An­co­ria πn­surance to start re­tail, SME bank

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

An­co­ria In­surance, a Cyprus-based life in­surer since 1987 that spe­cialises in wealth man­age­ment, is launch­ing a com­mer­cial bank­ing sub­sidiary that will deal pri­mar­ily with re­tail and small to medium sized en­ter­prise (SME) fi­nanc­ing. An­co­ria Bank has just been is­sued a bank­ing li­cense by the Cen­tral Bank of Cyprus and is ex­pected to start its op­er­a­tions next year with two branches, one in Nicosia and one in Li­mas­sol. The bank’s share­hold­ers are, by majority, An­co­ria In­surance, a company of Swedish ori­gin, one of its founders Siev­ert Lars­son and the Siev­ert Lars­son Schol­ar­ship Foun­da­tion, as well as a num­ber of Cypriot in­vestors.

The company said in an an­nounce­ment that the bank will em­ploy “cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy” and will boast a “high cap­i­tal ad­e­quacy” rate, es­pe­cially now that EU-wide bank­ing su­per­vi­sion is trans­ferred to the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank.

“We aim to em­ploy 60 peo­ple and our fo­cus will be to pro­vide fi­nanc­ing to pri­mar­ily young pro­fes­sion­als or other promis­ing ven­tures,” said Chair­man and CEO John Loizou.

“It has been our founder’s mis­sion to support lo­cal busi­nesses and the aim is to do that both through re­cruit­ing lo­cal per­son­nel for the bank and also by fi­nanc­ing solid com­pa­nies,” he said, adding that the bank will not be seek­ing out re­tail de­pos­i­tors or savers, but will em­ploy ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy sys­tems and cater to ver­sa­tile clients.

An­co­ria is an in­ter­na­tional in­surer with more than 22,000 clients. It em­ploys 34 peo­ple in the Nicosia of­fices and spe­cialises in cus­tomised life in­surance poli­cies that are un­der­pinned by in­vest­ments in a wide range of funds, struc­tured prod­ucts and eq­uity trad­ing. An­co­ria was ini­tially set up in 1987 by two Swedish vi­sion­ary en­trepreneurs Roger Ake­lius and Siev­ert Lars­son, then called Al­pha In­surance. In 1994, Al­pha was re­named Ake­lius In­surance and formed part of the Ake­lius Group of Com­pa­nies un­til 2008. Now to­tally in­de­pen­dent, highly suc­cess­ful and with a solid back­ground and ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try, the company has grown to be­come An­co­ria In­surance Pub­lic Ltd., with its sol­vency mar­gin over 300%, well above that re­quired by the Euro­pean Union di­rec­tives. The company’s ma­jor share­holder is the Siev­ert Lars­son Schol­ar­ship Foun­da­tion.

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