Prudential Plc, one of the UK’s oldest insurance brands listed in London with operations across Asia and Africa, has applied to join the newly established Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC).
The insurer submitted a Letter of Intent at a high-level roundtable at The Mansion House in the City of London, attended by H. E. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Kenyan Treasury Cabinet Secretary Hon. Amb. 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.
President Kenyatta is currently on an official visit to the UK. Kenya has since 2014 been working to promote NIFC as a financial hub in Africa.
Joining NIFC will position Prudential as one of the centre’s anchor clients and support the deepening of Kenya’s financial services sector.
“Africa is an important part of our long term growth strategy. 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 testament to our long-term commitment to supporting financial sector development across Africa.”
The NIFC offers a progressive legal and regulatory framework, competitive financial and economic incentives and a vibrant financial ecosystem. It was developed through collaboration with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors with financial and technical assistance from the UK government, including through Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya.
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.
TheCityUK is an industry body representing UK-based financial and related professional services and described by Reuters as Britain’s most powerful financial lobby group.
“Kenya is well placed to develop Nairobi as a strong financial centre. The MoU presents a great opportunity for the UK to partner with the NIFC to support 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.”
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 in 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 notes:
“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.”