NAIROBI, Monday Jan. 24 – APA Insurance Limited today announced the appointment of Simon Clayton, a man who started his career at only 16 years, as the new Chief Executive Officer. He replaces Mr Ashok Shah who takes up the mantle of The Apollo Group Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Simon Clayton, MBA and MCMIACII Chartered Insurer, has 37 years experience in the insurance industry and has worked in several companies across the world controlling business across Europe, North America and Africa. He is a Chartered Insurer and holds a Masters degree in Business Administration.
“Simon comes in at a time when we are on an aggressive drive to double our market share from the current 8.7% in the next 4 years” said Apollo Group CEO Mr Ashok Shah. “With our strategic partnership with Leapfrog Investments, Simon will be charged with, amongst other responsibilities, an aggressive drive for micro insurance products as we answer the country’s call to deepen insurance penetration in the country”.
Mr Clayton said he will focus will on turning around businesses with loss records while ensuring that those with profitable trends continue to perform well. The company will also focus on product development, especially in the agriculture sector that has shown a marked need for more insurance products, he said.
“I am excited about the devolved system of government,” he said, “With the creation of 47 counties we foresee numerous opportunities to widen our reach and deepen the penetration of insurance in the country by opening up a branch in each county. Regionally we aim to open at least three branches in Uganda within the year while in Tanzania we are already working with a partner, and our long term strategy is to have having a controlling stake in the company. With the anticipated increased activity in the newly created South Sudan and the flurry of economic activity expected in the country, we are also eyeing that as a potential market.”
SIMON CLAYTON AT A GLANCE
Simon Clayton’s career began at the age of 16 in Lloyd’s of London after which he worked for various insurance companies with special focus on underwriting combined with commercial surveying and business development. He got his first supervisory position aged 20.
In 1999 he was appointed to run WHIIL, as part of the Airtours Group. White Horse Insurance Ireland Ltd was a start up captive insurer in The International Financial Services Centre in Dublin. In the first year under his leadership, it wrote a net premium of over £46 million and generated profits of £15 million.
After three years of success, spreading the footprint of the company across Northern Europe and North America, Simon joined the Markerstudy Group as CEO of their broking division. After turning around that part of the business, Simon joined the main board as the company continued on the acquisition trail until the end of 2006.
In early 2007 he came to Kenya as CEO of Jubilee Insurance, leaving at the end of that year to go back to the UK to help the rapidly growing family broking business (LFC Insurance) where he ran the marketing and underwriting departments. When the chance came to come back to Kenya with APA Insurance, he jumped at the opportunity, as he has never lost his love of the country and its people. He is a lifelong insurance professional and loves a challenge.
His fiancée runs a professional indemnity insurance broking business in the UK and, when he gets any spare time, he watches Tottenham Hotspur on TV. Simon’s business philosophy is very straightforward: “Do the easy things quickly and the difficult things well”.