Ratings for Guardrisk from Fitch Ratings

20 August 2013 Herman Schoeman, Guardrisk

Leading international ratings agency, Fitch Ratings has rated three companies in the Guardrisk Group: Guardrisk Insurance and Guardrisk Life received National Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of 'AA(zaf)’; and the group’s Mauritius operation, Guar

“The decision to seek ratings from Fitch stems from Guardrisk’s intention to grow the international component of the business, making use of the full complement of our local structures, as well as foreign jurisdictions,” says MD, Herman Schoeman.

“These ratings will allow us to capitalise on the risk financing opportunities relating to large infrastructure development projects, where financiers of these projects require minimum ratings by internationally based rating agencies.”

The new ratings will also assist in terms of the new Solvency II requirements that will link capital requirements to financial security ratings.

According to Fitch, the key rating drivers include Guardrisk’s 54% share of the South African cell captive insurance market and its “strong capital position based on Fitch's assessment of risk-adjusted capitalisation, stable and consistent profitability, and conservative investment policy”.

While the ratings have been placed on Watch Evolving status due to the uncertainty around Guardrisk’s future ownership (the Alexander Forbes Group has announced plans to sell the business), Schoeman is confident that the ratings are unlikely to be affected in the long run as a result of the potential disposal of Guardrisk by the Alexander Forbes Group.

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