Private equity firm Helios launches reinsurance business to bolster Africa’s insurance capacity

AFRICAHelios Investment Partners, a private equity investing firm operating in Africa and based in London, United Kingdom, has ventured into reinsurance business to bolster Africa’s insurance capacity.

The private equity investment firm said that it has identified an unmet need in the reinsurance space to expand the continent’s long-term domestic capacity beyond its current capabilities.

The reinsurance business to be known as Africa Specialty Risk Group (ASR), will be focused on becoming the partner of choice to corporations through the provision of risk mitigating insurance solutions.

According to Helios,  ASR will create tailored solutions for local and global customers, using Africa-specific pricing models coupled with a deep understanding of African risk and cultural environments.

This, Helios notes, will provide corporates and investors with the confidence to grow their businesses, thereby unlocking investment activity, and the associated developmental benefits.

Souleymane Ba, Partner at Helios, notes that there is a sustained lack of adequate insurance capacity across Africa which the ASR would work to address.

According to Souleymane, there could be no better time to address the insurance needs of Africa than this when global reinsurance providers has abandoned Africa and shifted focus on their home markets.

ASR intends to work proactively with local regulators and clients to develop skills and provide training to local underwriters.

Helios says that Environmental, social and governance considerations are central to ASR’s values, particularly in relation to local capacity building

The investment in ASR is being made from Helios’ latest fund, Helios Investors IV which is a pan-African generalist fund focused on investing in and building market-leading companies across the continent.

According to a statement from Helios, ASR was launched in partnership with Mikir Shah, former CEO of AXA Africa Specialty Risks, and Bryan Howett, former CEO of Old Mutual’s pan-African reinsurance operations.

“We chose to work with Helios given their extensive reach across Africa, their knowledge and experience in our key markets, as well as their established track record in helping entrepreneurial businesses to scale,” Mikir Shah said.

Having previously founded market-leading businesses such as Helios Towers, the firm says that it took a similar approach to develop and increase domestic reinsurance capacity.

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