Axa Africa Specialty Risks has been formed as a joint venture with Chaucer to write political risk, energy and infrastructure and other specialty lines business.
The partnership will initially involve Axa’s new Lloyd’s Special Purpose Syndicate 6130 sharing business with Chaucer’s more established Syndicate 1084.
“Partnering with Chaucer and the Lloyd´s market gives us a great opportunity to develop the growing and profitable specialty lines business in Africa by setting up a pan-African specialty insurance entity that will complement our African footprint and our presence in commercial lines,” said Denis Duverne, Axa’s deputy CEO, responsible for finance, strategy and operations.
The deal is an attempt by Axa to break into the growing African market for specialty covers.
“This demonstrates our willingness and ability to combine our underwriting expertise in demanding specialty insurance markets with our talent for working successfully to deliver innovative solutions for clients, brokers and partners,” said Johan Slabbert, Chaucer’s CEO.
Parisian insurer Axa has made a major push to increase its share of Africa’s insurance market in recent years, and the group is directly present in eight African countries.
In 2014 it acquired 77% of Nigerian insurer Mansard; in 2015 it partnered with the IFC-World Bank on parametric insurance, acquired a 7% stake in reinsurer Africa Re, and bought an 18.6% stake in Eranove, a West African utilities firm; and then in November 2015 it launched a life and pensions deal with Egypt’s Commercial International Bank, buying its Commercial International Life Insurance Company.
In February 2016, Axa announced an $84m partnership with Nigerian e-commerce firm Africa Internet Group, to distribute insurance via Jumia and other AIG online and mobile platforms in Africa, also acquiring an 8% stake in AIG.
On the Chaucer deal, Duverne added: “We are grateful to the Lloyd’s Executive Committee and Franchise Board for the approval of our first investment in the renowned Lloyd’s market.”