March 13, 2006/guardian
Following the N2bn minimum capital baseline set by the Federal Government for the players in the insurance industry to meet, Equinox Assurance Ltd., a product of the proposed merger of three insurance firms, is poised to generate funds in excess of six billion naira towards enabling it play a leading role in the sub-sector.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of one of the three merging firms, Admiral Insurance Company Limited, Segun Omosehin, told The Guardian that the new outfit was ready to take the lead in the insurance market.
He said: \"The way forward really is for the company to leverage on various skills of the component companies that we are putting together. So, I can assure you that this company would be within the first five in the industry and will be able to give the desired leadership to the market.\"
He said the three merging companies had a combined total asset of about two billion naira, a combined premium income of approximately two billion naira, shareholders\' funds in excess of N0.85b and a network of 18 branches spread across the country.
Also speaking, Clement Atere, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Insurance Company Ltd, said that the merger process would task each of the organisations to contribute additional N500 million before the end of May.
\"We are going to five billion naira minimum today. We have a combined shareholders\' fund of N1.8 billion but each company is to bring another N500 million before the end of May. We are already in discussion with a corporate care investor, who is to bring nothing less than two billion naira,\" he said.
For Bayo Folayan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Elmac Assurance (Nig.) Ltd, \"The merger would assist Quinox Assurance play a major role in the oil and gas, as well as the aviation sectors, since insurance business in those areas demand an appreciable level of stability\".
\"To play a role in these requires some stability and these are the areas we are looking onto. We will be needing some financial muscle to be able to operate in those areas.\"
The three insurance firms recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to kick-start the entire merger process.