By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
Insurance industry observers are watching keenly to see which bank-owned insurance firms will survive as the era of universal banking gradually draws to a close, following the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to banks to divest from all non-bank subsidiaries by December this year.
To this end, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel said that the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, is on top of the divestment process. Daniel said that the Commission has put in place measures to ensure stolen funds are not used to recapitalise bank-owned insurance firms.
NAICOM, according to Daniel, would screen local and foreign funds to be invested in the firms to ensure they do not contravene the Money Laundering Act as well as forestall developments where individuals with questionable funds hijack the firms.
In line with NAICOM’s objective,the Board and Management of Intercontinental Wapic Insurance Plc has decided to continue to pitch tenth with Access Bank Plc due to the bank’s track record of transparency and good corporate governance. However, the insurance firm has transformed back into Wapic Insurance Plc.
The strategic change of name of Intercontinental Wapic Insurance to Wapic Insurance Plc coupled with the unveiling of a new corporate identify is premised on Access Bank’s acquisition of controlling interest in Wapic Insurance Plc.
As a subsidiary of Access Bank, Wapic Insurance Plc is out to refine the Nigerian insurance landscape and infuse the entire industry with a higher degree of ingenuity, innovation and professionalism.
According to the Executive Director, Access Bank Plc and Board member, Wapic Insurance Plc, Taukeme Koroye, “In expressing the dynamism typified by the new Wapic Insurance Plc, we recognised the unique brand value inherent in the company’s over 50 years impressive track-record of delivering efficient and transparent insurance services to Nigerians, hence our reverting to the company’s original name.
“The values demonstrated by the company as Wapic Insurance Plc align with our vision of transforming the company into Africa’s most respected insurance company.”
Since the insurance firm is a composite company, the change of name is not just for the general arm of the company but also applies to Wapic Life Assurance Limited (formerly Intercontinental Wapic Life Assurance Limited) and Wapic Insurance (Ghana) Limited (formerly Intercontinental Wapic Insurance (Ghana) Limited).
As one of Nigeria’s oldest insurance companies, Wapic Insurance has built enviable expertise in risk management and actuarial services. This, coupled with its association with Access Bank Plc, will surely strengthen its capacity and capability to redefine service in the insurance sub-sector of the Nigerian financial services landscape.
“Our new corporate identity will further entrench our long standing leadership position in the insurance sector and signposts the beginning of a new dawn in insurance services in Nigeria,” Koroye said.
Established in March 1958 as West African Provincial Insurance Company Limited (WAPIC) to transact life and non-life insurance business, Wapic has consistently shown its resilience over other brands that were its peers.
Reputed as one of Nigeria’s oldest and most established insurance companies; with presence in the key commercial and industrial centres of the country and a clientele spanning various sectors of the economy, the company has a distinguished history of providing innovative and client-focused insurance services to individuals and corporate clientele.
According to the Deputy Managing Director of Wapic Insurance Plc, David Aluko, “A critical factor for successful brands is the ability to consistently reengineer. Therefore, Access Bank Plc completed Nigeria’s award winning Merger and Acquisition with Intercontinental Bank and this consequently makes Intercontinental Wapic Insurance Plc one of the subsidiaries of Access Bank Plc.”
Managing Director, Wapic Insurance, Mr. Segun Balogun, recalled that in March 1958, West African Provincial Insurance Company (Wapic) made its entrance into the insurance industry with a commitment to providing efficient and transparent insurance services to individual and corporate clients; the company is renewing that commitment with a return to its heritage name.
Balogun said “The return to heritage is a wholesome change; giving rise to a modifications in our visual identity revision along with adjustments in our corporate philosophy. The thrust of the Company’s new philosophy is the vision to become the most respected insurance company in Africa.
“The ideals of respect speak to a culture of quality service, ethical and sustainable business practices and professionalism. It also connotes a commitment to the highest level of value to shareholders and host communities. Wapic has returned to these age-long ideals and is poised to redefine the business of insurance across Africa thereby.”
Indeed, the company’s business model has been refined to engender higher levels of efficiency and transparency. The Company’s alignment with its heritage further positions the company to deliver first-class risk management services across markets.