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SEM interviews J. M. Louis Rivalland, Group Chief Executive of Swan Group
28 May 2015

Q1: Established in 1855, SWAN is currently celebrating its 160th anniversary. Please give us an overview of the path and main milestones achieved by SWAN down the memory lane?


SWAN's origins date back to 1855 with the creation of the Mauritius Fire Insurance Company Ltd. In 1955 the latter merged with the Colonial Fire Insurance Company Limited to become Swan Insurance Company Limited. Then, in 1972, Swan Insurance, operating in general insurance, acquired a majority stake in the Anglo-Mauritius Assurance Society Limited, operating in the long term insurance market.


In recent years, Swan Group focused on a number of strategic initiatives to strengthen and optimize its financial services and also to offer a wider range of products and services to its customers. Hence in 2004, The Anglo-Mauritius Financial Services Ltd (later renamed Anglo-Mauritius Investment Managers Ltd) was created for offering fund management services and for the distribution of financial products.  In 2012, Swan Insurance Company Ltd amalgamated its activities with those of Cim Insurance while The Anglo-Mauritius Assurance Society Ltd amalgamated its activities with Cim Life.  At the same time the stockbroking and asset management businesses of the Rogers Group were acquired making the Swan Group the leading provider of insurance services, brokerage and asset management.


Building on its expertise and its strong financial reputation, the group began developing its regional activities and now have a presence in Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, and South Africa


Since the 30th of April 2015, all the companies and products of Swan Group are united under a single brand, SWAN.  Swan Insurance Company Ltd is now Swan General Ltd, The Anglo-Mauritius Assurance Society Ltd is now Swan Life Ltd, Pension Consultants and Administrators Ltd is now Swan Pensions Ltd, Anglo-Mauritius Investment Managers Ltd is now Swan Wealth Managers Ltd, and Anglo-Mauritius Stockbrokers Ltd is now Swan Securities Ltd.


All those years of experience have allowed SWAN to build a reputation for excellence and is today considered as the most trusted non – banking financial services provider in Mauritius. 


Q2. Can you briefly say a few words on the four pillars of the so-called "Pyramid of Prosperity, behind the new corporate identity SWAN ?


The Pyramid of Prosperity governs everything we do. 


Protect because that's what our Insurance services do.  They protect people.  We Protect people against unforeseen events, to guard against unexpected threats.  It is reassuring to be covered.


Provide because investing and managing wealth wisely helps provide for the future. Hopes and dreams are all very well but they must be provided for, now.


Progress because we're all on a personal odyssey and we are each trying to do our best, to reach our goals and do better for ourselves and those we love.


Prosper is a result that we all want to achieve and at SWAN we believe that we are in the business of helping people from all backgrounds and walks of life towards that goal.  We help people flourish and enjoy good fortune.


Our customers want to know that they and their families are protected and their future is provided for.  Only then can they make real progress towards their vision of prosperity. This is the unifying idea behind our brand strategy. We call it the Pyramid of Prosperity.


Protect. Provide. Progress. Prosper


Q3. SWAN General Ltd is listed as "Swan Insurance Company" on the Official Market of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius since 19 December 1990, while SWAN Life Ltd is listed as "Anglo Mauritius Assurance Society" on the Development & Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius since 04 August 2006. Accordingly, figures reveal that Swan General achieved a total return of 4880.78% since its listing while SWAN Life achieved a total return of 552.47% over the same time frame. What is your appreciation of such a whopping value-creation that SWAN has generated for its shareholders over the years?


Swan Insurance Company Ltd was the first insurance company to be listed on the official market of the SEM in 1990.  The achievement of such value-creation over 25 years is the result a number of actions.  Swan has always been listening to the needs of its customers, proposing innovative off the shelf products and services as well as tailor made solutions.  Our business model is based on rigorous practices be it in actuarial evaluations, investment principles, risk management policies, and corporate financing.  This exceptional growth of Swan is also the result of a number of strategic moves including the mergers and acquisitions mentioned above.  These efforts over the years have resulted in robust financial performances for both companies.  Each of Swan General Ltd and Swan Life Ltd has recorded a healthy increase in its gross and net earned premiums which have in turn generated higher earnings and net asset value.  Swan General Ltd has enviable underwriting ratios, a robust balance sheet, is solidly capitalized, and is very strong in terms of its capacity to respond to any major catastrophe.  All these have contributed to make Swan what it is today, ensuring steady dividend payments and significant capital gains to shareholders.


Q4. SWAN lies in the top bracket of insurance companies in Mauritius, with a vision to be the preferred financial solutions partner for life. How do you see the future prospects in your line of business locally and regionally?


Over the past years, we have taken radical steps to transform the Company from an organisation that sells financial products, to a provider of comprehensive financial solutions that helps our clients to meet their needs at every stage of life.  We put people at the centre of our business, because we understand that life is not static. It is rich with intimate moments and important experiences that take people on a journey which can go from good fortune to ill fate.  We shape our products and introduce innovative ideas to meet the needs of our customers at every stage of their life.  That is why we have positioned ourselves as being a financial partner for life.  We have also embarked on a daring customer service program that has challenged every one of our staff member to pledge to deliver best in class service. This program also encompasses other actions designed to deliver a lasting customer experience and reinforce a culture of respect across the company. Together, these initiatives will help SWAN achieve its vision to become the preferred non – banking financial solutions partner for life.


Q5. As CEO of Swan, where do you see your company for another 50 years down the road?


It is hard to predict over such a very long period, specially considering the speed of technological advancement and how these will impact on our lives. Mauritius has a growingly ageing population. In fifty years, we will probably have a working population which will be less than the old-aged one. We need to anticipate, change & prepare for such an evolution of yet unforeseen consequences in our society. SWAN, leader in insurance and investment management in Mauritius, shall play an important role in anticipating & driving the right changes along with private and public stakeholders, for the good of our fellow countrymen and of the country. We have to stretch our thinking, look further ahead, understand the forthcoming cycles of change and find the right solutions to face them.​

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SEM interviews J. M. Louis Rivalland, Group Chief Executive of Swan Group
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