The Vi­sion Be­hind Sigma Pen­sion’s Re­brand­ing

Be­yond the tar­get it has set for it­self, the de­ci­sion of the man­age­ment of Sigma Pen­sions Lim­ited to re­brand is part of a strat­egy to achieve its 2020 goal. Ra­heem Ak­ing­bolu re­ports

THISDAY - - BUSINESS WORLD | CONSUMER -

For decades, re­brand­ing has re­mained a ma­jor tool used by pro­mot­ers of lo­cal and multi­na­tional brands to re­main rel­e­vant and con­nect with var­i­ous gen­er­a­tions. De­spite their iconic sta­tus, brands like Coca-Cola, Nike and Kel­logg’s never miss the op­por­tu­nity to ove­haul their brand essence when the need arises. Per­haps that is why they have been able to main­tain mar­ket lead­er­ship for decades. Some­times, it could be rad­i­cal over­hauls or mi­nor changes in their out­look to speak to emerg­ing markets.

This ex­plains why last month was sig­nif­i­cant in the his­tory of Sigma Pen­sion Lim­ited. In line with global trend, the 13 year old com­pany re­freshed its iden­tity and reaf­firmed its brand prom­ise. It came with a new logo and ex­cit­ing colours that spoke vol­umes of its mis­sion and vi­sion in the Nige­rian mar­ket. For a com­pany that has es­tab­lished its foot­prints on the mar­ket, the re­brand­ing was con­sid­ered by an­a­lysts as timely and im­por­tant for its de­ter­mi­na­tion to make fur­ther in­roads by the year 2020.

At a well at­tended event by stake­hold­ers and man­age­ment of the com­pany in Abuja, its Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Mr. Dave Ud­u­anu, an­nounced the launch of a re­freshed iden­tity as part of the evo­lu­tion of the Sigma brand. Ac­cord­ing to him, the new re­freshed logo sym­bol­ises who the com­pany is to­day and show­cases its dy­namic fu­tur­is­tic ap­proach to its busi­ness. In the new iden­tity, colour blue and green are con­spic­u­ous.

Speak­ing fur­ther on the new logo, he ex­plained that “the colour blue sym­bol­ises a sense of se­cu­rity, while con­not­ing trust, de­pend­abil­ity and pro­fes­sion­al­ism and the colour green is per­ceived as the colour of money and liq­uid­ity, adding that it rep­re­sents: growth, re­newal, and wealth.

One slight dif­fer­ence in the com­pany’s ap­proach is that it is an ex­ten­sive change in or­der for the busi­ness to achieve the re­quired re­gen­er­a­tion for growth and prof­itable re­turns. This is nec­es­sary as the group is al­ready mak­ing in­roads into some other seg­ments of the mar­ket. To pun­dits, this has sin­gled out the han­dlers of the brand as peo­ple with fore­sights. Of course, the man­age­ment stated clearly that the re­freshed iden­tity em­bod­ies the group’s in­ter­nal val­ues and the di­rec­tion they were head­ing to hence­forth

From any­where one chooses to look at it, what the pen­sion com­pany did was a re­sponse to global trend if one con­sid­ers how some of the great­est brands in the world often re­ju­ve­nate to re­main fresh. At a time many com­pany are be­ing care­ful to in­cur ex­tra cost on strat­egy, han­dlers of the Sigma brand see the time as a pe­riod to fur­ther con­nect with pa­trons. Ac­cord­ing to in­sider source, the de­ci­sion be­came nec­es­sary to keep it on top as the na­tion’s num­ber one pen­sion ser­vice brand. To them, it is a new chap­ter that would help it ex­tends its hori­zon.

In less than 24 hours after the of­fi­cial un­veil­ing, cus­tomers who vis­ited the com­pany or have ac­cess to its man­ual or style guide could feel the new iden­tity and have in­sight into the brand lan­guage - colours, mo­tifs, fonts, and en­tire brand phi­los­o­phy. Also, in the last few weeks, the com­pany has main­tained the new iden­tity in its ad­ver­tis­ing ma­te­ri­als.

Ac­cord­ing to THISDAY find­ings, the con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new iden­tity took the cre­ative egg heads within and out­side the group some months be­fore they ar­rived at the fi­nal out­put. In the new look, all its iconic ele­ments were re­tained but with few mod­i­fi­ca­tion to com­mu­ni­cate the new sta­tus of the brand.

To pun­dits, this has sin­gled out the han­dlers of the brand as peo­ple with fore­sights.

Of course, the man­age­ment stated clearly that the re­freshed iden­tity em­bod­ies the group’s in­ter­nal val­ues and the di­rec­tion they were head­ing to hence­forth.

Its Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Tech­ni­cal, Mr. Ibra­heem Balarabe, cap­tured the process when he said that; ‘’the re­brand­ing ex­er­cise has been a stren­u­ous yet de­light­ful ex­pe­ri­ence de­vel­op­ing and cre­at­ing this new look and to­day we are pleased to present the new face of Sigma Pen­sions Lim­ited to you all.’’

Fu­ture tar­get The man­age­ment of the com­pany was clever enough to let their pa­trons know their fu­ture plans. Among other things, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor dis­closed that the com­pany pro­jec­tion was to in­crease its as­set un­der man­age­ment to N600 bil­lion in the next cou­ple of years from N310 bil­lion it cur­rently man­ages.

