KENYA – Barclays Life Assurance Kenya (BLAK) is set to take on about 100 corporates that were covered by First Assurance’s life policy as it moves to strengthen its business portfolio.

According to William Maara, managing director at BLAK, the transfer of the life insurance business from First Assurance will be effected by June 30, subject to compliance with industry requirements.

The move to acquire the portfolio comes after Barclays Africa, now Absa Group, bought a controlling stake in First Assurance.

Barclays Africa reached the agreement to buy a 63.3% stake in First Assurance Company Ltd, a deal valued at US$28.21 million which included a capital injection of US$7.22 million.

According to a report by Business Daily, Mr Maara said First Assurance will now focus on its general and medical insurance business.

“All clients with life policies at First Assurance will be transferred to BLAK. The transfer is primarily portfolio life insurance book business currently under First Assurance administration,” Mr Maara said.

Mr Maara said that the move may however not result in job cuts, highlighting that all employees working under the life insurance department will be absorbed by BLAK in the transfer.

Following the decision, the company has further invited clients, directors, policyholders and shareholders opposed to the transfer to raise the matter with the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) by end of March.

BLAK’s move to strengthen its life insurance portfolio is set to step up competition locally in a segment dominated by market leader Britam, which has a market share of 22.1% according to IRA’s latest annual report.

Other top local companies that the Barclays Africa subsidiary will be competing with as it ramps up its business include Jubilee Insurance and ICEA Lion.

First Assurance is a subsidiary of the Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (Absa Group) after the September 2015 acquisition which also controls a majority stake, 66.6% at Barclays Life Assurance Kenya.

Absa is in the race to extend its footprint of holistic financial products and services across the continent in the most convenient through capitalising on accessibility and affordability in line with the evolving needs of customers.

Since its entry into the Kenyan Life Insurance market, the financial provider aims at further expanding into East Africa.