By Goddy Egene

Shares of NEN Insurance Plc soared by 43 per cent last week as  the stock market reacted positively to 29.9 per cent equity acquisition by a leading African private equity fund manager, Advanced Finance and Investment Group(AFIG Funds).

With this acquisition,  AFIG Funds has become the largest shareholder in NEM Insurance. It also signified the   commencement of a strategic partnership between AFIG Funds and NEM, as the company embarks on its next growth phase as a top-tier player within the Nigerian Insurance Industry.

Speaking on the development, Group Managing Director of NEM Insurance, Mr. Tope Smart said:  “We are delighted to welcome AFIG Funds as a significant shareholder in NEM at such an exciting time in the company’s evolution. This partnership with AFIG Funds is the outcome of several years of constructive engagement, as well as a thorough internal strategic process to identify and engage with the best long-term institutional partner for our company. We look forward to continue to benefit from AFIG Funds’ extensive experience investing in strong African companies particularly in financial institutions. We believe this partnership will accelerate the realization of our growth ambitions within Nigeria and across the continent. We are confident this will be a fruitful and mutually rewarding partnership.”

Also commenting,  CEO of AFIG Funds, Mr. Papa MadiawNdiaye,  said: “We are excited about our partnership with NEM Insurance and the company’s strong growth prospects. NEM is one of the fastest-growing, best-capitalised and most consistently profitable underwriters in Nigeria. Our decision to invest in NEM during an election year in Nigeria, which is a time when foreign investors tend to shy away from emerging markets, is testament to our strong belief in the prospects of the Company and in the resilience of the broader economy. We are keen to begin working with management, the Board of Directors and other shareholders to execute on the many promising initiatives to further unlock the Company’s significant potential.”

Director of Investments at AFIG Funds,  Mr. Kelechi Okoro, said: “Through our engagement with NEM over the last several years, we have had the opportunity to observe its solid trajectory, and to develop confidence in the management team’s ability to seize growth opportunities in the increasingly competitive landscape.”

NEM Insurance has been in operations in Nigeria for over 60 years, and more recently in Ghana. The company offers all classes of non-life insurance products to individuals and corporates in Nigeria, and has over the years become a household name.