(From left) Joseph Mbuvi Director of industry in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives receives gift from Arjan Toor the Global Managing Director of the private medical insurance Business; looking on is Maxime Claessens Director Cigna Kenya during the opening of the company's Africa headquarters at One Place Africa, Westlands.

Global health solutions and insurance company Cigna has opened its Africa headquarters in Nairobi, a move that further entrenches Kenya’s status as the top investment destination in the continent.

Cigna has opened its new offices at the One Africa business hub in Westlands as it targets multinationals and local firms operating in the country and to get closer to its major client-United Nations (UN) which is stationed in Gigiri, Nairobi.

The insurer has offices in Antwerp- Belgium (global headquarters), Madrid-Spain, Florida-United States, Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia and now in Nairobi, Kenya.

Speaking to Business Today after the opening ceremony at the new offices on Thursday, Arjan Toor Cigna’s CEO International Organisations, Africa said that the decision to set up shop in Nairobi was informed by Nairobi’s pull as an investment hub.

“Of course we were sold on Kenya’s conducive investment and political climate, this means that more and more companies will continue investing in Kenya and we will be looking to ensure that we grow our business as much as we can,” said Mr Toor.

The chief executive was guarded on the market share that the company is targeting after a full year of business but said that the company is eyeing local and international firms in the country adding that Cigna targets to be the major global insurance player in a few years time.

What’s more, Mr Toor added that the company is also seeking to expand its local knowledge on the African market and has invested heavily in locals as it seeks to foster closer ties with its clients.

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Maxime Claessens, the man tasked with leading the Kenyan operation said that the decision to open the Africa hq in Nairobi was relatively easy because they had already conducted enough research on the Kenyan market since 2007 when they first open their first small office at UN headquarters in Gigiri.

“We already knew the market environment plus our main client (UN) was already here. Kenya is also a country with a huge young and active population, that was also an attractive proposition for us,” added Mr Claessens.

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Currently the company provides medical insurance and services 95 million members globally and more 250,000 members in Africa.

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Samuel Gitonga is a senior reporter at BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]

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