International Finance

Barclays Life Kenya cleared to acquire First Assurance’s insurance unit

IRA’s clearance paves the way for the transfer of 100 corporates in First Assurance’s life portfolio

Barclays Life Assurance Kenya has received the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA)’s clearance to acquire First Assurance’s life policy business. In 2015, Barclays Life Assurance Kenya completed the acquisition of a 63.3 percent stake in First Assurance worth Sh2.9 billion.

“The Insurance Regulatory Authority approves the transfer of the long-term insurance business of First Assurance to Barclays Life Assurance Kenya,” the industry regulator said in a gazette notice.

According to the deal, all employees of First Assurance will be absorbed by the buying company. The IRA’s clearance, which came last month, paved the way for the transfer of about 100 corporates in First Assurance’s life portfolio.

Earlier this year, while speaking about the acquisition, Barclays Life Assurance Kenya’s managing director William Maara told Business Daily that all clients with life policies at First Assurance will be transferred to Barclays. The transfer is of primarily the portfolio life insurance book business currently under First Assurance administration.

The clearance comes four months after Barclays Life Assurance Kenya invited its clients, directors, policyholders and as well as shareholders who opposed to the transfer to raise the matter with the Insurance Regulatory Authority. The deal will lead to increased competition as Absa Group, formerly Barclays Africa, is also looking to use its presence in Kenya to boost its business in the East African region. Barclays will also compete with the likes of Jubilee Insurance and ICEA Lion.

Barclays Life Assurance Kenya is owned by Barclays Africa Group Limited and local Kenyan shareholders. First Assurance, formerly known as Prudential Assurance Company is a key financial service provider in East Africa. After Barclays’ acquisition of its life policy business, First Assurance will now have general and medical insurance as its core business in the local market.

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