The Board of Continental Reinsurance Plc has put its finger on the button of international best practice to announce the exit of Dr Femi Oyetunji, who is taking measured steps towards the exit door of the bourgeoning reinsurance firm. Mr Lawrence Mutsunge Nazare’s has been appointed to assume his position as the Group Managing Director, effective April 1, 2021.
The company’s statement today, March 4, coincides with the opening of the head office in Lagos. The new headquarters, board chairman Chief Ajibola Ogunshola said, “is a milestone in Continental Re’s ambitious long-term plans. It is a physical manifestation that positions the company at the heart of Africa’s largest economy. Both the brand survey and the unveiling of the new headquarters coincides with the imminent retirement of Dr. Femi Oyetunji, group managing director who has provided decade-long transformational leadership to Continental Re.”
In the words of the chairman, board of directors, Continental Re, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, who pulled the trigger signalling the transition process, the stream of success recorded in his ten year tenure suffices to say that strict adherence to international best practice was the Solomon string that influenced and sustained the nod to drop the curtain behind him come April 1 2021.
Ogunshola speaks of the outgoing helmsman tenure: “Dr. Oyetunji has remarkably served as Group Managing Director since 2011 and leaves a strong legacy of significant contributions that will live on in the company for many years to come. His key achievements include landing an aggressive strategy to position the company as a pan-African brand with a strong presence across six key geographical locations; under his leadership, revenue grew fivefold, profitability threefold, and productivity more than doubled, along with the transformation of the company’s culture, processes, and standards. He has collaboratively led the creation of an enabling environment for thought leadership and sound corporate governance agenda in the industry on the African continent.”
Speaking on Nazare’s appointment, which the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has approved, Chief Ogunshola said, “The Board is pleased that following a rigorous selection process, Mr Lawrence Nazare, was chosen to lead Continental Reinsurance Plc”.
The incoming chief executive has also scored remarkable accomplishment, a narrative the board chairman linked up to. “Mr Nazare, a seasoned insurer, has been on the company’s executive leadership as Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer for over ten years. With more than three decades in the industry, he brings to the role a deep understanding and experience of our business, the industry and the markets in which we operate. He is an agile and purpose-driven leader with an impressive track record of delivering consistent, high-quality performance. The Board welcomes him to the role and wishes him a resounding success.”
Speaking from the transition side lines, Dr. Oyetunji applauds, “I congratulate Mr Nazare on his appointment. I know his commitment, and I am highly confident that Continental Re will continue to prosper under his leadership. His appointment demonstrates the strength of Continental Re’s succession planning and talent pipeline.”
Alluding to possible undulating road ahead, a confident Oyetunji reassures a surge over such terrain: “We’re passing the leadership on to the next generation. They will be faced with new and sometimes unprecedented challenges but in their stewardship is a company that has a rich legacy. Our predecessors and ourselves have created a strong foundation; I am confident that my successor will raise the company to lofty heights.”
On the independent brand survey by Kantar, that recognised the pan-African operation of the firm in six regional markets. The survey shows that the company exceeds the global reputation benchmark. Elated Oyetunji said, “It was gratifying to obtain an overall score of 79 points which is above the global benchmark of 73. Now, however, our goal is to keep pushing higher.”
Filled with hope to achieve and to make the transition score high, Nazare applauded Oyetunji outstanding leadership and mentorship and proclaimed, “It’s an honour to lead a truly pan-African brand with capable teams across all our regions. Our focus will continue to be the provision of a unique offering to our clients and partners and the delivery of long-term growth and value to all stakeholders. Our people, our systems and processes that conform to global best practices, and our exacting standards and winning culture, are key factors that we leverage on.”
Mr Lawrence Mutsunge Nazare has over 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry. He started his professional insurance career with Zimbabwe Reinsurance Corporation in 1990. He then moved to Intermarket Reinsurance in 1999 and left as Managing Director in 2010 to join Continental Reinsurance Plc as the Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer.
Nazare has held key positions in the insurance industry, including Chairman of the Organization of Eastern and Southern African Insurers (OESAI) – 2012 to 2015; Chairman of Zimbabwe Association of Reinsurance Offices, 2001-2004; Chairman of Insurance Council of Zimbabwe, 2005 to 2008 and Executive Committee/Board Member of East & Southern African Insurers & Reinsurers – 2002 to 2018. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria.