FMRE Property and Casuality, a re-insurance company originating from Zimbabwe, said it is bullish about the local market and is aiming at making an impact in the insurance subsector that was done mainly in South Africa.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-quoted outfit with core expertise in risk management opened shop in Botswana in 2010 and is mulling accrediting under Botswana Investment and Trade Centre as a springboard to the region.
“We are registered re-insurer in the country,” Ian Tavonesa, FMRE Managing Director said on Friday. “This is a point of call to regional expansion and we want to see the company growing from this part of SADC,” he added.
The company has set itself a target of 5 years where 30 percent of its revenues should be generated from Africa. Currently, Zimbabwe contributes 90 percent while 10 percent is from outside the country.
The FMRE Property and Casuality Botswana boasts of 7 employees with 60 percent of the staff local while 40 percent are foreign.
The Botswana move is part of the company’s drive to penetrate the continent and become a big player in the sub Saharan region and beyond.
FMRE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Africa First Renaissance Corporation (AFRE) an investment holding entity with interests in life assurance, short term insurance, reinsurance, property holding entity and actuarial services.
On Friday, Principal Officer of FMRE Property and Causality Botswana, Samuel Rimai, announced a P15 million financial boost from AFRE Corporation.
The funds are the proceeds from the rights issue and will give the company the necessary war chest and boost local operation with added security that will also come as a confidence booster to the market.
Rimai said the company has sufficient retrocession cover to protect its balance sheet in the case of large claims common with re-insurers.
He added that currently, the company meets the minimum statutory requirements and additional injection from shareholders will be made before the end of 2012.
“This speaks of the company’s commitment to not only provide the statutory minimum capital requirements, but also to cover the business that they expect to write,” Rimai said.
FMRE is coming to the Botswana market at a time when there is huge interest in the agricultural sector, but with conventional insurance cover lacking. FMRE provides insurance cover for agriculture, which is sidelined by bigger guys.
“We provide agricultural insurance. Big re-insurers shied away from agriculture, but we think it is a profit sanctuary,” Tavonesa said.
The company has also launched poultry insurance, which Tavonesa said will give them the necessary mileage and become a dominant player in the continent. The drought insurance is still at pilot stage and FMRE is looking at playing a role in high risk mining operations in the country.
The company has also pledged to help Botswana achieve National Human Resource Development Strategy by providing training to Batswana.
FMRE will also introduce actuarial training in the country and about 60 participants are expected to take part next in a training exercise on topics that include liabilities and claims management.
“FMRE is committed to helping the nation to achieve its goals such as the National Human Resource Development Strategy which stipulates that Batswana should be viable assets by any measure globally,” revealed Rimai.
“A majority of our employees are Batswana who are being exposed to various markets within the group and will be capacitated to eventually run the operation”.
AFRE group is sitting on US$50 million shareholder money and US$100 million on its balance.