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AfricaMoney | June 26, 2017

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OESAI conference in Mauritius addresses alternative financing solutions to approach risk

OESAI conference in Mauritius addresses alternative financing solutions to approach risk

To find solutions to challenges in the insurance and reinsurance sector of the region was the prime objective of the 38th annual conference of the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers (OESAI) where solutions of alternative risk management through assurance were addressed.

More than 350 professionals hailing from 35 African countries including Mauritius, as well as from other continents, participated in the OESAI conference which was sponsored by local insurance major SWAN.

Invited by SWAN, risk management expert Magda Kendall and Stefan Swanepoel, a consultant for DirectrixRisk services, conducted a session pertaining to captive solutions.

As per Stephan, “Assurance is among the preferred tools used by large companies or multinationals to cover their risks locally or abroad. Furthermore, it allows covering of risks that are otherwise not managed by the conventional insurance market. Accordingly, having recourse to assurance can also have a positive impact on the financial security and profitability of the company as it allows for cost saving on risk management.”

The concept of assurance provides a financing solution which faces an expanding market today. According to Stefan Swanepoel, Mauritius has the capacity to position itself as a country of reckoning in this market.

“Due to the country’s unique geographical positioning as well as its economic and social stability, Mauritius emerges as a strategic financial hub for the region. As regards assurance, Mauritius already has a regulatory framework with specific legislation to address this segment.”

In addition, companies of the region can rely on a qualified workforce with proven financial skills, he noted.

Moreover, the increasing number of multinationals in Africa, in India, as well as others with whom Mauritius has entered into fiscal agreements, represent so many avenues of opportunity for Mauritius. And, in terms of solutions, alternative risk management through assurance is a preferred option.

Magda Kendall and Stefan Swanepoel recommended expertise, particularly in minimizing risk management costs, according to customer requirements and the complexity of risks.

They indicated that in most countries, governance norms require that risk management is organized in a rational manner and under the appropriate framework, to be effective, compatible, transparent and well integrated.

According to both experts, assurance is a powerful commercial instrument, but one which must be developed and managed as a different company and subject to stringent requirements.

Louis Rivalland, Group Chief Executive of SWAN, highlighted: “SWAN is honored to have been able to participate in this conference. Our expert guest speakers informed us of alternative risk management tools  in the form of assurance and it is a niche that SWAN has already mastered. It is important to underline that most of the economies in Africa are complex jurisdictions and represent markets with high risk. Which means that, as an operator, it is necessary for us to understand these risks and to manage them in a very rigorous manner. Through joint ventures with partners, SWAN wants to position itself strategically to operate in the long term in these regions. This conference should allow us to build mutual confidence between the operators present at the conference and our organisation.”

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