French Investor to Take Over Equity Assurance

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Steven S. Kolubah, Board Chairman of Equity Assurance, and Karim Franck Dione, Head, Management Control, Equity Assurance subsidiaries.

A new insurance group, SUNU, is expected to take over Equity Assurance Liberia Ltd., with 67 percent shares, making it the largest shareholder of the Liberian-owned company.

This represents a total of US$1.3 million in Equity Assurance as an initial investment by the group.

The SUNU Group, which is one of the leading insurance companies in France, already has operations in 14 countries in West and Central Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo among others.

The Group is an African insurance group created in 1998 by Mr. Pathe Dione.

Steven Kolubah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Equity Liberia, who spoke to newsmen last Friday, expressed gratitude to the SUNU Group, saying that the arrival of the French company is not just a boost to Equity Assurance Liberia, but to the entire country.

Kolubah, however, said that the partnership with SUNU will also bring keen competition in the Liberian market and engender growth.

He said since the establishment of Equity Assurance, the company has strived to live up to the expectations of its customers, and based on the excellent performance, it has attracted one of the biggest insurance companies in the world.

“Today, we are proud to partner with SUNU Group, based in Paris, France. This came as a result of the excellent performance and we are proud of our valued customers,” Kolubah noted.

According to him, “The new investment is in line with the vision of Equity Assurance, that is, to be a leading Africa insurance group. This arrangement brings about a market presence in Africa, and Equity Assurance now belongs to a major insurance conglomerate on the continent. We hope to leverage on this to maximize all the possible economic scales, including market competition for the overall benefit of our stakeholders.”

As a strategic step, Kolubah said, they are expected to re-brand the new company, because the majority of the shares of Equity has been purchased by the SUNU Group.

He reassured the public and their customers in Liberia that “we are ready to do business and to improve the insurance industry.

“I want to be clear to the public – our customers out there who have been so loyal to us, we as a company are here to stay; not only to stay, but to do the best that will add value to our products and the insurance industry in Liberia.”

On the way forward, the Equity Board Chairman said, “We plan to be innovative in service delivery, products development, cost management, customer experience and ensuring proper balance in all our dealings. We shall preserve and multiply the value of our shareholders and ultimately maintain a consistent dividend payment policy.”

Karim Franck Dione, head of management control and financial management division at Equity Assurance subsidiaries, said the taking over of Equity by SUNU Group will provide it the Group’s marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the insurance sector in the country.

Dione added that the company will remain involved in the business to ensure a smooth integration, support performance and continue long-standing relations with the Government of Liberia.

“This acquisition is part of the international development strategy of SUNU, which aims to accelerate its growth by entering new emerging markets with high potential. This will enable SUNU to strengthen its position in Africa, which is a strategic priority for the Group,” he added.

“So, SUNU is in Liberia to stay. As a pan African group our vision is to develop our countries and continent in the 21st century. We want to say all is well that we as Africans can manage a company, create value, develop and manage technology that will move the continent forward,” said Dione.

However, he explained that the SUNU Group is about to change the management of Equity Assurance to bring high performance to the table.

He said the change of management does not mean that the SUNU Group will bring on board foreign workers, but would rather use qualified and competent Liberians.

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