Staff from Achmea and P&V undertake challenging but rewarding assignments in Kenya

19 March 2020


Mark Caron, Internal Auditor of ICMIF member P&V Assurances (Belgium) and Marten Naaktgeboren, Investment Consultant of member Achmea (Netherlands) each recently took part in Technical Assistance (TA) assignment as part of the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy projects in Kenya. Whilst these were separate assignments, facilitated by ICMIF, there was a connection between them.  

At the end of January 2020, Mark spent a week with CIC Insurance Group (CIC) in Kenya to conduct an audit of Year One of the 5-5-5 Strategy project in that country. P&V are long-standing supporters of the CIC project in Kenya and Mark was accompanied on his trip to Kenya by his colleague Fabian Melis who had taken part in a previous Technical Assistance assignment with CIC.

Talking about his experience in Kenya, Mark Caron said: “I was looking for an opportunity that was challenging and in a setting completely different from anything I have worked in before, but I also wanted to do something that would genuinely help other people. This assignment ticked all the boxes.”

Following on from Mark’s visit, Marten Naaktgeboren of Achmea then spent a week with CIC in early February to support the assessment of potential distribution strategies for Year Two of the project.  Having previously worked for two years in Uganda, Marten found he was able to navigate the different possibilities and provide some clear recommendations for CIC’s consideration.

Annual project audits and strategy exploration are just two types of assignment open to ICMIF members through the 5-5-5 Strategy Technical Assistance programme. Other examples include business development, actuarial support and strategic mentoring. Technical Assistance assignments can involve an on-site visit or be conducted virtually and usually last between one to two weeks. 

“Mark and Marten’s assignments worked out very well because they were open to discovering how business practises work in another culture and country. They went out of their way to make a positive difference and support us in progressing the 5-5-5 project here in Kenya.” says Eve Thiong’o, Business Development Manager, CIC Insurance Group.

The positive experiences of the Technical Assistance assignments under the 5-5-5 Strategy so far have led to the formation of the ICMIF Development Committee strategy to develop a Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) that will provide more opportunities for ICMIF members to send their staff on projects in 5-5-5 countries.  Achmea, which is running a huge programme to provide such opportunities for its staff has sponsored Jan Vonk, Senior Specialist, Eurapco International Exchanges and Achmea Foundation Assignments, to assist the ICMIF secretariat to develop the mechanism together with advice from Jun Jay Perez, Executive Director of ICMIF member RIMANSI in the Philippines.

Members interested in providing access to these unique talent development opportunities should contact Tina Blain, Resource Mobilizer, the ICMIF Foundation.

About the 5-5-5

ICMIF launched the 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy in June 2016 to develop mutual microinsurance in five countries over five years, reaching out to 5 million uninsured low-income households. The ultimate objective being to take low-income people out of poverty. The governance of the 5-5-5 is overseen by The ICMIF Foundation, a registered charity in England and Wales.

The 5-5-5 is predominantly supported by other ICMIF member companies and like-minded organisations in more developed markets, either through Financial Assistance (in the form of donations) or Technical Assistance projects. Contact Tina Blain at for further information.

Photo shows (left to right): Fabian Melis, Eve Thiong’o (Business Development Manager, CIC Insurance Group), Mark Caron, and Vicky Njoki Kagema (Relationship Officer Brokers and Agents, CIC Insurance Group)

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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