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Meseret Tilahun

An insurance executive heading operations with a private firm is the most likely person to fill a long vacant position at the Ethiopian Reinsurance S.C., aka Ethio-Re.

Meseret Tilahun, now deputy general manager in charge of operations at Nib Insurance, will assume the same role at Ethio-Re, an industry umbrella company whose top operations department remains unfilled for nearly a year now.

Her appointment was approved by the board of directors of Ethio-Re in June and by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) last month. Meseret will officially take the new post in two weeks.

With more than 22 years of experience in the insurance industry, Meseret holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Addis Abeba University.

“Our selection criteria was based on the directives of the central bank,” said Hailemariam Assefa, board chairperson of Ethiopian Re, which commenced operations in July 2016 and currently operates with 25 employees.

A directive set by NBE stated that senior executive officers must have at least eight years of experience in the insurance sector, of which four must be in a managerial position.

Before landing on Meseret, the nine members of Ethio-Re's board of directors had made two attempts to recruit an operations manager. However, it failed to materialise, according to Hailemariam, who was the founding CEO of Nib Insurance and served the firm for over a decade. Hailemariam, who is currently the managing director of Habesha Insurance Brokers, was appointed as a board chairperson of the company five months ago.

"The attempts failed due to lack of qualified candidates in the industry and the unwillingness of candidates to be present for the interviews," Hailemariam told Fortune.

Meseret will be replacing Shiferaw Bantie, who holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Addis Abeba University and has three and a half decades of experience in the insurance industry. Shiferaw served the company as an operations manager for two years and three months. He currently serves as a board of director.

"The insurance industry has the challenge of a shortage of qualified manpower who can perform risk analysis tasks," Hailemariam said.

Yewondwossen Eteffa, the former CEO of the largest and oldest insurance firm in the country, Ethiopian Insurance Company, has been serving as head of Ethio-Re for more than three years.

With paid-up capital of 600 million Br at the end of the most recent fiscal year, Ethio-Re has diverse shareholders comprised of seven banks, 17 insurance companies, eighty individuals and a trade union. Out of the total share, banks own 30.8pc, while insurance companies and individuals own 66.9pc and 2.3pc, respectively. A labour union holds the last 0.01pc of shares.

Ethio-Re, which recorded losses in the first two years of operations, registered a net profit of 78.6 million Br for the first time in the past fiscal year.

PUBLISHED ON Aug 03,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1005]

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