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African Risk Capacity’s next growth phase to be led by new CEO


The insurance mutual and financial affiliate of the African Risk Capacity (ARC), the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Ltd (ARC Ltd), has announced that former Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Dolika Banda, will replace Dr. Simon Young as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the firm.

The appointment comes into effect on September 7th 2016, bringing an end to Dr. Young’s time as CEO of ARC, a programme that he was instrumental in developing and that has since been applauded by global organisations for its effectiveness in insuring vulnerable regions against natural disaster events.

Dr. Young, who is set to continue working with ARC in an advisory capacity, is set to be replaced by former Director, Financial Markets, Africa and Latin America at the IFC, Dolika Banda, a Zambian economist and advisor with a wealth of financial management and global banking experience.

“I’m honoured to join this unique and inspiring organisation which is providing an African-owned solution to the continent with an emphasis on solidarity. I’m excited to be part of such an important initiative which will help Africa take control and enhance its future developments,” said Banda.

ARC notes that since 2013 Banda also served as Regional Director for Africa at the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation, and with 25 years of banking and financial industry experience, with a particular focus on economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, the regional knowledge she brings to the role will likely provide valuable for the company.

Furthermore, she currently sits on numerous boards as a non-executive director, explains ARC, that includes Ecobank Transactional Incorporated, and has also held positions at Barclays and Citibank in Zambia.

“Ms Banda’s incomparable experience across the continent, encompassing both the private and public sectors, is a perfect fit for ARC, itself a private-public partnership. We look forward to her leadership taking the company to new horizons,” said Dr. Lars Thunell, Chairman of the ARC Board of Directors.

Since its inception, ARC, which is the region’s first catastrophe risk insurance pool, has received international praise for its use of parametric insurance solutions, backed by global reinsurance and risk transfer capacity, that enables the scheme to protect member states against the impact of natural disasters, providing rapid payout post-event.

The organisation announced previously that it has plans to increase the size of the risk pool to $1.5 billion by 2020, months after receiving backing and support from global governments at the COP21 climate change talks in Paris, last year.

The structure and approach adopted by ARC is one that governments and global private and public sector entities feel can be replicated and adjusted in order to protect other vulnerable, poorer parts of the world against the perils of natural disasters, and ARC explains that the scheme wouldn’t be where it was today without the initial guidance of its inaugural CEO, Dr. Young.

“ARC Ltd is only what it is today because of Dr Young’s outstanding leadership. He has created a solid base for this innovative new instrument that is changing the way Africa takes on the climate challenge,” said Dr. Thunell.

The need for more schemes like ARC, and its success, was highlighted in the firm’s first operational year, when payouts totalling $26 million were made to three member countries following drought conditions that were sufficient to trigger a payout.

Dr. Young played a key role in the execution of the initiatives first payout and ARC explains that he also led the development of further advances and projects within the operation, including its expansion to protect against tropical cyclones and flooding events, and the ‘Licensing for Development’ pilot project, says ARC.

As well as CEO Dr. Young also served as Chief underwriting Officer (CUO) at ARC, taking responsibility of its underwriting and reinsurance business, a role he will remain in until a replacement is made later in 2016, says ARC.

Furthermore, ARC has an ambition to provide natural catastrophe cover to both the World Food Programme and Start Network, a group of NGOs that ARC says will replicate African government’s policies, an area which Dr. Young has played a vital role.

“I’m proud to have been a part of the team which has already and continues to push the boundaries of innovation in better managing natural disasters to build resilience and underpin economic growth for the most vulnerable across Africa.

“I am confident that Dolika will guide the company successfully through its next phase and towards ARC’s goal of insuring 30 countries by 2020 for $1.5 billion, helping to protect 150 million vulnerable African’s,” said Dr. Young.

According to ARC, the organisation has underwritten more than $300 million of risk and transferred $130 million to the global risk markets, totals that are expected to double in 2016.

Also read:

African Risk Capacity (ARC) to target growing risk pool to $1.5bn.

African Risk Capacity (ARC) gets $150m in support from COP21 countries.

To enter emerging markets ILS needs to educate: Simon Young, ARC.

ARC opens parametric insurance products to organisations & NGO’s.

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