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Kenya FDI Strategic Location

By ASV Client Relations

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British insurer, Prudential Plc. has transferred its African operations headquarters to Nairobi, Kenya. The insurance juggernaut has largely cited key critical factors that informed this vital strategic move.

These comprise  the availability of a highly qualified workforce, conducive governmental regulations, and the country’s strategic location that well-connects to other neighbouring markets.

Nick Holder, Prudential’s Chief Operating Officer for Africa, commented that Nairobi stood out amongst other African locations that were considered when the multinational decided to relocate its management office for Africa from London.

Besides Kenya, Prudential operates in Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, and Cameroon.

FDI Strategic Location

Mr. Holder highlighted the following key factors that informed this vital strategic move to relocate its African operation to Kenya’s capital city  – a highly qualified workforce, conducive governmental regulations, and the country’s strategic location that well-connects to other neighbouring markets.

He further stated that “There’s also recognition on the side of the Kenyan government that this is an African regional office that would allow us to recruit a proportion of people from across the markets that we operate in.”

Prudential, which was founded in London on May 1848, entered the Kenyan market after acquiring Shield Assurance in September 2014, with its sights on East Africa, making it the second market in Africa after Ghana.

The firm, which largely focuses on life assurance and medical insurance, has recently refocused its growth strategy to double down on Africa’s and Asia’s operations, prompting the change in managerial structure.

Representative Services

The Nairobi regional hub office is providing support in finance, strategy, actuarial, government relations, product development as well as marketing and communications for Prudential’s operations in eight markets within the continent.

“Previously we have been managing the (African) business from London, and we thought that was too remote, it wasn’t close enough to the ground and it made it harder for us to recruit local African talent,” added Mr. Holder.

Prudential became the first multinational to show concrete interest in joining the nascent Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC),  after submitting a letter of intent on July 27, 2021.

“NIFC offering is attractive to them (Prudential) as they do cross-border activities, given that they will benefit from some of the incentives we are offering, such as fast-tracking work permits for key executives,” stated NIFC acting Chief Executive, Oscar Njuguna.

 

Source: ASV & Business Daily Africa.

 

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