News and Events

The day that was; KenyaRe’s 21st annual general meeting

After many months of planning, the big day was there with us. The Corporation’s 21st Annual General Meeting (AGM) and it goes without saying that it is the biggest event in the Corporation’s calendar given the attention it receives from planning, coordination and logistics; especially a month to the event when activities are in top gear. The 2019 AGM committee was confident that they had done their level best in planning and what remained was execution, which was undoubtedly done excellently. 


Friday, 14th June 2019 was the date. Bomas of Kenya played host to the Corporation’s biggest event. Walking into the premises, you would definitely tell, it was a Kenya Re event! The venue was pleasantly branded with an assortment of Kenya Re merchandise which displayed the significance attached to this special day by the Corporation. Shareholders began streaming in as early as 5.30am and were readily received and ushered into the event by neatly-uniformed Kenya Re staff acting as ushers for the day. After confirmation and verification of details by contracted registration firm, Image Registrars, the shareholders were then issued with a gym bag and a gift voucher which they warmly appreciated.


Some of the shareholders later made their way to the auditorium where the proceedings of the AGM would take place from 11.00 a.m. In the auditorium, shareholders were treated to an irresistible dose of traditional and classic zilizopendwa music by the Silver Springs entertainment band. Shareholders couldn’t help it but take it to the dance floor to enjoy a jig. Speaking to exclusively to Re News, shareholder Florence Wayua, who has been a shareholder since the Corporation’s listing at the NSE, expressed her happiness in the way the Corporation conducted the 21st Annual General Meeting. “Kenya Re does it so beautifully different every year,” she added.
The main meeting kicked off at exactly 11.00 a.m with the Corporation Secretary, Mr. Charles Kariuki, reading the AGM notice.  The Chairman, Mr. David Kemei thereafter invited Kenya Re’s Managing Director, Mr. Jadiah Mwarania to give his remarks. Mr. Mwarania expressed his gratitude to shareholders for making time to attend the AGM. He highlighted the 2018 financial results and the challenges the Corporation faced as well as the counter- strategy to these challenges.


“We will continue with the implementation of our five-year strategic plan with a view to achieving the set strategic objectives.  We will exercise agility in strategy implementation taking cognizance of the expected changes in the internal and external operating environments. The current strategic plan covers years 2017 to 2021. We believe that the set strategic objectives will steer us to our desired corporate destination,” added Mr. Mwarania.

Thereafter, Kenya Re Chairman, Mr. David Kemei introduced the board of directors to the shareholders and went through the meeting reviewing each and every agenda while seeking consensus from shareholders.


The AGM came to a close with a vote of thanks from General Manager, Reinsurance Operations, Mrs. Beth Nyaga and a closing prayer from Manager - Local Business Department, Mrs. Elizabeth Omondi. After the AGM, Kenya Re Directors, management and shareholders had an opportunity to interact and exchange insights on the holistic growth of the Corporation’s performance, financial position, and the business operations.


During the AGM, an election of directors was conducted of which the results are as follows:
New directors were elected to the board and they are:


1. Mrs. Thamuda Omar Hassan
2. Mr. Eric Onyango Gumbo
3. Mr. Jasper Gitonga Mugambi


Subsequently, the following directors retired from the board of directors:


1.  Mr. Everest Lenjo
2.  Mrs. Zipporah Mogaka
3.  Mrs. Felistas Ngatuny

AM BEST AFFIRMS CREDIT RATINGS OF KENYA REINSURANCE CORPORATION LIMITED

AM Best, through a press release published on the Business Wire website on 31st January 2019, write that AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bb+” of the Corporation. The outlook of these Credit Ratings is stable.

 

 

Profits trim for KenyaRe but a firm strategy for improved performance

The tough business environment impacted financial performance of Kenya Reinsurance Corporation in the year ending 31st December, 2018. Kenya recorded a 32% drop in pre-tax profit, to record Kshs. 3.104 billion profit before tax compared to Kshs. 4.558 billion the year 2017. Profit after tax declined by 36% from Kshs. 3.577 billion to Kshs. 2.278 billion. Factors that contributed to this were: a 64% drop in profits of the associate investment in Zep Re, Increase in claims reserves due to higher incurred claims ratio, Forex loss in Sudan as a result of currency devaluation by the Sudan’s government from Kshs. 15.4 per sdg to Ksh. 2.24 per sdg which adversely affected both reinsurance receivables and investments and Lower than expected investment property value appreciation compared to prior years. These factors formed the basis on which the corporation issued a profit warning in March 2019 given their impact on the profitability.


