James Mwangi of Kenya’s Equity Spearheads Expansion into General and Health Insurance

Equity Group Holdings Plc, a Nairobi-based financial services conglomerate managed by Kenyan banker James Mwangi, plans to expand its portfolio by entering the general and health insurance sectors. This strategic move is scheduled to be completed by the middle of 2024.

The growth comes after a successful entry into life insurance in 2022 and approval from the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) in May 2023 to form a general insurance firm. This demonstrates the company’s dedication to expanding its footprint in the insurance market by providing coverage for automobile accidents, diseases, fire, and theft.

Mwangi, Equity Group’s CEO, stressed the company’s commitment to a holistic approach, notably in the area of medical care. “We are projecting by the end of June to have life and general insurance, which will also have health, completing the entire offering so that we can protect lives and the wealth that we have helped to build,” Mwangi said in a conference call with investors last week.

Equity Group has grown into a major power in East and Central Africa under Mwangi’s leadership, with operations in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mwangi, Kenya’s wealthiest banker, owns 3.38 percent of Equity Group, or 127,809,180 ordinary shares.

Equity Insurance Group will operate the new general insurance venture, which will complement the company’s existing life insurance business, Equity Life Assurance (Kenya) Limited (Elak). Elak, founded in March 2022, signified Equity’s direct entry into the insurance business following a decade as a Britam Holdings agent via a bancassurance agreement.

Despite high claims and loss rates, general insurance is a significant sector of Kenya’s $2.03 billion annual insurance industry, driven by medical and mandated auto coverage. Equity Group, managed by James Mwangi, plans to enter the general insurance industry, leveraging its broad network of bank agents to increase policy accessibility across multiple sectors.

The board of directors suggested a record dividend payout of Ksh15.1 billion ($114.4 million) to reflect the group’s good performance in 2023. This demonstrates Equity Group’s financial strength and strategic direction.

Equity Group’s recent growth into general and health insurance is expected to reinforce its position as a prominent player in East African financial services. It intends to offer a diverse range of solutions to fulfill the evolving needs of its consumers.

Written by PH

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