Continental Re expands into North Africa
Continental Reinsurance, Africa’s largest private reinsurer outside of South Africa, has expanded into North Africa with the opening of a regional office in Tunis and introduced a Sharia-compliant Takaful offering.
The opening of the regional office in Tunis is part of Continental Re’s strategic approach to develop the African reinsurance market and to realise the company’s vision to be a premier Pan-African reinsurer.
Femi Oyetunji, group managing director and chief executive officer of Continental Re, said: “Our strategically positioned local office in Tunis is a central location, which greatly helps extend our reach into the Maghreb and North African markets. Being close to our clients allows us to improve our insight into local markets, better understand their needs and local risk requirements, and deliver locally relevant offerings.
“It’s important for Africa’s development and growth to have strong, robust and large reinsurance institutions so that African premiums remain in Africa.”
The launch of the Tunis office is coupled with the introduction of Continental Re’s Takaful offering, which will serve clients and partners from Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The exponential growth of Takaful has led to increasing demand for Retakaful capacity, particularly in the region of North Africa which has a majority Islamic population in the range of 95 percent to 99 percent, said the company
“It is Continental Reinsurance’s aim to meet local market needs by developing innovative offerings,” said Oyetunji.
Dorsaf Sassi has been appointed as the regional director for the newly office. She brings to the region her extensive reinsurance experience in the Tunisian and North African markets.
“The insurance market in North Africa is still in its infancy and accounts for roughly 0.46 percent of total world premiums, including the Middle East. Its contribution to Gross Development Product is still below international standards,” said Sassi.
“Our regional office in Tunis will enable Continental Reinsurance to play a significant role in the region’s growth and development by delivering world-class service and locally relevant offerings to our clients and partners. It will also as the company’s underwriting centre for the Maghreb region.”
The company has plans underway for the opening of another office later in 2014 to support business development plans in southern Africa.