Diversified insurance for Angola TEY_post_Carlos-FIRME

We are very balanced and don’t depend on one specific area of insurance, and we want to continue to grow in a balanced way.

Carlos FIRME CEO FORTALEZA SEGUROS

Diversified insurance for Angola

May 13, 2024

Carlos Firme, CEO of Fortaleza Seguros, talks to The Energy Year about the role the company wants to play in the Angolan insurance sector, its strategic priorities, the insurance products that oil and gas companies are most interested in and the role of ARSEG in the Angolan insurance sector. Fortaleza Seguros is a diversified insurance provider.

What role does Fortaleza Seguros want to play in the Angolan insurance sector?
It is important for us to be a company of choice in Angola and to grow our operation in terms of market share – which is important – but also in terms of delivering results and reinforcing our image as a very serious, credible, well-organised and well-structured company. Our credibility is a result of our policies and also of our international partners and agreements.

 

What are the strategic priorities for Fortaleza Seguros?
We are a highly diversified insurance company. We do not focus on one specific product. We are very balanced and don’t depend on one specific area of insurance, and we want to continue to grow in a balanced way. We want to grow as an integrated company that handles both life and non-life insurance.
Some of the companies that are a little bit larger than us are so because they have one specific client or product, but they are not as developed overall as we are. We want to be one of the five most important insurance companies in 2025, and we want to have incremental growth year over year to reach our goal.
We will achieve this through our complete restructuring of the company’s IT systems, which we have accomplished, and through the restructuring of our main products, mainly health insurance products. We have completely overhauled the way we position ourselves in the sector to best approach this market.

What are the insurance products that oil and gas companies are most interested in?
We are working on our pension fund offering. We think there is a niche for pension funds in Angola. That market is not yet tapped let alone developed. This market potential nevertheless exists for three main reasons.
First, Angola is a very young country with a very pronounced population pyramid, which means that we have many people that can contribute to a pension system in the future. It would have a huge base.
Second, the Angolan state does not have the financial capabilities to assure retired people a similar level of income to that which they earned when they were working. Pension funds could bridge this income gap.
Third, we think that companies that can offer their employees pension funds will be more likely to retain talent, and talent is very scarce in Angola. For these three reasons we believe that pension funds can grow a lot, and we are offering them to our clients, particularly our oil and gas clients.

How do you assess the role of ARSEG in the Angolan insurance sector?
Since 2023, we have had new regulations that have strengthened what the general law stipulates. However, the new insurance law is a starting point but not an endpoint. The sector needs to develop further, and we must not demand quantum leaps that companies are unable to cope with.
This is an intermediate step towards adopting IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standards] norms in the near future – probably in four or five years. What the new law entails is more regulatory intervention in the market and companies. However, what is important is not only the legal framework but also its enforcement. We look forward to seeing that.

Read our latest insights on: