Shortage of actuaries stalls ZAC expansion


Ndamu Sandu

FIDELITY Life Assurance of Zimbabwe Ltd has temporarily halted plans to expand its actuarial division, Zimbabwe Actuarial Consultants (ZAC) into the region as it battles to find qualified act

uaries.



Fidelity’s chief executive officer Simon Chapereka said at the moment ZAC did not have qualified actuaries.



“We do not have a qualified actuary and we have hired the services of a qualified actuarial consultant based in India,” he said. “We hope our guys will qualify in the near future.”


Zimbabwe has four qualified actuaries – Pelagia Kafesu and Douglas Hoto of African Actuarial Consultants, Clement Chinaka of Old Mutual and Mark Hyde of Pentact (Pvt) Ltd.


The shortage of actuaries will dent ZAC’s forays into the region which it had vowed to undertake this year.


Announcing the group’s results for the year ended December 31, Chapereka said ZAC had made significant strides in enhancing actuarial services both in the domestic and regional market.


He said this year aggressive efforts would be made to consolidate and grow the provision of actuarial services.


On Fidelity’s regional expansion, Chapereka told businessdigest that the group had completed the transaction in Kenya and was now managing Kenya National Assurance Company.


“We are now responsible for the Kenyan operation. Fidelity has a team of four people in the project – general manager, operations manager, IT manager and finance manager,” he said.


Kenya National, the largest life assurance company on the Kenyan market, was tottering on the brink of collapse and the Kenyan government turned to Fidelity for turnaround expertise.


The Kenyan government wholly owns Kenya National Assurance Company.

Chapereka said Fidelity would use its expertise to turn around the fortunes of Kenya National.


Until its listing on June 30 last year, Fidelity was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zimre Holdings Ltd (ZHL) now Southern Union Financial Holdings (SUFH).


SUFH now has 52% equity while the remaining 48% were taken by the initial public offer.


Formerly known as Legal and General of Rhodesia, the company was incorporated in Zimbabwe to inherit the business of a UK insurance company.


Having first operated in South Africa, the UK company opened a branch in Bulawayo in 1936 transacting both long and short-term insurance. In 1982, the company split into long and short-term assurance divisions.


Six years later, ZHL bought the long-term assurance division leading to the severing of ties with both South Africa and UK.


In 1989, the company consequently changed its name to Fidelity Life Assurance of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd.


In the year ending December 31, Fidelity saw its balance sheet firming by 584% to $41,04 billion.


The group attributed the firming of the balance sheet to the issue of shares, funds generated from own operations and the significant appreciation of its investment properties.