Lilongwe – Liberty Holdings (Liberty) is pleased to announce the conclusion of another short-term insurance transaction in sub-Sahara Africa following the earlier announcements relating to transactions in Uganda, Lesotho and Botswana. The latest acquisition constitutes a majority stake in a private short-term insurer in Blantyre, Malawi, Charter Insurance Company Ltd (Charter). This marks continued progress on Liberty’s African expansion strategy through acquisitions and partnerships to increase its footprint and diversify revenue streams.
The acquisition received all the necessary regulatory approvals in South Africa and Malawi.
“Liberty aims to become one of the leading insurers in the growing East & Central African region by introducing holistic insurance and investment value propositions that guide customers towards financial freedom” said Liberty Holdings CE, Mr Thabo Dloti.
“The transaction compliments the group’s existing short-term insurance businesses in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Uganda. The transaction also adds to the group’s broader Insurance and Investment businesses in these regions; further enhancing our customer value propositions and our ability to service our bancassurance partnership with the Standard Bank Group across the continent”.
Liberty’s ambition is to provide a full insurance offering in selected countries in support of the growth strategy and vision to become a leading insurance provider in chosen customer segments.
Outgoing Charter interim Chairman, who will remain a member of the Board, Alex Chitsime, commented; “Short-term insurance is the larger of the insurances classes, as opposed to Life, in sub-Sahara Africa and this transaction will position the group and Charter to capture growth in the short term lines.”
Malawi has a growing population of 17 million people, and in 2015 had a GDP of more than US$6 billion, growing at around 5% historically. The insurance penetration rate is only around 1%, with the short-term industry currently serviced by seven players. For 2015, gross written premiums of the short-term insurers totalled over MWK30 Billion (US$40 million).
Incoming Charter Chairman, Andrew Mashanda, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Bank Malawi said “We are excited about the investment in Charter that will expand the Group’s non-banking offering and the opportunity to offer our Malawian customers more choice in product offerings. The investment by the Group demonstrates the continued commitment to help develop and grow the broader Malawian financial services sector and contribute positively to the growing economy.”
About Liberty Holdings
Liberty is a Johannesburg-listed insurer that was founded in 1957 by Sir Donald Gordon. Liberty is an established and growing Pan-African financial services group, with a presence in 16 countries in Southern Africa, East & Central Africa and West Africa.
Liberty offers a comprehensive range of long-term and short-term insurance products, value-added services, health solutions, retirement income facilitation, investment, and lifestyle risk solutions for both the retail and corporate markets.
Liberty is one of four biggest listed long-term insurers on the JSE by market capitalisation and ranks as one of the 50 largest companies in South Africa, with products distributed across multiple channels throughout Africa.
In 2002 Liberty established a unique and valuable Bancassurance agreement with Standard Bank, the biggest bank in Africa by assets, also Liberty’s majority shareholder at 54%. In 2007 Liberty acquired 100% of STANLIB Asset Management, currently a significant participant in the institutional and mutual fund market in South Africa and East Africa, offering clients a range of distinct investment solutions from varied franchises via portfolios and specialist asset classes.
Charter Insurance Company Ltd is a private short-term insurer in Malawi, headquartered in Blantyre offering a wide range of commercial and domestic insurance products. The Company started operations in 1995 and currently has a market share of 5%.