UK insurer signs up to join Nairobi Financial Centre

UK-based insurance firm, Prudential Plc with operations in Africa and Asia seeks to join the newly established Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC).

The insurer submitted a Letter of Intent at a roundtable meeting in London, attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

The Nairobi financial hub is expected to position Prudential as one of the centre’s anchor clients and support the deepening of Kenya’s financial services sector.

“Africa is an important part of our long-term growth strategy. I am delighted that the UK and Kenya are collaborating on financial services, where there are many opportunities for innovation,” Prudential Plc chair Shriti Vadera said.

She added that joining Nairobi’s international financial centre is a testament to the firm’s long-term commitment to supporting financial sector development across Africa.

Prudential’s application was submitted alongside the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between The CityUK and the NIFC, which builds on the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership signed in 2020.

TheCityUK is an industry body representing UK-based financial and related professional services and described by Reuters as Britain’s most powerful financial lobby group.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yattani lauded the move, saying it would help position Nairobi as the region’s financial hub.

“We are particularly keen to strengthen our engagements with investors in the UK under the newly revitalised Public-Private Partnership model,” Yatani said.

TheCityUK CEO Miles Celic said Kenya is well placed to develop Nairobi as a strong financial centre, adding that the MoU presents a great opportunity for the UK to partner with the NIFC to support the delivery of their ambitious plans.

President Kenyatta is currently on an official visit to the UK. Kenya has since 2014 been working to promote NIFC as a financial hub in Africa.

The centre is expected to offer a progressive legal and regulatory framework, competitive financial and economic incentives and a vibrant financial ecosystem.

It was developed through collaboration with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors with financial and technical assistance from the UK government, including  Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya.

FSD Africa has since facilitated the incubation of NIFC with the aspiration that it will spur economic growth in the financial sector and act as a conduit of funds that will contribute to Kenya’s economic development priorities and create jobs.

The NIFC aims to raise over $2 billion (Sh200 billion) in targeted incremental cumulative investments by 2030.

“Today marks a pivotal step in the deepening of UK-Kenya relations. Prudential’s application and our MoU with TheCityUK highlight the NIFC’s potential as a leading financial services centre in Africa.

Source: The Star Newspaper.

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