Africa Specialty Risks Group (ASR), has announced the launch of a fully capitalised and licenced reinsurance entity in Mauritius, designed to meet the needs of the African continent. ASR has received a Professional Reinsurer and Insurance Manager Licence from the Financial Services Commission in Mauritius, facilitated by Rogers Capital Corporate Services. Through these licences, ASR is looking to create a stable African reinsurance company which will be of real benefit to the region.
Our Chief Development and Commercial Officer, Kevin Bessoondyal sat down with ASR CEO Mikir Shah, for a chat on the process and why Mauritius was the ideal choice for their activities.
1. What is your vision and strategy for ASR?
ASR is an internationally based Africa-focused reinsurer providing comprehensive, bespoke insurance risk mitigating solutions to local and global customers giving them the confidence to grow their business in Africa.
ASR currently offers capacity across Property, Construction, Political Risk, Trade Credit, Energy, Liability and PVT (War, Political Violence and Terrorism), with further lines of business being developed. In addition to the operation in Mauritius, ASR has announced plans to establish hubs in other African countries, including Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
2. How is the current Reinsurance landscape in Africa and the role of ASR to further develop same on the continent?
Africa presents a huge opportunity in the underserved corporate and specialty market.
ASR aims to provide additional African-domiciled capacity enabling investment activity across the Continent.
ASR works proactively with local regulators to develop skills and provide training to local underwriters.
3. What is the impact of Covid 19 on the reinsurance business? Do you see it as an opportunity?
We have identified a sustained lack of adequate insurance capacity across Africa, which has been exacerbated further by Covid-19 as global reinsurance providers focus on their home markets. ASR has been established to address this gap by providing specialist risk mitigation products which companies and capital providers operating in Africa have found difficult to access to date. A pronounced hard market offers ASR Re opportunities for profitable growth resulting in significant strengthening in pricing post Covid-19 for ASR and its clients.
4. Why did ASR choose Mauritius as the jurisdiction to launch the reinsurance entity?
We chose to set up Africa Specialty Risks Reinsurer in Mauritius as we see it as a well-established central hub for financial services and investments in Africa. Mauritius has a naturally bilingual population, allowing us to operate effectively across the vast majority of African countries. It has an educated population, making it an ideal reinsurance hub because there is an abundance of potential skills that can be developed further with training. It already has an established insurer presence expanding into the continent, and we believe that Mauritius has the capability to become the reinsurance hub for Africa.”
5. What were the differentiating elements that made you work with Rogers Capital for the structuring process?
Rogers Capital has defined three strategic poles for its activities: Corporate Services, Technology Services et Financial Services. We believe they have a unique value proposition for its clients, as regards the complementarity of the various components that constitute Rogers Capital today. The extensiveness of their offerings combined with depth of capabilities is a key differentiator especially when it comes to substance.