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Covid-19 support fund. The NIA Covid-19 support fund was an initiative of the Nigerian Insurers Association aimed at mitigating the further spread of the virus in Nigeria. The funds raised were used in acquiring and distributing protective gear to the public as well as to the healthcare workers fighting against the Covid-19. The funds were also used to provide N1m free life insurance cover to healthcare professionals taking care of infected citizens.
Consistent and significant growth is essential in building a lasting legacy, for the past 60 years, African Alliance insurance has steadily grown from being a life insurance Company among many to be among the top five life insurance companies in the country. From humble beginnings at 112 Broad Street, Marina, African Alliance has expanded its operations to 18 branches nationwide and has a regional subsidiary, Ghana Life based in Accra. The Company’s customer base has also grown with over fifty thousand (50,000) policyholders in its books. After 60 years of such a thriving legacy, the most natural question is, what next?
According to the Company’s Executive Director, Finance, Mrs. Olabisi Adekola, African Alliance has no plans of slowing down: “…we give gratitude to our shareholders and our staff who are the reason we have grown into such a strong organization. At African Alliance, we are a family, and as families do, we are planning for an even greater future where we can give so much more value to our stakeholders.”
Talk about being relentless, this is the African Alliance story.
Posted on: 9th Apr 2020
Nigeria’s foremost life insurance specialist, African Alliance Insurance plc keeps true to its purpose of protecting the future of every Nigerian by making financial contributions to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) COVID-19 support fund.
The NIA COVID-19 support fund is an initiative of the Nigerian Insurers Association aimed at mitigating the further spread of the virus in Nigeria. The funds raised are to be used in acquiring and distributing protective gear to the public as well as to the healthcare workers who are at the frontline fighting against the COVID-19. African Alliance is further pleased to support this laudable effort as the NIA announced that the funds raised have made possible a donation of N1m free life insurance cover to healthcare professionals taking care of those infected with the virus.
Recall that African Alliance had earlier supported a food outreach to residents of Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, its immediate community, in conjunction with Megalectrics Ltd, a media company based in Ikoyi and the LCDA. “We believe the government cannot do it alone, therefore it is our corporate responsibility to offer support and provide for the needs of those around us in these trying times. After all, we promised to be with them for life and that means through thick and thin,” Bankole Banjo, the firm’s Brand, Media and Communications Manager said.
Incorporated in 1960, African Alliance Insurance is a publicly quoted life insurance company operating out of Lagos as well as in 18 branches nationwide. Last month, the firm activated its business continuity plan which implemented specific health measures to curb the spread of the Corona Virus. This was done to ensure the safety of its customers, as well as its employees who are now working remotely.
Posted on: 16th Dec 2019
Foremost Life Insurance Company in Nigeria, African Alliance Insurance PLC. continues to defy the odds with a string of impressive performances that have kept us as the foremost life insurance company in Nigeria.
In the last 59 years, we have been able to stabilise the business and earn positive reviews from industry watchers.
At a press parley held earlier this week at the company’s headquarters in Lagos, Funmi Omo, Managing Director and CEO, African Alliance Insurance PLC, while listing the giant strides the firm has made in less than two years, restated the management’s commitment to sustaining the upward growth trajectory across all metrics.
“Ours is a business that has seen it all and survived it all. Our position in just two years compared to now is a testament to the unstinting leadership and guidance of our Board, the relentless drive of the executive management and most committed and flexible staff who never shies away from challenges in any form”
– Funmi Omo said.
According to a statement obtained from the company, the firm’s premium income grew by 68% from N3.00billion at the end of Q3, 2018 to N5.12 billion at the end of Q3, 2019; while by the end of the third quarter, the firm has also paid claims of about N6billion naira to keep up with its promises of maintaining customer amazement.
In her submission, Olabisi Adekola, Executive Director, Finance, added that African Alliance Insurance’s all-round growth earned it a ‘stable outlook’ and Bb+ by Agusto, foremost financial rating agency in Nigeria.
“That Agusto rated us Bbb+ is a win for us, considering where we were. But we are not relenting, all hands are on deck to sustain this growth and earn a most elite rating consistent with the elite investments we have made in the business”
On the company’s recapitalisation plans, a confident Funmi Omo said: “NAICOM gave a ‘No Objection’ to our plans which means we are on course. Come June 2020, you will see how far we have come. We do not say we are with you for life for fun; we mean every word.”
African Alliance Insurance is a publicly quoted life insurance company, in Nigeria, incorporated in 1960. The firm operates out of the corporate headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos as well as in 18 branches nationwide. Earlier in the year, the firm was rebranded for the first time in its 59 years history in line with the management’s desire to refresh the brand and reposition it for growth.
We look forward to staying strong in the year 2020, especially as we will celebrate our 60 years of service to Nigerians.
Posted on: 8th Dec 2019
Posted on: 22nd Nov 2019
Posted on: 23rd Oct 2019
This development became necessary after a recent rise in the need to educate more Nigerians on the benefits of Insurance. Recent development shows that there is only a meagre 1% insurance penetration rate in Nigeria, which indicates that only about 3 million Nigerians have any form of insurance whatsoever.
Reasons cannot be far-fetched as recent data has shown that more than half of the Nigerian population are living below the poverty line, and as such the idea of insurance is unthinkable to a significant number of Nigerians. In addition, consumer purchasing power continues to be negatively impacted by high inflation.
Speaking on the campaign and the need to Re-educate Nigerians about Insurance, Ms. Stella Osanebi, Corporate Communications, African Alliance Insurance says it is important that Nigerians begin to see the role insurance plays in improving our lives and the lives of our children.
“Insurance should never be seen as a burden, for the rich, or something to only pay attention to when there is a lot of income, rather it should be seen as a means to survive the unpredictable economy and eventualities of life. At African Alliance, we have decided to come closer to the people, to share the benefits of Insurance and to also take time to explain the value of signing up for our specially crafted plans which cater to Risk protection, Savings and Investment plan.”
The campaign is scheduled to run for 3 months, with a Free Seminar every Saturday on Insurance Education and a Special activity for Parents and Children every Sunday. Staffs and Representative of African Alliance will also be on ground throughout the week, to guide the audience on the best plans to invest in. From the Money appreciation Plan, Alliance Investment Plus Plan, Income Investment Plan, Alliance Smart Kid, Child Education Plan among other plans.
The KIOSK will be stationed at the Ikeja City Mall (ICM), Lagos from October 1st, 2019 to December 30th 2019, and it will be open to new and existing customers for all enquires.
The office will be open every day from Monday to Sunday, between 9am and 7pm.
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