Helios Investment Partners has announced the launch of a reinsurance business formed in partnership with Mikir Shah, former CEO of AXA Africa Specialty Risks, and Bryan Howett, former CEO of Old Mutual’s pan-African reinsurance operations.
Africa Specialty Risk Group will create tailored solutions for local and global customers, using Africa-specific pricing models.
Helios identified an unmet need in the reinsurance space to expand the continent’s long-term domestic capacity beyond its current capabilities.
Having previously founded businesses such as Helios Towers, the company took a similar approach in partnering with Mikir Shah and Bryan Howett to develop and increase domestic reinsurance capacity.
The investment in ASR is being made from Helios’ latest fund, Helios Investors IV, L.P., whose investors include CDC Group and the International Finance Corporation.
“We chose to work with Helios given their extensive reach across Africa, their knowledge and experience in our key markets, as well as their established track record in helping entrepreneurial businesses to scale,” said Shah.
Souleymane Ba, a Partner at Helios, added, “We have identified a sustained lack of adequate insurance capacity across Africa, which has been exacerbated further by Covid-19 as global reinsurance providers focus on their home markets.
“ASR has been established to address this gap by providing specialist risk mitigation products which companies and capital providers operating in Africa have found difficult to access to date.
“As demonstrated in the US and Europe, private equity has a long and successful track record of stepping up to fill unmet insurance capacity to de-risk and support investment activity.”