French firm buys key stake in Kenyan insurance company

KENYA – Olea Insurance Solutions, a Paris-based Africa-focused brokerage firm, has entered the East African market with the purchase of a 40 per cent stake in Kenya’s Koolridge Insurance Brokers.

The partnership has resulted in the name change by Koolridge Kenya Insurance Brokers to OLEA Kenya Insurance Brokers giving Kenyan businesses access to Olea’s Africa-wide online platform.

While declining to disclose the amount involved, Koolridge Kenya founder and Chief Executive Herbert Ocholi said they were elated to partner with Olea, a PanAfrican firm present in 36 African countries.

The company operates via 13 subsidiaries in different countries and partners in another 21 African countries.

 “This re branding is necessary because it reflects our new identity and association with, currently, the only true Pan African broker. It also gives us direct access to tools which make insurance portfolio management quite easy for our clients,” said Ocholi.

He welcomed the newly found partnership saying it is a realization of his dream to open his business to new growth frontier across the African region via a partnership with a global brand.

In a statement yesterday, he termed OLEA’s investment as ‘a strategic partner in provision of a one stop shop multi-country insurance solution for foreign and local firms doing business in East Africa.’

Ocholi who has been in the insurance industry for 40 years started Koolridge Kenya as an agency in 2014. A year later, it became a fully-fledged brokerage firm serving local insurers across various business segments.

The development, said Mr Ocholi, promotes intra-Africa trade where manufacturers and traders enjoy a single insurance solution for their cargo transiting through several countries to their destination.

OLEA founder chairman Oliveir Dubois said Kenya was a crucial import- export corridor (Mombasa Port) that serves the Anglophone (English-speaking) zone countries.

“We are very pleased to announce our entry into Kenya via acquisition of a major stake at Koolridge Kenya,” Dubois said.

Nairobi will serve as a launch pad into other East African markets, notably in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, the firm said.

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