The Indequity Group entered the insurance market in 1996 as an insurance broker writing personal lines business on behalf of the larger insurance companies in South Africa. As anticipated, these operations earned small but stable fixed broker commissions on a monthly basis. The reason for pursuing this model was to establish a business that had a stable annuity income (an asset in its own right). Consequently, the Group was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in November 1998 – a step that was essential to provide the Group with the capital resources required to be able to pursue its long-term strategic objectives.
From the outset, the Indequity Group focused on the professional and/or high net worth markets. Growth was steady, but remained dependent on the service and pricing levels of the insurance companies with which we placed our business. To enable us to deliver a superior product and service offering to these niche markets, we endeavoured to expand our operations to include our own unrestricted short term insurance licence.
An opportunity presented itself when a captive insurer became available for sale, and the Indequity Group purchased this company in November 2000. The licence conditions were, however, very limited in that the newly-purchased insurer could only write cell captive and alternative risk transfer business. An application was therefore lodged with the South African Financial Services Board to extend these licence conditions to a full unrestricted short term insurance licence, which would allow Indequity to underwrite all classes of insurance. Approval was received from the regulatory authorities early in 2002, thus transforming an already successful company into a niche specialised insurer.
Following this development, and based on the experience gained in the previous years as an insurance broker, we developed a unique personal lines product that focused specifically on the target markets’ requirements. The product was launched in September 2002 and active marketing commenced in January 2003.
Subsequent to the success of the Uniq-Cover personal lines product, our product offering was expanded to include a business insurance product that would encapsulate the professional needs of our clients. Thus was launched Probiz, a distinctive short term insurance policy that offers peace of mind to the professional’s business.
Since its incorporation, the Indequity Group has grown its operations exponentially, and it is proud to be a leading insurer within its selected target markets. Having reached several milestones, the Indequity Group has recently taken the decision to delist from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange – an initiative that the Group considers to be significant in its efforts to pursue its long-term strategic objectives and its next growth phase.
The size of our business and operating units is a vital factor in our business model, one that we are committed to preserving. It gives us the flexibility to address the largest or most unique risks our clients may be facing – whilst retaining the loyalty, close relations and camaraderie that we enjoy with them.
Our core strength lies in the abilities, commitment and passion of our management and staff. Integrity, honesty and accountability are at the heart of our business. To this end, our employees adhere to the highest levels of professional conduct and ethical standards in everything they do. We strive to attract and retain exceptional individuals by encouraging teams to take ownership of projects and business units. This allows them the freedom to operate within clearly defined risk parameters, while accepting the accompanying responsibility.
In a world of unrelenting change, our ability to adapt to diverse financial markets, our commitment to discover innovative new solutions and our promise to deliver value to our stakeholders, will form the building blocks of our continued success. Our primary objective of creating prosperity for all our stakeholders remains pivotal as we extend our capabilities globally, thereby gaining access to the world’s major financial markets. We acknowledge that meeting the challenge of attracting and retaining a superior workforce is imperative. We also acknowledge that the unique culture and environment in which we operate will remain a critical element in our success and long-term prosperity.
We will therefore nurture the commitment, passion, unwavering self-esteem and determination that form the fabric of our Group with the aim of securing even stronger positions within our areas of operation. The stage is set for a positive future, and we look forward to the challenges and opportunities that the future will bring.