The financial results were presented during the Investor Briefing held at the Intercontinental Hotel on the 29th March 2019.  The briefing was attended by guests from insurance/reinsurance industry, investment banks, banking industry as well as Kenya Re investors/shareholders.


Gross premiums written grew marginally from Kshs. 14.827 billion in 2017 to ksh14.838 billion in 2018. The net earned premiums grew from Kshs. 13.680 billion to Kshs. 14.206 billion, which is a 4% increase. The investment income grew by 7% to stand at Kshs. 3.386 billion up from Kshs. 3.166 in 2017. The net claims incurred increased by 16% to Kshs. 8.830 billion from Kshs. 7.599 in 2017. The asset base grew by 4% to stand at Kshs. 44.371 in 2018 compared to Kshs. 42.732 billion in 2017. On the other hand, the shareholders’ funds went up from Kshs. 27.205 billion in 2017 to ksh 28.373 billion in December 2018, a of 4% growth.
Non-life premium constituted 87.5% of the total GPW or Kshs. 13.2 billion. Life premium constituted 12.5% of the total GPW or Kshs. 1.9 billion
Life business grew by 16.6% in 2018 over 2017 to reach Kshs. 1,9billion. On the other hand, non-life grew marginally (by 0.03%) from Kshs. 12,933 million in 2017 to Kshs. 13,196 million in 2018.


Kenya Re Managing Director, Mr. Jadiah Mwarania, noted that the Corporation had some positive developments in 2018 such as:

  1. Acquisition of an actuarial software called “prophet” that assists in actuarial work in life & non-life that includes reserving, Pricing and capital modeling in line with international best practice.
  2. Acquisition of a reinsurance system to serve the reinsurance life and non-life business. The system which was implemented over a period of two years went live on 1st March 2018.
  3. Acquisition of a Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) software that is expected to automate risk management operations as well as enhance embedding of a suitable risk culture across the corporation.
  4. Competitive recruitment aimed at ensuring that the Corporation has the right people in the right jobs. This effort was geared towards building human capacity of qualified and skilled professional staff in order to retain a competitive edge in the market place.
  5. Partnership with Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) for the Niko Fiti legacy project. This project saw Kenya Re adopt a block in their new state of the art national Pyscho Educational Assessment and Rehabilitation center that will cater for persons living with disabilities.
  6. Upgrade of our ISO certification from ISO 90001:2008 to ISO 90001:2015. With this new adoption of ISO 9001:2015, the Corporation is targeting quality management systems geared towards improved customer service.


He added that financial performance in the reinsurance business include; pursuing new reinsurance markets such as Northern Africa, Middle East and Asia, pursuing new opportunities in existing markets, increasing our risk appetite, aggressive collection of outstanding premium returns, balances and closings, taking smart investments decisions to maximize capital gains and investment income prudently managing investment exposure as well as strategies focused on improving occupancy rates in our commercial buildings.


Speaking at the Investor Briefing, Kenya Re’s Chairman, Mr. David K. Kemei cited mispricing of risks, domestication in our markets, forex losses and intense competition in both local and international markets as factors that contributed to the decline in the Corporation's revenues in 2018. “The industry also experienced mergers and acquisitions of insurance companies by global players leading to increased capacities of the companies. The adverse effect of this activity is reduction in reinsurance premium, “said Mr. Kemei


He however pointed that out that the Corporation has put in place strategies to take advantage of opportunities in the markets we operate in. He affirmed that implementation of the strategy will enable the Corporation increase its financial strength and yield targeted profits in the coming years.


Highlighting the reinsurer opportunities ahead of new financial year, Mr. Jadiah Mwarania,  Managing Director - Kenya Re, undertook to maintain financial robustness for increased shareholder value. “The reinsurance industry is evolving in Kenya and the world over. As a result, we will endeavor to offer products and services that will address the ever-changing needs of the insuring public in our markets, “said Mr. Mwarania.