Sigma Pen­sions is one of the first set of seven PFAs li­censed by the Na­tional Pen­sion Com­mis­sion (PENCOM) in 2005 and one of the op­er­a­tors to com­mence the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the PRA in 2004. “Sigma Pen­sions has since grown its as­sets un­der man­age­ment to over N310 bil­lion with more than 700,000 reg­is­tered con­trib­u­tors on its plat­form,” he said.

Ud­u­anu also said the com­pany is “ready for the next mile­stone of achiev­ing N600bn in the next few years.”

He said by 2020, the com­pany aimed to be a more pro­duc­tive and prof­itable or­gan­i­sa­tion and looked for­ward to em­bark­ing on the jour­ney with its cus­tomers.

The CEO fur­ther stated that the new Sigma Pen­sions would be a com­pany solely fo­cused on putting the needs of its cus­tomers first.

‘’We have just re­cently in­sti­tuted the An­tiBribery & Cor­rup­tion Pol­icy at Sigma. It is an un­prece­dented ap­proach to busi­ness in the in­dus­try and it goes a long way to val­i­date the trust our cus­tomers re­pose on us to do the right thing as a busi­ness at all times. Sigma Pen­sions is a com­pany that ad­heres to the high­est lev­els of busi­ness in­tegrity and we take our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to our stake­hold­ers very se­ri­ously. We want our cus­tomers to trust us more and to do more busi­ness with us which, in turn, will im­prove com­pany per­for­mance and en­sure the con­sis­tent growth of funds kept in our cus­tody,’’

While driv­ing home his point, he said the Sigma team was poised to de­liver on its core val­ues of team­work, lead­er­ship and com­pe­tence. ‘’In other words, we are set to change the nar­ra­tive of the pen­sion busi­ness in Nige­ria. We have in fact al­ready set the ball in mo­tion. Ear­lier in the year, in April to be pre­cise, Sigma Pen­sions was rec­og­nized by the Lon­don Stock Exchange (LSE) in its re­cent re­port on ‘Com­pa­nies to In­spire Africa’.

‘’We were the only PFA in the Nige­ria to get that recog­ni­tion and it is a feat we are very proud of. To be listed as one of the fastest grow­ing pri­vate busi­nesses in Africa in these dif­fi­cult times is a praise-wor­thy achieve­ment.

‘’We also re­cently grew our As­set un­der Man­age­ment to N310­bil­lion and we are ready for the next mile­stone of achiev­ing N600­bil­lion in the next few years. Sigma Pen­sions has in­deed come a long way and many of you here have been a part of that jour­ney. You have cel­e­brated mile­stone after mile­stone with us over the years and we ac­knowl­edge your com­mit­ment, we ap­pre­ci­ate your pa­tron­age,’’ he said.

Speak­ing on what the fu­ture holds for the brand and in­volve­ment of Ac­tis Pri­vate Eq­uity, the com­pany’s Global Head, Natalie Kolbe, said the firm as an in­ter­na­tion­ally reg­u­lated share­holder known for adopt­ing the high­est level of in­tegrity and busi­ness prac­tices brought the same cul­ture to Sigma Pen­sions, adding that it was fully ev­i­denced by the re­cently in­tro­duced Anti-Bribery and Cor­rup­tion pol­icy.

She said: “Now cus­tomers can rest easy know­ing that their af­fairs are be­ing han­dled by pro­fes­sion­als who pos­sess the high­est eth­i­cal stan­dards in the in­dus­try. It is our hope that this de­vel­op­ment is adopted by other op­er­a­tors in the in­dus­try so that we have a bet­ter sus­tained busi­ness en­tity with global best prac­tice stan­dards.

Be as­sured that we have in place the right team of high per­for­mance pro­fes­sion­als you can trust and who will work tire­lessly and re­lent­lessly to­wards de­liv­er­ing ex­cel­lent and su­pe­rior ser­vice al­ways.’’

Brand at a glance Sigma Pen­sions Lim­ited (RC 606338) was in­cor­po­rated in Au­gust 2004, with the sole ob­jec­tive of un­der­tak­ing the busi­ness of Pen­sion Fund Ad­min­is­tra­tion in Nige­ria ac­cord­ing to the Pen­sion Re­form Act (PRA 2004) and is reg­u­lated by the Na­tional Pen­sion Com­mis­sion (PenCom). The com­pany had an ini­tial au­tho­rised share cap­i­tal of N300,000,000.00 or­di­nary shares of N1.00 each and has since been raised to N1,250,000,000.00 of shares, with N985 mil­lion of the shares fully paid-up and rank­ing pari passu. It is im­por­tant to note that this is­sued and fully paid-up share cap­i­tal is 650% of the amount re­quired by the Act, this is be­cause the share­hold­ers of Sigma have en­sured that there is more than ad­e­quate cap­i­tal avail­able to meet the com­pany’s needs.

Fol­low­ing the ap­proval-in-prin­ci­ple granted to the com­pany on the 8th of July, 2005 by PenCom and the ful­fill­ment of all pre-li­cens­ing re­quire­ments, Sigma Pen­sions was granted full li­cense to op­er­ate as a Pen­sion Fund Ad­min­is­tra­tor (PFA) on the 7th of De­cem­ber, 2005.

The Sigma Fam­ily is cur­rently above 600,000 mem­bers; hence, its de­ter­mi­na­tion to read­ily com­mit to man­age pen­sions in the best pos­si­ble way at all times.

Ud­u­anu

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