The University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) was privileged to host the Regional CEO for Allianz in Africa, Dr. Coenraad Vrolijk, as a guest lecturer in Professor Joshua Y. Abor’s EMBA Finance class.
Allianz Group is one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide, offering a wide range of products, services, and solutions in insurance and asset management.
In Ghana, Allianz has a Life Insurance company and a Non-Life Insurance company. Dr. Vrolijk sought to use the platform to technically introduce the students to the African insurance landscape, and some of the nitty-gritty of the technical aspects of insurance in Africa and Ghana, as well as basic concepts in insurance.
Dr. Vrolijk’s introduction covered some statistics concerning the insurance market in Africa (estimated to be worth approximately 80 billion dollars), citing that South Africa has the highest rate of penetration in Africa and holds about 50 billion dollars of the market, with the rest of the 30 billion dollars concentrated in countries like Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, and Tunisia. According to him, insurance in Sub-Saharan expands at a rate of about 10% per year.
Educating the class on what can be insured and what cannot be insured with a focus on Non-Life Insurance, Dr. Vrolijk described Non-Life insurance as a social device that provides financial compensation for the effects of misfortune on non-life insured items. He revealed that three parties exist in the insurance process: the policyholder (the buyer), the insured item (your life or an item such as a car) and the claims payout (the payment of claims and the one who receives the payout). He also stated that the insurability of a non-life risk depends on the following factors:
- A large number of units independently and identically exposed to risk (e.g., Cars)
- Loss is definite in time, place, cause and amount
- Expected loss should be calculable
- Loss should be unforeseen and accidental
- Potential loss caused by a peril should be large enough to cause financial hardship
Relating these factors to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Vrolijk revealed that insurance companies have tried to avoid the payout of claims because it does not satisfy the first criterion. “The problem with the COVID-19 pandemic; and you may have seen this in lots of newspapers that insurance companies are trying to avoid paying out for the pandemic, is that a global pandemic is not independent. Either it hits all of us, which is what COVID-19 is doing right now, or it hits nobody”, he intimated.
Dr. Coenraad Vrolijk has been the Regional CEO for Allianz in Africa since January 2017 and is an Allianz Africa Regional Executive Board member. At Allianz, he was previously a senior advisor to the Board of Management of Allianz SE regarding Africa topics. Coenraad’s career includes 14 years of experience at McKinsey & Company, focusing on insurance in Europe, after which in 2011 he joined the asset management firm BlackRock as Managing Director, to build the Financial Markets Advisory team for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Just before joining Allianz, Coenraad had his first experience in emerging market insurance as CEO at Rosewood Insurance Group. Under his leadership, Rosewood developed insurance businesses in countries like Pakistan, Rwanda, and Nigeria. Coenraad studied at Brown, completing a Ph.D. and a Master’s in Economics. He also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Bath, the UK, in Economics with Computing and Statistics. He is currently a supervisory board member for Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re), BIMA (MILVIK), the International Baccalaureate Organization as well as multiple subsidiaries of Allianz in Africa.