13 February 2013

Nigeria: STI Adopts Enterprise Risk Management Framework

Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, one of the non-life risks underwriting groups in the country, has adopted Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) as a way of ensuring that its policyholders and other stakeholders get the best services from the company.

The spokesperson of the underwriting firm, Mr. Segun Bankole, revealed this in a chat with journalists in Lagos recently.

He said this is necessary to ensure that operations of the organisation are carried out on sound business principles with a view to protecting shareholders and other stakeholders' interest from time to time.

"In view of the ever-evolving nature of the macro-economic and regulatory dynamics of the industry's operating environment, the need for regular and periodic evaluation of the effectiveness of the company's Enterprise Risk Management process and internal controls cannot be over-emphasised; hence, the adoption of the framework," he said.

According to him, "STI has continued to set the pace in the insurance industry in the country with the pioneering of the Enterprise Risk Management framework even before the industry's regulator came out with the directive in the month of July, 2012."

The underwriting firm had set in motion the implementation of the framework since December 2009 while the execution within the organisation commenced four months before the directive of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) became public in the same year, he said.

Speaking on the risk management framework adopted by the organisation, the Head of Risk Management and Control in the company, Mr. Sanni Oladimeji, said modern-day businesses need to apply sound risks management principles to ensure that organisations are properly safeguarded against unforeseen risks that might arise in the course of business transactions on a daily basis.

He further explained that the firm is committed to the execution of the framework in the years ahead especially with the adoption of the new business model, which has successfully taken off.

"Risks responses that were once successful at some point may become inappropriate at another time just as control activities may become outdated and inadequate as a result of the dynamics of the business environment; For this reason, there must be constant review of operating processes and controls," he said.

Established 16 years ago, Sovereign Trust prides itself as a firm that continuously pioneers initiatives that are geared towards the promotion growth, development and human capital development in the insurance industry in Nigeria.

STI listed its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2006 even as the company boasts of engaging an array of professionals from different fields and places high premium on human capital development at every level of operations in the organisation.

The Global Credit Rating (GCR), a South Africa based financial rating agency rated STI A-, a confirmation of the firm's strong resolve to stay true to the tenets of transparency, professionalism, corporate governance, accountability and ethical standards in the practice of insurance business.

The company's shareholders' funds is in excess of N4 billion, with N2.6 billion paid-up capital and a balance sheet size of over N6 billion.

In recently concluded its rights issue, an exercise geared towards propelling the next phase of its growth agenda and to allow shareholders increase their respective stakes in the company as a way of maximising their investments for greater returns.

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