THE COMPANY: The leading insurance company in Morocco, Wafa Assurance had a 22.1% market share and a client base of 1.5m at the end of 2011.
The insurer enjoys a large retail network composed of 191 direct agents and 171 independent brokers. It provides a wide offering of products ranging from life insurance to automobile, savings and business insurance. Wafa Assurance is a subsidiary of the leading private banking group, Attijariwafa Bank. It is also renowned for being the 13th-largest insurance company on the African continent and the third-largest outside of South Africa.
Wafa Assurance is the first company in Africa to join the International Network of Insurance (INI) as a producing member. In doing so, it can negotiate with corporate clients requiring insurance abroad and design the most appropriate cover for these companies’ foreign subsidiaries. INI’s partners abroad can then issue a local policy, all or part of which may be reinsured by Wafa Assurance.
Over the last three years, the company has enjoyed sustained growth in the life insurance market. This has been driven by the Attijariwafa Bank network’s shifting toward a product range better suited to the varying needs of its customers.
Over the first half of 2012, the company continued to benefit from a sustained growth in revenue, confirming the group’s solid capacity to generate cash. Wafa Assurance reported a good commercial performance in the first half of 2012 with a positive turnover of 13.5%, boosted by life premiums (+21.3%), thanks to the performance of bancassurance products, mainly savings contracts (78% of 2011 life premiums), as well as the positive outcomes of its strong positioning for corporate and individual products (+7.5% increase of non-life premiums).
This commercial performance combined with competitive claim rates have created the conditions necessary for the company to improve its technical results in spite of the stock market’s downward trend.
STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT: The insurance sector in Morocco offers strong growth potential with just a 2.8% penetration rate and should be boosted in the coming years by the Insurance Programme Contract (about 70 new measures). Signed in May 2011 by the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies, the National Federation of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Morocco, as well as the government (represented by nine ministries), this has five main goals:
• Extending coverage of individuals and goods;
• Improving the quality of services and taking stronger preventative measures;
• Increasing the sector’s financial contribution to the economy;
• Developing the sector abroad, especially on a regional level; and
• Consolidating insurance companies’ fundamentals. Over the past years, the company’s strategic plans have mainly focused on strengthening its domestic leadership position through a strong commercial dynamic based on innovation and a better quality of service, with no ambitions of international expansion. But lately, the insurance company has shown greater willingness to expand abroad.
Thus, in May 2012 Wafa Assurance received the required approval for a new life insurance company in Tunisia. The shareholding structure is set to be 55% Attijari Bank and 45% Wafa Assurance. This new company, called Attijari Insurance, has the development of bancassurance activity in Tunisia as its primary aim, which will be supported by the Attijari Bank network (183 branches as of June 2012).
A few months later, in September 2012, Wafa Assurance signed a memorandum of understanding to take a majority stake of 75% in the Côte d’ Ivoire-based insurance company Solidarité Africaine d’ Assurances, which has a 3% market share. However, this deal has been suspended due to recent changes.
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