• Pays claims promptly
That FBNInsurance is the fastest-growing insurance company in Nigeria is not in doubt. This much has been confirmed by available indices in the industry.
Established in September 2010 with 14 staff members, many expected it to do well. Despite of the prevalent apathy towards insurance, industry watchers felt that as a scion of the country’s hugely successful financial services powerhouse, FBNHoldings, they would benefit from the parent company’s time- tested formula for success.
For over a century, FBNHoldings, through FirstBank, has been a major player in the financial services industry. With investments in banking, asset management, pension funds, among others, FBNHoldings bestrides the financial landscape.
However, no sooner had it started business than the management of FBNInsurance realised that success does not come on the basis of a great heritage. Getting business was a challenge. The famed apathy of the insuring public apart, the pioneer teams at the company were entering a territory angels feared to tread.
To endear itself to the target audience, the management of the company had to dig in really deep and carve a niche for itself. The pioneer staff members worked days on end to ensure the business survived infancy. Today, their hardwork has paid off.
While many have praised Val Ojumah, the company’s Managing Director since inception, for his glowing leadership qualities, the man himself is quick to put the adulations at the feet of those who he believes deserves it: the Board, Management and staff. “We have been able to achieve so much in so short a period because we have been blessed with visionary and relentless Boards at various times, and a selfless members of staff since inception,” he says.
Indeed, Ojumah has overseen a management team that has steered the ship of the young company to heights established players can only dream of.
Within its first three years of operation, the company bought over a general insurance firm, Oasis Insurance, and rebranded it FBN General Insurance, a subsidiary of FBNInsurance, and overturned the acquired company’s loss position in the first year of operation and has subsequently maintained FBN General Insurance’s growth momentum.
With regards to its financial performance, FBNInsurance has continued on an upward swing that impresses even the most cynical financial analysts. In 2016, the company made N9.9billion and declared a profit after tax of N2.23bilion while total assets stood at a whooping N29.5billion. In a country gradually easing out of a recession and with a low insurance penetration, the figures are a wonder.
It is easy to see the basis of this success: a strong retail presence. With over 2,000 financial advisors combing the nooks and crannies of the country selling insurance, little wonder that an approximate 70 per cent of the company’s total income in the past year comes from the retail team. This is a solid endorsement of the trust the people have in the brand.
Indeed, the company has not only won the peoples’ trust, it has also garnered many accolades from other stakeholders along the way. In 2013, the company won Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) Cup of Nations award in the Rising Star category based on high premium posted.
According to the competition rules, “the SEM Cup of Nations is designed to motivate the staff members of the various country operations to overachieve and exceed the set targets/budgets, to deliver sustainable growth over the previous year’s results, and to foster a spirit of competition between the various businesses in the Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) cluster.”
The company would repeat the feat in 2016, making it a double in three years. Also, thrice over the past four years, FBNInsurance has been awarded the best life insurance company in Nigeria by the prestigious World Finance Awards.
But is FBNInsurance all about growing her customer base, making profits and delivering on set targets? Elizabeth Agugoh, Head of the company’s Marketing and Corporate Communications department, disagrees.
“We are a peoples’ company committed to doing business by all ethical means while also impacting on our host communities through our corporate responsibility and sustainability exertions,” she said.
Over the years, she revealed, the company has made significant impacts in education, health and community development. Some of these include the donation of a brand new dialysis machine to a Lagos General Hospital in 2015; providing screening and immunisation for Breast and Cervical cancer for 750 girls and women in collaboration with a local Rotary Club; supporting Jakins NGO in providing back-to-school kits for vulnerable and disadvantaged students; providing scholarships to 250 indigent students of a rural community in Southsouth Nigeria so they could enjoy uninterrupted education; sinking of a borehole at Umuahia amongst others.
For a company that has grown its own reputation away from its founders, it is delightful to note that FBNInsurance is not resting on its oars. With 136 permanent staff, 74 temporary officers and over 2000 retail agents across 42 sales outlets pan Nigeria on its books, the company has truly come of age. “We will continue to deepen our retail footprints until every insurable Nigerian has an FBNInsurance policy,” Ojumah added.