The board and management of Linkage Assurance are putting the December 31, 2020 first phase deadline behind them and are focusing on 2021 to raise the additional N5 billion to meet fully, the new minimum capital requirement for their class of insurance business.
The insurance industry is at fever pitch level heading to December 31 when operators are expected to report themselves to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on their effort to meet the first phase of a recapitalisation exercise which comes to a close on that day. But for Linkage Assurance, they have successfully raised the minimum that is expected of them in the first phase of the recapitalisation exercise.
Daniel Braie, managing director of the company, confirmed last week that his company had met the N5 billion minimum required in the first phase for the class of business that they underwrite. He added that they were now looking ahead to completing the second phase next year when he expects that they would also meet the deadline raising the additional N5 billion.
Braie told journalists through his chief financial officer, Emmanuel Otitolaiye, that the 50 percent was raised by using accumulated retained earnings after seeking the approval of its shareholders.
According to him, Linkage Assurance had a paid-up capital of N4 billion as at December 31, 2019 and therefore only needed N1 billion to meet the first phase deadline. To raise the N1 billion, the firm then sought and got approval from shareholders at its annual general meeting held on 13 August, 2020 to raise the balance from its accumulated retained earnings of N2.4 billion by issuing two billion bonus shares of N0.50 kobo to existing shareholders valued at N1 billion.
NAICOM had split the recapitalisation into two phases to make it easier on insurers following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated global economies and made raising of capital difficult. All insurance companies are, under the new phase to raise 50 percent and reinsurers 60 percent of their new minimum capital by December 31, 2020
NAICOM said they must meet new minimum paid-up share capital requirement which for Life insurance underwriters should be a minimum of N8 billion from the former level of N2 billion to N8 billion; general underwriters moved from N3 billion to N10 billion, while reinsurers had their raised N10 billion to N20 billion.
The Linkage Assurance CEO said that the company has gone into the right gear to make sure that the balance N5 billion is met in good time too.
According to Braie, “Having succeeded in obtaining shareholders’ and Regulatory approvals, Linkage Assurance Plc has met the N5 Billion minimum capital requirements as at date earlier than 31 December 2020 deadline set by NAICOM.
“The balance of N5 billion would have to be met on or before 30 September 2021 being deadline set by NAICOM and the company has array of options to comfortably achieve this before deadline.”
Speaking on the company’s strategy, Braie said: “Our strategy is to consistently grow our revenue and deliver strong returns and excellent customer experience, while leveraging on technology, strategic alliances, and capabilities / insights to provide world-class insurance & risk management solutions. Our guiding principles are our core values and vision. They underpin our desires, ambitions and aspirations aimed at reinforcing the trust of our stakeholders
“Linkage Assurance has the strategic intent of crafting a niche for itself and becoming one of the market leaders in the non-life insurance market in Nigeria. We recognized that the success criteria for an insurance company are a declining expenses ratio, good risk management and high /diversified distribution efficiency. Digitalization, innovation, and utilization of new and efficient technology are also important means for achieving Linkage Assurance PLC success criteria
The achievement of these require crafting of a strategic road map that enable us to realize both short- and long-term objectives including achieving desired monthly, quarterly, and annual targets and outcomes.
“Our core strategic focus is to grow both top and bottom lines (gross premium income and profit). It is also our intent to be one of the top 5 insurance companies in the non-life segment of the market. We intend to achieve these from the focal point of our 4 strategic themes, utilizing both technology, dynamic capabilities, scale benefits and customers relationships.
“Our Service Proposition is to give our customers peace of mind through need-based insurance solutions and exceeding their expectations. We are committed to this by seeking to understand their risks and business objectives and providing insurance services to them.”