Universal Insurance Plc has reiterated its optimism to successfully scale through the N10 billion recapitalisation huddle as prescribed by the insurance industry regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
The company said there was no going back in its determined bid to beat June 30, 2020 recapitalisation deadline and thereafter shift its focus to investing in the marketing communications sphere to boost further the equity and profile of the Universal Insurance brand.
The Managing Director/CEO of the company, Benedict Ujoatuonu, who made this disclosure in Lagos recently, explained that a recapitalisation is a form of corporate reorganisation which involves making substantial changes to a company’s capital structure, adding that it is one of the strategies companies use to improve their financial stability.
Ujoatuonu, however, assured that the company was sure to beat the deadline, explained that the recapitalisation exercise involved processes, noting that the company had reached final stages in the exercise having secured tacit approval of shareholders during its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) to embark on a fund raising through the mergers and acquisition process.
“The process is on, we have passed that stage, we are moving into the next stage and we are going to cross the huddle. There is no doubt about that. You know it’s a process, we are a publicly quoted company and you will have to take a process. On the 17th of December 2019, at our AGM, our shareholders had to give us the approval to go ahead. You cannot go ahead without getting approval of the owners of the company and that’s the shareholders,” he said.
On the company’s plans to invest in marketing communications post-recapitalisation, the insurance guru said though the company had done some investment in the areas of branding in the past, it was planning to invest more in the marketing communications sphere to further boost the profile and equity of the brand.
“It is a brand that has come to stay have been in business since 1961 and it is still meeting customer’s expectations and living up to our pay off which says ‘Our Word Is Our Bond’.
“Yes, we have been doing some marketing communications and I must tell you that it is in phases. We are going to the next phase and that would be done after the recapitalisation. We actually wanted to start that process before the pronouncement of the recapitalisation, so the board in its wisdom said since you are going to do recapitalisation, let’s take it in phases so that as you recapitalise, you rebrand and you project. So, we have a very good focus and proposal on that,” he explained.
The company boss who took a holistic review of business performances in Nigeria’s insurance sector, especially in the period of the just ended business year, 2019, observed that the industry fared significantly well but added that digital technology would play a crucial role in bringing the industry to the next stage of growth.