KENYA RE AT THE FOREFRONT IN INTRODUCING NEW FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARD

Kenya Reinsurance Corporation held a breakfast forum earlier on 30th October 2018 where Deloitte and Fidelity Information Services (FIS) shared joint insight and knowledge on the new International Financial Reporting Standard, IFRS 17. The forum held at the Radisson Blue hotel in Nairobi was graced by insurance stakeholders, clients, regulators and industry bodies. The forum focused on giving an informed overview and demystifying the concepts under IFRS 17.

Championing research excellence in KenyaRe

For any organization to remain as competitive as possible, research remains a vital component to make it a reality. Following successful procurement of consultancy firm, African Stats Limited, to install four (4) different soft wares to carry out different functions namely: analysis of quantifiable data using Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) analysis of qualitative data including all unstructured data from social media using NVIVO, Data visualization using Tableau and a platform for periodical data gathering, the Research & Development department commenced a process to identify research champions within departments in the Corporation.


The pursuit for embedding best research practices commenced with a week-long training from 6th May 2019 to 10th May 2019 at Kenya School of Monetary Studies where champions got to meet with the consultants, identify research gaps within their specific departments as well as chart the way forward with the regard to expectations for fruitful engagements for the various training sessions. The consultants, led by their Director - Mr. Charles Makau, gave their commitment to ensure discussions were as interactive as possible and so did the research champions. The training indeed commenced on a good note. The training has so far covered unstructured data analysis using SPSS where champions had the prime opportunity to provide the various data sets used in their departments for purposes of learning within the training; this was a superb way of learning as champions could easily understand what was being taught through use of their own data.  The champions were able to appreciate how the Corporation could analyze unstructured data from multiple channels and combine that information with structured data, such as demographic and transactional data, for a complete understanding of customer preferences and trends. They also go to appreciate the increasing importance of analyzing social media and to appreciate the best practice on how firms measure marketing effectiveness. 


The other topic covered was unstructured data analysis using Nvivo which involved the collection and analysis of unstructured data, such as interviews, articles, social media content, open-ended survey questions, etc. which aid in organizing, analyzing, and finding insights in unstructured data. The last topic was Electronic data collection and visualization using Clic data. Champions were able to learn about the usefulness of Clic data in making Business Intelligence simpler, accessible and more comprehensible. It further equipped champions with the know-how on how to easily handle any type of data and tightly connect it to visualization to achieve smarter and faster visualization.
For any good and sound decisions to be made in the Corporation, it is prudent that they be backed by research. The initiative to have research champions is a step in the right direction to augment research at Kenya Re and needless to say, champion research excellence at Kenya Re.

Kenya Re Records 14% Increase in Investment Income

The Corporation Investment income grew by 14% from Ksh. 1.716 billion in June 2017 to Ksh 1.940 billion in June 2018. The Corporation also reported profit before tax of Ksh 1.756 billion as at 30th June 2018 compared to 2.294 billion as at 30th June 2017, which is 23% lower. Profit after tax was Ksh 1.230 billion compared to Ksh 1.622 billion, which is 24% lower. The Corporation saw a 16% drop in gross premiums written from 7.504 billion as at 30th June 2017 to Ksh. 6.332 billion as at June 30 2018. The Corporation presented the mid fiscal 2018 financial results on 24th August at the Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi.  Present during the event was the Corporation Chairman Mr. David Kemei and Managing Director Mr. Jadiah Mwarania.

Security (anti-terrorism) and safety awareness training

Terrorism presents a constant threat to institutions, businesses and individuals. While it is important to refrain from scaremongering, serious corporates consider their security and emergency response procedures and assess if they are robust enough to cope with an attack and prepared for counter terrorism training. It is also crucial that employees are aware of possible terrorist threats, as well as for employers to minimize the effects of terrorism through counter terrorism training.


