Prudential PLC Acquires Zenith Life, Enters Partnership With Zenith Bank

Prudential plc, one of the oldest and most strongly capitalised life insurance companies in the world, has acquired a majority stake in Zenith Life of Nigeria and formed exclusive bancassurance partnerships with Zenith Bank in Nigeria and Ghana.

The acquisition and bancassurance partnerships will see Prudential enter the market in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, with a population of over 180 million. This demonstrates Prudential’s commitment to Africa following the launch of businesses in Ghana and Kenya in 2014, in Uganda in 2015 and Zambia in 2016.

Zenith Bank, which is Nigeria’s biggest bank by tier-1 capital, provides corporate, business and personal banking products through its network of over 350 branches, serving over 1.6 million customers. Zenith Life, incorporated in 2001, has grown its gross written premium at a compound annual growth rate of 22 per cent over the last five years, making it one of the fastest-growing life insurance companies in Nigeria.

Prudential was founded in London in 1848 and enables families to protect themselves against life’s misfortunes and save for aspirations such as paying for school or university fees.

The company has £599 billion of assets under management, 24 million insurance customers and has operations in the UK, the US, Africa and 14 markets in Asia. Zenith Life will be rebranded as Zenith-Prudential Life Insurance.

Matt Lilley, Chief Executive of Prudential Africa, said: “Prudential’s purpose is to take the worry out of life’s big financial concerns, helping our customers face the future with confidence. Today’s announcement is an important milestone for Prudential and our growing portfolio of high-quality life insurance businesses in Africa. We are excited by the opportunity of partnering with Zenith Bank, one of the largest and most dynamic banks in Africa, and working with our new colleagues to build Zenith-Prudential into a leader in Nigeria’s growing life insurance industry.”

Jim Ovia, Founder of Zenith Bank and Zenith Life, said: “This landmark transaction is set to redefine the life insurance industry in Nigeria. Given the combination of Zenith Life’s local presence with one of the world’s oldest and most successful life insurers, we expect Zenith-Prudential Life to act as a significant catalyst within the sector. We anticipate creating thousands of employment opportunities in Nigeria by embarking on this transformational deal.”  

Peter Amangbo, Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank, said: “Zenith Bank has always sought to partner with best-in-class global players. By developing a bancassurance offering in conjunction with Zenith-Prudential Life, we will be positioned to offer our clients a greater bouquet of products, enhancing our ability to meet their financial needs.”