The formal entry into the country’s marketplace has now begun with a brand new launch.
Barclays Africa Group Limited has now launched Barclays Life Assurance Kenya (in which it has a majority ownership of 66.6 percent), representing its formal entrance into that country’s life insurance market.
This represents the fifth market in Africa into which Barclays has established its insurance business in that sector.
The other African markets into which Barclays has taken its first steps include Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, and Mozambique. Among the other shareholders in this life insurance company include Darshan Chandaria, a local businessman who is the director and group CEO of Chandaria Industries Limited. Another local shareholder in this venture is Ayisi Makatiani from Fanisi Capital Limited.
Barclays intends to use the Kenyan life insurance market as a jumping off point for more of Eastern Africa.
The Barclays Africa chief executive of wealth, investment management and insurance, Willie Lategan, explained that “Barclays Africa wants to extend its footprint of holistic financial products and services across the continent in the most convenient, accessible and affordable way possible to meet the evolving needs of customers. Our entry into the Kenyan Life Insurance market provides us with a strong platform to further expand our offering into East Africa.”
Among the products that the insurance company is going to be offering in the very near future are: credit life, education products, and personal accident. The insurer has also expressed that it will be selling funeral cover that will be able to include both immediate and extended family. At the beginning, it will be targeting the half million customers that the bank already has through its 122 branches of the Barclays Bank Kenya. That said, over time, it will be expanding beyond those individuals.
The Kenyan life insurance sector is growing in an impressive way and is drawing the attention of insurers around the world. In 2014, it was rated the third fastest growing life market on the planet. Among the reasons for this, one of the main growth drivers has been the rise in the middle class, which has boosted consumer awareness of the coverage. New and innovative product launches have also increased the appeal of these policies.