British Insurer Prudential to join Kenyan-based financial hub

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British insurance company Prudential plc has submitted a letter of Intent to apply to join the newly established Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC).

In a statement, the company says the application will position it as one of the NIFC’s anchor clients and support the deepening of Kenya’s financial services landscape.

The letter was submitted at a high-level roundtable at The Mansion House in the City of London, attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Kenyan Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani Kanacho, UK Minister of State for Africa James Duddridge, the UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen, the Lord Mayor of the City of London William Russell and Chairs and CEOs of leading UK financial institutions.

Ukur Yatani, Cabinet Secretary National Treasury & Planning said through collaboration with partners like the CityUK, the NIFC will attract increased investment and financing into the country,

“This will not only contribute to the wider efforts to drive economic growth following the pandemic, but it will also support the achievement of our wider economic goals under Kenya’s Vision 2030 roadmap,” the CS said.

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

“Prudential is proud to be working with both countries on this initiative. We believe that deepening the financial sector across the continent is key to building and driving economic resilience, development and growth in a region of great promise and opportunity. Joining the International Financial Centre in Nairobi is a testament to our long-term commitment to supporting financial sector development across Africa,” she said.

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The NIFC offers a progressive legal and regulatory framework, competitive financial and economic incentives and a vibrant financial ecosystem.

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

The company says the application will position it as one of the NIFC’s anchor clients and support the deepening of Kenya’s financial services landscape/ COURTESY

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

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

“Kenya is well placed to develop Nairobi as a strong financial centre and the MoU presents a great opportunity for the UK to partner with the NIFC and supports the delivery of their ambitious plans,” says Miles Celic, CEO, TheCityUK.

“As a world leader in financial and related professional services, the UK has a lot to offer as Nairobi develops a framework to support sustainable capital market development,” he says.

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The MoU also builds on the UK’s long-standing support for capacity building in Kenya’s financial sector – primarily channelled through FSD Africa and FSD Kenya, which have played a foundational role in the establishment of NIFC.

“FSD Africa is delighted to see the NIFC come alive today,” says Mark Napier, CEO, FSD Africa.

“Since September 2015, FSD Africa has facilitated the incubation of NIFC with the aspiration that it will spur economic growth through the financial sector and act as a conduit of funds that will contribute to Kenya’s economic development priorities and create jobs.”

As Vincent Rague, Chair, NIFC says: “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, aligned with our strategic plans to deliver sustainable growth that benefits our local and regional economy.”

President Kenyatta is currently in the UK for a three-day visit.

During the visit, the Kenyan president invited investors from the UK to tap into emerging business opportunities in Kenya, saying the country remains one of the most attractive investment destinations in Africa.

The Head of State made the invitation during a business forum hosted by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the Lord Mayor of the City of London William Russell at Mansion House, the Lord Mayor’s official residence.

Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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