Chartis upgrades Kenya to Africa hub

Saturday August 18 2012

By DAVID MUSYOKA Special Correspondent

Chartis Insurance will upgrade its Nairobi office to the company’s Africa headquarters to co-ordinate expansion into new markets on the continent.

Chartis has offices in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Egypt and is seeking to expand to Ghana and Tanzania in the immediate term, and other markets in the short term.

Chartis President for Africa, Europe and Middle East Robert Schimek confirmed the elevation of the Nairobi office into a regional hub.

“We have done our research and want to take our African operations to another level,” Mr Schimek said in Nairobi on Wednesday during his week-long tour of Kenya. He did not disclose the value of new investments planned for Africa.

“We already have a basic plan for Africa that we shall be evaluating in Nairobi for the whole week. For sure, this is the place where we shall make new investments geographically and in new products,” he added.

Although Chartis will be eyeing high value deals in the new and existing African markets, it also plans to introduce mass market products under the micro insurance model now being favoured as new revenue generator.

Chartis already runs a micro insurance model in India targeting the low income population, and Mr Schimek hinted that this could be one of the products likely to be replicated in African markets.

The general insurance company, specialising in property and casualty insurance, has a market share of 4.9 per cent in Kenya.