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03 May, 2019 - 00:05 0 Views

eBusiness Weekly

ZHL’s endeavours

Fradreck Gorwe
Zimre Holdings Limited, a Zimabwe Stock Exchange-listing trading as ZIMR.zw, is an investment holding company that provides general insurance, health cover, reinsurance, life reassurance, reinsurance brokering and property services for private, commercial and corporate                                    clients in Zimbabwe and abroad.

Products range from short-term and whole-life insurance to endowment pensions, medical aid societies, motor, household and commercial insurance solutions.

In existence with the core business are interests in the production of farm implements and property management.

The company emerged through an Act of Parliament (Zimbabwe Reinsurance Act Chapter 24:17) in 1983 as Zimbabwe Reinsurance Corporation.

Founding principles mulled the provision of insurance as a necessity for all Zimbabweans regardless of social standing. In 1985 Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers (ZIB) was established as part of the company’s vertical integration.

A decision to introduce a non-life business to the company came in 1988 with the acquisition of National Employment Mutual (NEM), presently trading as National Insurance Company of Zimbabwe (NICOZ).  The now Fidelity Life Assurance Zimbabwe was again acquired in 1988, then Legal General.

ZHL initially made headway into the regional market in 1996 with the acquisition of Pearl Insurance (now United General Insurance in Malawi) and Diamond Insurance Zimbabwe which later merged with NICOZ to form Nicoz Diamond. Also of significance in the same year was the establishment of ZIMRE Malawi and South Africa.

As insurance business matured, the investment chain gave birth to wide complementary opportunities. 1n 1999 Zimre Unit Trust (ZUT) was established as part of diversification. Zimre Zambia was also established in the same year with a major milestone in 1999 being the listing of Zimre holdings Limited on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

More significant events ensued with horizontal integration of non-core businesses like the merging in 2001 of ZUT and Fidelity Life Unity Trust to form Fidelity Life Asset Management Company (FLAM). First Insurance Company of Uganda (FICO) was acquired the same year.

The Property wing was introduced in 2003 as strategy to expand the capital base to support reinsurance operations and enhance liquidity. Zimre Property Investments (ZPI) was founded for this cause.

By 2003 Fidelity Life Assurance, a subsidiary company, had grown to be listed separately on the local bourse ZSE. Zimre Property Investment got listed too in 2007.

Abroad the holding company was not stationary. In 2009 Emeritus International Reinsurance Company was formed and registered in the Botswana International Financial Services off shore zone.

2017 saw a restructuring exercise characterised by reduction of interest in Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers (ZIB) and FICO, and the subsequent disposal of Nicoz Diamond. ZHL acquired controlling interest in Credit Insurance Zimbabwe Limited (Credsure) in the same year.

Reinsurance operations underwent re-branding in 2018 to fall under the brand, Emeritus Reinsurance. Current focus is on boosting shareholder gains through further expansion locally, regionally and internationally.

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