Newton Jazire has been announced as the new Managing Director effective last Tuesday. Jazire is a Zimbabwean national who has 14 years experience in the insurance business. He has been working as the Operations Manager at Lion Assurance since 2010. He replaces George Alende who left the company earlier.
Board Chairman Owek. Kaaya Kavuma qualified this decision by stating that:
"We are also aware that with oil developments, several other opportunities, some previously unavailable will be unlocked and as such we are positioning ourselves to create appropriate cover for these. An ambitious plan like this requires a young, energetic, focused and experienced team. We have all the confidence that Mr. Jazire will provide the Lion Assurance team in Uganda with the necessary direction to take us to the top, because that is where we want to be."
One of the tasks for Jazire will be to see the successful implementation of a Ushs 300m research and development fund meant for agriculture insurance. The other, will be the unveiling of a new insurance product called Legal Expenses Insurance. Jazire further revealed that:
"This product is specifically targeted at individual Ugandans in need of legal protection for both criminal and civil matters. This is a realization by Lion Assurance that there is a need for Ugandans to access more affordable legal protection, which also includes owners of SME's."
Lion Assurance Uganda is a subsidiary of TA Holdings a Zimbabwean based Investment Company and started operations in 2003. Jazire noted that since 2003, the company has grown by 30% and by the end of 2011, premiums before any deductions had grown to UGX 14.9 billion. Jazire pointed out that:
"Our team has been challenged to build on this great foundation and consolidate Lion Assurance to become one of the top 3 names in the insurance business by the time we turn 10 years."
George Steven Okotha, Director of Operations at the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) said that the regulator was "comfortable with the appointment" and that Jazire was a "hard working individual who knows that integrity is the key."
For five years, Jazire worked with Zimnat Lion Assurance in Zimbabwe, and prior to joining Lion Assurance Uganda in 2010, he had been at the Botswana Insurance Company since 2003. Jazire holds a Masters degree in Business Leadership (MBL) from the Graduate School of Business, University of South Africa and Bachelor of Commerce degree in Insurance and Risk Management, from National University of Science & Technology in Zimbabwe. He is also a member of Chartered Institute of Insurance, London.