CIC Insurance Group turns 50

Monday, 15 April 2019

Last week, Kenya ICMIF member CIC Insurance Group (CIC) officially began celebrations to mark its Golden Jubilee. The celebrations came hot on the heels of the recent release of the organisation’s financial results for the year ending 31 December 2018, which saw pre-tax profits of KES 852 million, representing a 64 per cent increase from KES 519 million posted over the same period last year.

Speaking during the event held at the Nairobi Hilton Hotel, Ali Noor Ismail, Principal Secretary, State Department of Cooperatives, reaffirmed the Kenyan government’s commitment to put in place a conducive policy, legal and regulatory environment for cooperatives to operate in.

“The Department has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ethics & Anti – Corruption Commission (EACC) on combating and preventing corruption, economic crime and unethical practices in the cooperative sector. The MoU will encompass life style audits and assets recovery, integrity testing for cooperative sector officials, and prosecution of cases on corruption and economic crime,” said Noor.

“These efforts,” Noor added, “are geared towards enhancing corporate governance and the realisation of the government’s Big-Four Agenda and Kenya’s Vision 2030, which aims to transform the country into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens.”

Started as a department of the Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC) in 1968, CIC has since become a leading cooperative enterprise and provider of microinsurance in Africa, with branches in Uganda, Malawi and South Sudan.

“CIC was born against the backdrop of non-caring, elitist traditional insurers, who had very little regard for or understanding of the ordinary Kenyan. This called for the establishment of an insurance company that would empathise and treat the common man with dignity”, said Group Chairman Japheth Magomere.

For the next 10 years, CIC operated as an agency until 1978, when it became a fully- fledged insurance company.  In 1999, the company name was changed to The Co-operative Insurance Company of Kenya Limited (CIC). The name change was part of the company’s market re-positioning strategy of completely transforming from the then small company, targeting the co-operative movement only, to a respected insurer in the country. The company underwrites both life and general classes of insurance and has recently ventured into the asset management business.

As a pioneer in microinsurance, CIC has designed several products suitable for low-income earners, especially in rural areas. Group CEO Tom Gitogo noted that CIC’s spirit of the cooperative movement enables the trickling down of financial services to those on lower incomes.

“One of the reasons CIC has been successful is because we keep our word. When we realised our clients also needed investment solutions, we diversified into medical business, asset management and unit trusts. We still continue to diversify, with our latest foray being in real estate. We have acquired prime property next to Tatu City, where we will be putting up a real estate project in response to our customers’ needs”, said Gitogo.

Being majority owned by cooperatives, CIC holds quarterly meetings, where delegates are briefed on the company’s performance. It is also at these meetings that they are updated on the company’s future plans.

“When I look into the future 50 years from now when we shall be celebrating 100 years, I realise that CIC will be an enormity of success because of keeping its word. Ideas change; times change; clients change, but motions that have withstood the test of time remain. We will continue to keep our word”, Gitogo concluded.

As part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, the company has organised a number of activities including CSR, new product launches and staff recognition awards.

Photo shows (l to r): Jane Muna, Relationship Officer Co-operatives Division, CIC Insurance Group; Tom Gitogo, CEO, CIC Insurance Group; Ali Noor Ismail, Principal Secretary, State Department of Cooperatives; Japheth Magomere, Group Chairman, CIC Insurance Group; Mary Mungai, Director, CIS (holding company for CIC Group); and Peter Nyigei, Group Vice Chairman, CIC Insurance Group cut the  cake to mark the company's 50th anniversary at the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi.