Knowledge without Borders
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Callum Philp
As the world’s leading provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, Aon’s presence in Africa has been inevitably successful, leveraging the same reputation for human resource solutions and outsourcing services also to bring the very best in services to an expectant clientele.
In Kenya, arguably Africa’s most attractive proposition at present, this notoriety is no different, with Aon’s innovative approach, global resources and technical expertise on hand to fit its impressive billing: the world’s best broker; best insurance intermediary; best reinsurance intermediary; best captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm among its numerous accolades.
Within Kenya, Aon’s presence is extensive already, comprising seven offices across the country and made up of three divisions; Aon Benfield, Aon Risk Services and Aon Hewitt.
“Aon’s history goes back more than 65 years when it was set up under the agency name, R.E. Bunson in 1949. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of J.H. Minet Company, Lloyds Brokers in 1954 and has since dedicated itself to providing high quality insurance broking and risk management services,” the Company’s Deputy Managing Director, Sammy Muthui recalls. “As a result of the acquisition of UK shareholder, Minet London, by global giant, Aon Corporation in 1997, the name changed to Aon Minet Insurance Brokers Limited. Currently, the company registration is Aon Kenya Insurance Brokers Limited.”
Aon’s history in establishing such a dominant presence in Kenya has of course been mirrored in each of its operating regions, and despite the Company adhering to national trends and regulations and engraining itself into the fabric of Kenyan finance; the focus is largely on replicating its wider, internationally successful business model.
Muthui adds: “Our services largely reflect the Aon global product and service architecture.
“We strive to be ‘One Aon’ throughout the world where all out clients get a similar range of services, delivered in a similar way consistently around the globe, and that looks and feels the same globally.”
The balance of honing a reliable and reputable offering synonymous with Aon, while continuously innovating and modernising its service range, is one that Aon is all too adept at managing, and is most recently being epitomised by its plans to move more into the digital space.
The launch of its mobile app with a view to enhancing online purchasing and management opportunities is the latest way the Company is expanding its influence across the Kenyan market; subsequently making the business as accessible as possible across all areas of the country.
“The company’s range of products and services has greatly increased and diversified since the inception of the Company, in keeping up with the rapidly changing economic and social changes affecting risk and people in Kenya,” Muthui says. “We are extremely client-centric; all we do is geared towards creating measurable value and impact to clients, to ensure their growth, profitability and sustainability.
“All our significant global resources – geographical footprint, intellectual capital, best talent and professionalism in risk and people in the world, data and analytics – working as one for the benefit of our clients.
Client satisfaction is largely achieved off the back of the vastness of Aon’s service offering, which is enhanced on an annual basis to ensure that the Company remains innovative and ahead of the industry curve.
In 2015, these innovations include employee wellness and absence management solutions, the Afya Akiba Retirees Medcal Plan providing a means for customers to save towards funding for post-retirement medical treatment, cyber crime solutions, and title insurance.
Tailored by specialty, solution and industry, the overall portfolio of services and departments that combine to form the final Aon offering leaves no stone unturned, but can be broken down to fit within one of the business’s three core divisions.
The first, “Aon Risk Services, provides general insurance, short-term insurance consulting, intermediation and risk management services”, Muthui explains.
The Deputy MD adds regarding the second Human Capital Consulting arm: “Aon Hewitt provides human resource solutions including employee benefits in retirement, health, life and disability, and HR consulting services including performance management, rewards and talent.”
Aon Benfield represents the third strand - reinsurance - which once again stands as a world-leading broker in providing clients with reinsurance brokerage solutions to insurers in Kenya and the wider region.
Knowledge without borders
“To effectively deliver these, and other services, Aon has developed a global network of local resources brought together via our global business units and a strategic account management system,” the Company notes on its website.
“These resources let us deliver services around the world - to multinational companies, small businesses, independent agents or brokers, associations and affinity groups, and even individual consumers - with the local expertise necessary to meet your specific needs.”
This ethos fits in with a much broader Aon Advantage philosophy which accounts for what the Company considers to be the two most important issues in the economy today; risk and people.
“Africa is on the rise and there is significant growth of African regional multinational corporations,” Muthui explains. “Aon Kenya is uniquely positioned to take care of the relatively complex and unique risk and people issues these companies face, given the very diverse cultural and legislative environments in the 54 countries on the continent.”
To achieve this, an extensive employment strategy is in place to not only ensure that the Company retains its market-leading position, but also to enrich people in the surrounding communities, separate from its core service functions.
Muthui continues: “Aon’s employment strategy is very much localised. We use global best practice in all spheres - a key strategic pillar is ‘Unmatched Talent’ - while taking into account local realities determined from talent evaluation surveys, experience and feedback.
“Empowering economic and human possibility underscores Aon’s long-standing commitment to global citizenship, and we believe the core of any corporation’s citizenship is how its business contributes to society and to the communities where its employees live and work.”
Combining this element with its unrivalled global reputation and “knowledge without borders”, Aon’s presence in Kenya is set to thrive for the foreseeable future; capitalising on a globalisation trend to achieve local prominence.
“Aon recognised many years ago that our clients want products and services built around their unique needs, provided by professionals with deep expertise in their industries and local markets,” the Company states. “We saw that globalisation demanded two capabilities: to gather the best thinking from around the world and to then deliver solutions locally.
With worldwide distribution, a vast base of intellectual capital, leading technologies, and a strong adherence to what customers are demanding in the sector, Muthui sums up Aon’s potential for the coming years perfectly; simply affirming that there are “exciting times ahead”.