Expanding into Africa – Ana Cristina Borges talks about opportunities for Brokerslink in African regions
In October last year we announced our expansion in Africa with the addition of eight new Affiliates. The African regions are areas of great opportunity for us and a natural fit for the Brokerslink global network.
African insurance markets have not traditionally been associated with strong growth, but a combination of factors; growing political stability, increased foreign investment, a stronger economic outlook and investment in infrastructure, energy and crops has led to growing penetration and an increased need for insurance and reinsurance. In the near future, Africa is going to be one of the most important players.
We already had a strong presence in the African regions with ten affiliates across the continent, but the new additions represent a strategic expansion into French-speaking areas where the network already has a lot of clients and existing relationships. Each new broker has an excellent portfolio, high standards of service and a strong profile in their local area, a perfect fit for our network which prides itself on choosing one retail broker per country trading on their local knowledge and expertise in that area.
The African markets present a marked challenge for business expansion, but one that the unique structure of Brokerslink is well placed to deal with. It’s important to note that when we speak about the African countries, we are talking about such different things. They are regions with wide-ranging traditions, habits and cultures; against this backdrop it is impossible to create a single unified approach as each region has its own unique risk landscape and regulations, requiring specialist knowledge and bespoke products. You can’t just import products from Europe or from the States and expect them to be suitable in the African regions, that doesn’t work. It is fundamental to understand the culture, the traditions, the needs of the country and adapt. For us, having high profile and well-established affiliates in each of these new countries allows our network of partner brokers and affiliates to give their client access to specialist knowledge and tailored products that suit the needs of the region, getting local is the key.
Looking forward to 2019 we are continuing to look for opportunities to expand, in terms of service for our local clients and of course, special lines. In Africa this means parametric insurance, crops, personal line and energy, as well as core areas such as construction and casualty. There are a lot of interesting opportunities for us in these regions and I’m looking forward to exploring them more fully.
Our new Africa Affiliates are:
- CCAR in Mauritania
- Compendium in South Africa
- Consass in Burkina Faso
- Generalia Assurances in Cameroon
- Générale de Courtage in Guinea Conakry
- La Protectrice Assurance in Togo and Benin
- Hoggar Assurances in Niger
- WH Assureur-Conseil in Senegal