The workplace has often been the primary target of terrorism not only in Kenya but in the world. This is attributed to the fact that terrorism leads to workplace disruption, which negatively impacts on the country’s economy infrastructure and health. Presently, many workplaces remain unprotected from terrorist attacks. This includes public transport systems upon which most employees rely on to get to their place of work. As such, it can be agreed that the workplace will continue to be an ideal target for terrorists—even more so due to a lack of preparedness and a perceived lack of employer emphasis on workplace preparedness for terrorism.


It is for the above reasons that the Corporation held its first ever training on Security (Anti-terrorism) and Safety Awareness for both management and staff from Tuesday, 2nd April 2019 to Friday, 5th April 2019 at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS). The training was officially opened by the Managing Director, Mr. Jadiah Mwarania on Tuesday, 2nd April 2019. Giving his opening remarks, Mr. Mwarania stated that security is an integral part of the Corporation. “This training is well-timed considering the unpredictability of terrorist attacks prone to the country in the recent and distant past. Security is of huge importance since we all need to be prepared for all possible emergencies, including terrorism,” said Mr. Mwarania. He further added that Kenya Re will continually strive to effectively make security first and a long-lasting priority to enable all activities within and out of the Corporation to thrive positively. He urged all participants to be attentive as implementation of the teachings will be vital in the event of an attack.


The training was comprehensive and covered an array of topics such as defining terrorism, the safe handling and delivery of letters and packages at the workplace, dealing with bomb threats, Travel and transportation safety guidelines, Security of the workplace facility, Cyber-terrorism, and protecting business computer systems, Psychology of terrorism, Being patient, alert and extra vigilant. The training was conducted by very informative officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Anti-terrorism Police Unit.


Staff remarked that the training was a superb eye-opener in instilling the best security practices for self and for the Corporation in entirety.

Launch of PWD Education Integration Programs

The first phase of the 2017 Niko Fiti campaign saw the launch of the Niko Fiti PWDs Education integration program in Lenana Boys and Moi Girls Isinya which are aimed at promoting inclusion and opportunity for students living with disability to join reputable secondary schools in 2018. The program involves modification of the school’s facilities to ensure access, mobility and integration of students with various disabilities in the institutions.

 

The Corporation engaged and partnered with the Ministry of Education to identify the schools to be integrated. “The integration process by the ministry of education will help create equal educational opportunities for all in this country thus empowering more people especially those living with disabilities to reach their dreams and strive to achieve more. The integration process develops an appreciation factor in that everyone has unique characteristics and abilities,” added the Chairman Mr. David Kemei.

A culture-change journey worth boarding!

As corporate culture change guru, Larry Senn once said “Culture is not an initiative, it is the enabler of all initiatives.” Culture is at the core of every organization. Corporate culture can drive positive organizational performance and vice-versa.  Organizations have different cultures which suit their day-to-day activities and which work best in their unique market and the environment. Company culture is what defines the organization’s philosophy and it is expressed in its interaction within the organization, with key stakeholders and in the image it portrays to the outer world. A company culture that facilitates employee happiness means lower turnover and better company performance; employees are loyal and companies perform better.


The Corporation embarked on a culture change journey in March 2018. The purpose of the culture change program was to move the Corporation towards a high- peak performance culture and to enhance employee’s productivity. Change champions across all the departments in the Corporation were trained to champion change initiatives in their departments. The culture-change implementation strategy initiative involving all staff took shape in April 2019. All staff were involved in culture-change team building activities. The team building activities, which were carried out in three groups each for a full-day from 16th to 19th April 2019, were a huge success.


The facilitators, Sigmond Peak International, prepared a comprehensive and engaging programme to ensure participants enjoyed every bit of the exercises. Which better venue for the activities than Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) which provided an ideal, spacious and well-lawned grass field for the many outdoor activities. All activities majorly targeted at embedding a positive attitude amongst staff, building trust, effective communication, coordination/ teamwork, breaking silos and knowing your colleague. Staff remarked that the exercise was a huge learning curve and great move not only towards entrenching the best corporate culture at the Corporation but also bolstering team-work and togetherness.


The activities culminated into a post-assessment of culture-change presentation to management on 24th April 2019 by the consultant, Sigmond Peak International; to inform further action on the part of management. Establishing, sustaining and improving good corporate culture is a continuous process that requires you and I to give total commitment. Culture change is thus you and me, we are all boarding!

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