Phoenix Assurance Company Ltd. is one of the oldest insurance companies in East Africa with a story that began on Tuesday, 20th November 1781, over 200 years ago. The name “Phoenix” was adopted in 1813. The company grew rapidly and spread its wings far and wide. Phoenix ranks high among the leading companies in shareholders’ funds and net assets among other important attributes.
Phoenix Assurance Company U.K. came to Kenya in 1912 when Mr. R.W.Grater was appointed to run an Agency of the company in Mombasa and Nairobi. Thus Phoenix became one of the first foreign insurance companies to be represented in East Africa and since then, it has been in business in Kenya for over 100 years. A full branch of the Company was established in Nairobi in 1954.
In 1969, the Phoenix of East Africa Assurance Company Ltd. was formed in partnership with the local agent M/S A. J. Miller & Sons Ltd. Initially, Kenyans only held 11% of the shares. However, by 1980, the Kenyan participation had grown to one-third to the shareholding.
In 1990, Phoenix of East Africa Assurance and the Sun Alliance Group U.K. merged in the United Kingdom and the Kenyan operation was renamed Sun Alliance Insurance Company Limited.
In 1992, the local shareholders took control of the company, reconstituted the company board and the name was reverted back to the original “Phoenix of East Africa Assurance company Limited” (PEAL) resulting in the dawn of a new era for the company.
The Company had a majority of local shareholders, with the Alibhai family holding 81% of the shares up to May 2014.
Following Regulatory changes brought in 2012, whereby any Shareholder or Group of Related Shareholders cannot hold more than 25% of an Insurance Company, the Alibhai family sold 66% of the shares of the Company to Mauritius Union Assurance Company Limited (MUA) in May 2014, whilst keeping the remaining 15%.
MUA is the second largest Insurance Company in Mauritius, and is a Public Company, listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius since 1993. The Company was established in 1948, and today it has over 1,800 Shareholders.
The Group employs over 450 persons, and has about 70 Agents, and 8 Accredited Agents, and 9 Branches over the island of Mauritius, and one in Seychelles.
The Board has been reconstituted, with new Directors from MUA joining the existing PEAL Directors. The Management of the company is now under the control of MUA.