47th Midi de la Microfinance et de l'inclusion financière

Optimising impact: pairing inclusive finance and insurance

47e Midi de la Microfinance

Pictures by Olivier Minaire

With the participation of:


Press releases

Presse release - June 5, 2019

Microinsurance is priceless

How do insurance and finance, microinsurance and microfinance work and can work together to create a truly inclusive finance? This is the question to which Gilles Renouil, Director of Microinsurance at Women's World Banking and Annet Mulindwa, General Manager of Finance Trust Bank in Uganda, tried to answer during this 47th Midi de la microfinance at Banque de Luxembourg.

Microinsurance can be defined as the insurance of a specific segment of the population that is most often undereducated, vulnerable, and with little or no access to traditional insurance services. It must be adapted to the income and needs of the population, accessible and reactive in the handling of claims. This service makes individuals and households more resilient and less vulnerable to risks, while promoting a country's socio-economic growth.

"Only 5.4% of Africans have access to microinsurance services". It is by this striking figure that Matthew Genazzini (ADA) started this Midi, with 80 participants in attendance. However, this service provides security for the borrower, a long-term vision. It concerns health, retirement, life, the home or equipment that enable income-generating activity. "Insurance helps to mitigate risks, as micro-credits are risky," adds Annet Mulindwa, "but customers who come for a loan usually don't care because they think they have other means of survival. They are not aware of the benefits of long-term insurance. In Uganda, the penetration rate is less than 3%."

Women's World Banking and Finance Trust Bank have also jointly developed an innovative product called "Hospital cash", which requires each borrower who visits the bank to be charged $1.5 per month, ensuring that they are covered for $25 per day in the event of hospitalization for up to 40 days in approved medical centres, in order to cover losses related to their activity. However, it happens that claims handling takes time, which is why it is necessary to optimize the exchange and information systems at the level of the various partners (banks and insurance companies). "Another challenge is to give people the means to claim coverage in the event of a disaster, because most often they don't know how to do it," Annet continues. "This is why they must be informed as soon as the credit is taken out.".

For Gilles Renouil, the challenge is mainly based on trust: "A bank that lends money to a client must have confidence in its ability to repay. On the other hand, a customer who takes out insurance wants to be sure that in the event of a claim, he will be covered.". It is also necessary to convince customers of the usefulness of taking out insurance in the event of a claim, rather than asking for an advance from close family and friends that they should be able to repay. "Once customers understand how insurance works, then they are willing to pay for it".

But insurance requires above all technical expertise, which is very present on the Luxembourg market.  If properly used and designed, it can multiply the impact of microfinance. Behind this statement is naturally the question of technological impact. In an increasingly connected Africa with 444 million Africans equipped with a smartphone, how can we offer cheap, simple and efficient services? This is the immense challenge for development actors, who must find relevant but efficient, simple but useful models. It is well known that Luxembourg's financial expertise now fully contributes to the development of the poorest countries in Africa, South East Asia and South America, in particular through microfinance, inclusive finance, impact investing and microinsurance. For 25 years, it has been the mission of the NGO ADA to bring together these different financial expertise in order to strengthen the financial systems of the countries of the South. This Midday was also intended to recall Luxembourg's global action in this field, as Marc Hengen, President and Managing Director of the ACA (Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies), pointed out at the end of the Midi.

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, ADA has decided to dedicate the Midis de la microfinance to key themes that will mark the future of inclusive finance. For 25 years, ADA has been at the forefront of innovation in microfinance, contributing to the evolution and strengthening of the sector. In addition, ADA is organising the African Microfinance Week from 21 to 25 October in Ouagadougou, which will focus on this theme.

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Speakers of the Midi

Jérémy Willaume – Project Manager Marketing Private Banking, Banque de Luxembourg

Jérémy Willaume is Project Manager in the Marketing Department of Banque de Luxembourg.
One of his main missions is to develop and promote products and investment solutions that apply environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
Jérémy holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a major in Marketing, and a Post-graduate Diploma in Finance. He has more than 13 years expertise in the banking sector in Luxembourg.

Gilles Renouil – Director of Microinsurance, Women's World Banking, USA

Gilles Renouil is the Director of Microinsurance for Women’s World Banking, the global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity. Gilles brings more than 15 years of international insurance and reinsurance expertise to this role. He is responsible for managing all insurance-related engagements, developing insurance solutions, providing strategic direction and replicating existing insurance products with partner institutions that are committed to serving low-income women.

Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, he served as a Director at Swiss Re Company Ltd. where he held different roles in risk management and group underwriting strategy. In his last role he was head of market dynamics and opportunities where he developed Swiss Re’s approach to Cyber risk insurance with a team of 15 experts and worked as an operational consultant on the design of an innovative microinsurance product in Nicaragua.

Annet Nakawunde Mulindwa – Managing Director, Finance Trust Bank, Uganda

Mrs. Annet Nakawunde Mulindwa is a Banker by profession with over 14 years’ practical experience in Banking and Microfinance.

She has worked with Finance Trust Bank from April 2007 and is currently the Managing Director since September 2011.

Mrs. Mulindwa holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a major in Finance, a Post-graduate Diploma in Financial Management and an honors Bachelor’s Degree in Arts.

She has attended a number of trainings including Harvard Business Schools’ Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance, Advanced Leadership Training at Wharton Business School - University of Pennsylvania in USA, Coaching Program for Mission, Leadership and Performance by Creative Metier Limited in Oxford - England, Women in Leadership by Women’s World Banking, Center for Microfinance Leadership in New York where she received the Financial Woman’s Association’s Women in Leadership Award for 2008, Balance Scorecard Training amongst many others to-date.

She is currently the Chairperson of the Microfinance CEO Working Group Uganda, Vice President of the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) Governing Council, Member of the Board of Trustees - The Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU), Member of the sub-committee of Rotary Uganda – Buganda Kingdom Partnership, Member of the Board of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Member of the Board of Buganda Heritage (Culture) and Tourism, Board Member of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Member of the Tax Agents Registration Committee of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

She is passionate about women and youth empowerment, as well as ensuring best practices in Banking and Microfinance and creating value for customers. She is result-oriented and an excellent team player with strong leadership qualities.

Matthew Genazzini – Head of Technical Support for MFIs, ADA, Luxembourg

Matthew has 9 years of experience in development finance working for the Microinsurance Network and ADA. He has experience managing capacity building and product diversification projects for MFIs, with a particular focus on microinsurance and is currently on the Board of the Microinsurance Network. In ADA, he now manages the Technical Support to MFIs unit, which aims to strengthen MFIs through the provision of financial and technical assistance services. The unit focuses on a variety of topics including financial and social performance, risk management, governance and product diversification, including agricultural, youth and digital finance to mention a few.

Marc Hengen – CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee at ACA (Association des Compagnies d’Assurance et de Réassurance), Luxembourg

Marc Hengen is Managing Director of ACA since March 2013. He holds a Master degree in Law from the Robert Schuman University of Strasbourg and was admitted to the Luxembourg Bar in 1991. Marc passed 18 years in several management positions for different life and non-life insurance companies in Luxembourg. He joined the Executive Committee of ACA in 2010.

Marc is 52 years old, married and father of three children.

This 47th Midi de la microfinance is organised with the support of the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, of MicroInsurance Network and the InFine.lu network, and in collaboration with the Banque de Luxembourg.
The Midis de la microfinance are held during lunch breaks, between 12.00 and 14.00. Their agenda includes the presentation by an inclusive-finance expert of a study or a practical case, which is followed by a questions and answers session with the audience. At the end, a lunch is offered to all the participants.

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