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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Mauritius Has Strong Potential As A Reinsurance Hub For The African Continent, Says Financial Services Minister

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“Our Government is keenly promoting the Mauritius International Financial Centre as a reinsurance hub as we believe that we have all the ingredients for success”.

This statement was made by the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, yesterday, at the Mont Choisy Heritage Zone. He was participating in the second anniversary of Africa Specialty Risks Mauritius (ASR), in the presence of the British High Commissioner to Mauritius, Ms Charlotte Pierre, and the Chief Executive Officer of ASR, Mr Mikir Shah.

Minister Seeruttun recalled that it had been two years since the launch of ASR as a fully capitalised and licensed reinsurance entity in Mauritius, designed to meet the needs of the African continent. “The achievements made by the entity commend the strategic decision to expand the business to this part of the world,” he pointed out.

Furthermore, Mr Seeruttun highlighted that the Reinsurer and the Insurance Manager Licence granted by the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius had been instrumental to their vision and was greatly benefiting Mauritius and the region. “I am glad to note that to date, ASR has helped to de-risk US 11.4 billion of investments into Africa and has written business in 47 countries, proving the strong potential for Mauritius as a reinsurance hub for the continent,” he underlined.

Charlotte Pierre

In addition, Minister Seeruttun underscored that there was enormous potential for the reinsurance industry to pursue meaningful work in narrowing the region’s growing protection gap. “Mauritius is well positioned to continue to play a decisive and impactful role as investments from Mauritius into Africa represent 9% of overall foreign investment into the Continent,” he added.

“ASR,” the Minister underscored, “place much emphasis on capacity building and in the area in which they operate, more sharing of knowledge and experience to develop the skills of our people can be promoted.” “We have a dedicated facility under the aegis of my Ministry which looks at training and I hope to see collaboration develop in this area,” Mr Seeruttun pointed out.

Africa Specialty Risks Group (“ASR”), a reinsurance company specializing in insurance solutions and risk management for specialty markets in Africa, celebrated two years of operations in Mauritius at an event held yesterday at Mont Choisy Heritage Zone. The ceremony was marked by the presence of the Honorable Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, and Her Excellency Charlotte Pierre, the British High Commissioner to Mauritius, who delivered the opening speeches at the event.

ASR is supported by Helios Investment Partners, a leading private equity firm in Africa, through its latest fund, Helios Investors IV, L.P., whose investors include British International Investment plc (a U.K. development finance institution) and the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group).

Mikir Shah

The group began operations in Mauritius in 2021, when it launched a fully capitalized and licensed reinsurer on the island, and when it also obtained an insurance manager’s license from the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, allowing it to operate as a Managing General Agent (MGA).

Since its inception, ASR has been involved in the mitigation of $847 million of risks to businesses and investments in Mauritius in the areas of liability, construction, political violence and terrorism, energy, property damage, and political and trade credit risks. At the pan-African level, the group has been involved in the mitigation of approximately $11.4 billion of investments in 47 African countries across its nine lines of business. ASR received a Silver Sustainability Rating from EcoVadis this year, following a Bronze rating last year. ESG is at the heart of ASR’s business.

The British High Commissioner to Mauritius, H.E. Charlotte Pierre, said: “I was delighted to join the Honourable Minister Seeruttun, Mr. Mikir Shah, CEO of the UK-based Africa Specialty Risks Group, and colleagues from the financial services sector in Mauritius to mark the second anniversary of ASR’s presence in Mauritius. It was an excellent opportunity to reaffirm our collective commitment to take this critical sector to new heights. The global reinsurance market is worth over £500 billion and has grown by over 10% between 2022 and 2023. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has caused significant disruption globally, following the post-pandemic recovery. Despite this, the reinsurance industry has remained a steadfast contributor to our economies in difficult times. ASR is headquartered in London and is an excellent example of the contribution of British companies to the financial services sector in Mauritius. By working together in this sector, we can advance the business landscape, create employment opportunities and help our economies become bigger, greener and stronger.”

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