Prudential Plc, one of the UK’s oldest underwriter brands, has applied to become one of the Nairobi International Financial Centre’s anchor clients.
Prudential, listed in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York, has operations in Asia and Africa and provides life and health insurance, retirement and asset management solutions.
It has 17 million life customers in its Asia and Africa businesses.
Prudential Plc’s presence in 8 African Countries
Prudential Plc has 8 offices in Africa including Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo, with over one million customers.
Prudential’s application was submitted alongside the inking of a memo between the NIFC and TheCityUK, riding upon the partnership between the UK and Kenya signed last year.
The underwriter made its application at the Mansion House in London, attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab, UK Minister of State for Africa James Duddridge and UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen.
Also in attendance was Kenyan Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani Kanacho, Lord Mayor of London William Russell, and CEOs and Chairs of leading UK financial institutions.
According to Vincent Rague, Chair of Nairobi International Financial Centre(NIFC), Prudential’s application and the MoU with TheCityUK highlights the potential of NIFC as a leading financial services centre in Africa.
According to Shriti Vadera, Chairperson of Prudential plc, Africa is an integral part of the underwriter’s growth plans, offering many opportunities for innovation.
She added that joining the Nairobi International Financial Centre will support the deepening of the financial sector across Africa, build economic resilience and support the development and growth of the financial industry across the continent.
The NIFC, which aims to raise over US$ 2 Billion in investments by 2030, is offering local and foreign investors a progressive legal and regulatory framework, competitive financial and economic incentives and a vibrant financial ecosystem.
The Centre has been developed with financial and technical assistance from the UK with key stakeholders in the public and private sector, including Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya.
The Nairobi International Financial Centre Act was passed in 2017, enabling the formation of the NIFC Authority.
Detailed technical and legal work on the terms and conditions of the NIFC has been completed, and draft regulations have been prepared and shared for public consultation.
Meanwhile, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TheCityUK and the NIFC will give the centre access to the industry-led body representing UK-based financial and related professional services.
According to Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK, Kenya is well-positioned to develop Nairobi as a solid financial centre. The MOU thus offers support to NIFC’s ambitious plans.
UK’s financial sector contributes over 10% of the country’s GDP and offers employment to over 2.3 million people, most of these jobs outside the city of London.
The MoU between NIFC and TheCityUK builds on Britain’s long-standing support for capacity building in Kenya’s financial sector – primarily channelled through FSD Africa and FSD Kenya, which have played a foundational role in establishing NIFC.