-CEO assures gov’t robust and continual compliance; provision of best services to the public
The ACTIVA International Insurance Company Limited, simply known as ACTIVA, was Friday, July 27, a proud recipient of Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) most compliant taxpayer nationwide in Monrovia.
LRA at its Taxpayer Appreciation Day ceremony recognized and awarded scores of devoted taxpayers for their firm commitment to tax payment by meaningfully contributing to the revenue envelope of the country, and ACTIVA, a Pan-African Insurer that operates in over 35 countries, was one of few outstanding firms at the event.
The company, along with Firestone Liberia, that got the Most Compliant Taxpayer in the Natural Resource Sector, and ArcelorMittal, that clinched the highest tax Contributor in the Natural Resource Sector, were the top three.
With such a prestigious award, the company now finds itself in the league of the top companies in corporate Liberia—emerging from an unknown brand to a market leader.
“And we are glad to be moving this fast in this short period of time,” ACTIVA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Saye D. Gbalazeh told the Daily Observer over the weekend.
Gbalazeh is an accomplished insurance professional who took over the company a little over two years ago. He worked in Corporate America for over twenty-three years with recognized companies such as One Beacon Professional Insurance Company, a leading professional liability insurance company in Connecticut, USA, and Healthcare Professional Liability Program, United States Risk Underwriters in Dallas, amongst others.
In five years, the company under the stewardship of Atty. Gbalazeh, now leads the insurance industry. He has transformed ACTIVA from just one of the many average insurance companies operating from a two-room office to an entity that now occupies the ground floor of the attractive Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR) building in Sinkor.
The company has now gain leadership of the industry’s market. It is the first choice and preferred insurance company for multinational and blue chip companies operating here.
“Since I took over this company, the workforce has grown over three hundred percent.
The company is also growing a turnover of 15-25 percent annually,” he said. ACTIVA was the only insurance company that was recognized at the LRA ceremony.
However, the company is also investing in human capital hugely. Atty. Gbalazeh, since his arrival, has scouted for the smartest and most talented guys in the sector.
The company also boasts the best talented staff in the industry. They are not just academically qualified they do have their academic trainings in insurance disciplines. “All of our top and middle managers hold either first or second degrees. This is helping us to be where we are today,” he said. CEO Gbalazeh is also an Assistant Professor of Law at the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia on a pro bono basis.
ACTIVA can boast of UNOPS, Partners In Health, MNG Gold, and the Liberia Telecommunications Authority. Others are Chemonic International, ELWA Hospital, SDA Hospital, Malag Clinic, Hope for Women International and many more.
ACTIVA being the most top driver in the industry is also evident by the fact that the company has as a client every two or three car that plies the streets. It has become a household name in the multinational sector.
Atty Gbalazeh noted that the overall improvement at the entity is as a result of his dynamic and people-oriented leadership style.
“Our standards of operations are harmonized to the best international standards
While doing all of these, the company is also contributing to insurance education in the country. It operates the “ACTIVA University Students’ Club” with focus on insurance education and technical training.
The company provides client services backed by the best international financial security such as Munich Re, Africa Re, among others. Services are delivered by efficient management system.
Atty. Gbalazeh said: “Our people need better services and this is what we are here to do.”
The company also has a student intern program where university students are recruited and taught about the insurance business.
The company also strives to provide guidance and best services to his numerous clients.
“My focus is not the competition, but how to set ACTIVA apart from other insurers in this country,” he said.
The company is also helping to give back to the Liberian society through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Through its continental corporate arm, the ACTIVA Foundation, which is based in Port-Louise, Mauritius, the company continues to invest thousands of dollars in its CSR Program.
Some of these include the Women in Sustainable Enterprise (WISE) Project—a US$20K YWCA vocational skills training initiative intended for women and children that were affected by the Ebola Virus Disease in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties in 2015. The company also provided US$33,000 to YWCA for skills training High School Dropouts (girls).
It is also collaborating with the Liberia National Police (LNP) to boost road safety through traffic education and improving road users output across the country. The company reached an agreement with the Traffic Section of the LNP to sponsor its activities across the country.
Meanwhile, the LRA awards were given based on their respective tax contribution and performance during the 2016/2017 fiscal year. Each winner was given a plaque certificate and a one-year tax clearance certificate.