In­stant Life pins growth hopes on Absa clients

CityPress - - Business - JUSTIN BROWN busi­ness@city­

In­surance com­pany In­stant Life is hop­ing that hav­ing Absa as its con­trol­ling share­holder, and hav­ing ac­cess to its dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nel and the bank’s mil­lions of cus­tomers, will al­low it to achieve ex­po­nen­tial growth over the next five years.

Bryan McLachlan, In­stant Life CEO, said that the com­pany, which fo­cuses on selling life in­surance over the in­ter­net, was look­ing to grow its cus­tomer base from 15 000 to 240 000 within five years.

“We are look­ing to dou­ble in size every year for the next five years,” he said.

As a re­sult of such sig­nif­i­cant pro­jected ex­pan­sion, In­stant Life is fore­cast­ing its staff num­bers to grow from 70 to be­tween 200 and 300.

Absa, which has 9.2 mil­lion lo­cal cus­tomers, bought a 75% stake in In­stant Life for R100 mil­lion last year, and the com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­i­ties ap­proved the ac­qui­si­tion with ef­fect from April 1. Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Works holds the re­main­ing 25% stake in In­stant Life.

Jan­nie Ven­ter, manag­ing ex­ec­u­tive for Absa Life, which is one of South Africa’s largest in­surance com­pa­nies, with 4.5 mil­lion lo­cal clients, said Absa bought a stake in In­stant Life be­cause its tech­nol­ogy in­cluded a “very smart de­ci­sion tree” that in­cluded 55 000 ques­tion per­mu­ta­tions.

Absa Life, which al­ready sells life in­surance, makes up about 7% of Absa’s to­tal busi­ness.

In­stant Life’s swift on­line process pro­vided for a qual­ity un­der­writ­ing out­come that cost less than other chan­nels and was con­ve­nient for clients, Ven­ter said.

“In­stant Life has a well-de­vel­oped on­line plat­form,” he said.

Absa also bought into In­stant Life be­cause of the syn­er­gies be­tween the com­pany and Absa’s in­surance busi­ness.

Absa would con­tinue to op­er­ate In­stant Life as a stand-alone busi­ness, and the bank has an op­tion to buy out the re­main­ing 25% over the next five

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