ANGOLA - Finance
CEO, NOSSA Seguros
Alexandre Carreira holds a master’s in finance from Strathclyde University in the UK and a degree in economics and international relations from Boston University in the US. From 2002-2006, he was an economist at TOTAL E&P Angola, having joined Banco BAI as a strategic planning analyst in 2006. He assumed the leadership of the planning department of Banco BAI between 2007 and 2012. He was a non-executive director of NOSSA Seguros from 2009-2014 and was appointed head of the investment banking departmentat at Banco BAI in 2011. From 2012-2014, he assumed the position of head of the financial market department. In 2014, Carreira was appointed executive director of NOSSA Seguros before being appointed CEO in 2019.
NOSSA Seguros was founded in 2004 as part of a collaboration between insurer Real Seguros, Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI), International Finance Corporation, and a small group of Angolan investors. How has the firm evolved since then?
NOSSA Seguros opened its doors to the public in 2005, as one of the pioneers in the post-monopolistic period of the Angolan insurance sector. Real Seguros, a Portuguese insurer, was our technical partner. In 2012, that entity sold its stake to BAI, which assumed control of the company. Since then, we have opened branches in 16 of the country’s 18 provinces. It has been an interesting story of growth, expansion, profitability, and financial robustness. Over the past four years, the average growth in our revenue has averaged 45% per annum, whilst the average growth in net income in that same period has been around 64% and, return on equity (ROE) has exceeded the average profitability of financial instruments available in the market. Since 2016, we have had clean external audit reports, which is extremely important to underscore in our market context. Furthermore, NOSSA Seguros was the first company in the Angolan insurance sector to obtain a rating from one of the largest rating agencies in the world (Fitch). We were recently awarded the Great Place to Work certification—the only company in Angola with this certification.
How did the company perform in 2020?
We entered 2020 with a robust financial situation, which enabled us to continue implementing our strategic plan. We had the resources to continue operating remotely and implemented this efficiently. We did not lose the ability to serve customers, nor to support them during this difficult period; having the capability to operate through remote channels to interact with our customers was crucial. Revenue grew by 32% and the claims rate was low, at 26%, which is fantastic. In addition, the robust performance of our investments contributed to our achieving a net profit of AOA5 billion and an ROE of 46%.
NOSSA Seguros carries out operations in the life, non-life, and pension funds segments, both for companies and individuals. Of these lines of business, which is the most important for your company?
NOSSA Seguros is essentially dedicated to the non-life area, like all companies in the sector in Angola. Of our revenue, 96% comes from non-life, with life representing 4%. Pension fund management has a residual contribution. For non-life, health is the most important branch and accounts for 34% of our revenue. Then, we have a category we call “other damage,” which includes multi-risks, construction, and engineering, which represents 17%. We also cater to the petrochemical sector, an extremely important sector in our economy, which represents 17% of our revenues. In addition, we have compulsory workmen’s compensation and motor insurance. Each of them account for the 11% of our revenue respectively. The profile of our revenue closely reflects the market structure.
How can life insurance in Angola develop further?
There are some factors that can influence the low penetration of the life sector, such as the low levels of insurance cultural and financial literacy. Macroeconomic stability is also critical for life insurance to grow. For example, we have had high levels of inflation. To overcome the current situation, as insurers we need to win the greater trust of potential clients. We must work much harder on regulation and all the aspects that influence our ability to reflect a financially sound image. Then, there are the aspects linked to the development of our capital market, which needs to provide financial instruments, so that we can invest our customers’ resources. In addition, we have to tailor our offer of products and services to the real needs of the population. We must honor our commitments and project an image of seriousness and robustness. We also need to ensure that insurance companies are well capitalized, and their liquidity levels are adequate as this will help improve our relationship with clients and the market’s confidence in us.
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