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Insurance professional decorated with legion of accomplishments

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KELVIN EGERUE

(08111813020)

 

There are perhaps very few insurance practitioners in Nigeria who can speak to their accomplishments the much that ‘Segun Balogun will regale in his long years of service, commitment and dedication to the ideals, ethics and rules of engagement of the insurance industry.

Segun Balogun will admit to having invested time, energy and resources in his honest efforts to impact positively on the insurance industry in Nigeria but he is one who will be quick to also admit to benefiting much more from the fountain of goodness which sprouts generously and gorgeously from insurance as both a practice and a profession. Of the about 37 years that Segun has spent in the service of the nation’s insurance market, 27 of these  years has been spent at the level of chief executive officer of insurance institutions be it underwriting companies or a broking firms. Not many retired or serving insurance practitioners in the country will make boast of such fit, a decoration which speaks volume to Segun’s high degree of technical and managerial competences.

It was therefore not surprising that the leadership of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) had to roll out the red carpets recently to celebrate Segun Balogun’s successful completion of his course at the prestigious National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru (NIPSS).

President of NCRIB, Mr. Rotimi Edu, a lawyer had in the letter described Mr. Balogun’s attainment as “an additional pep to the aspirations of the Council and the industry for enhanced manpower development of its professionals. Balogun, an astute insurance professional has remained a valuable member of the insurance industry, having occupied the positions of Managing Director of WAPIC Insurance Plc and LASACO Assurance Plc before founding his brokerage firm, AXIS Insurance Brokers Limited. As a former Council Member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), former Council  Member of  Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and member of strategic Committees of the NCRIB, Balogun’s new position and knowledge would bring significant value to insurance growth in Nigeria.”

The astute and consummate insurance guru may have retired in active service ahead of his establishing his broking firm; Axis Insurance Brokers, he is definitely not tired of committing to the good of the industry which made him all that he is today.

“For me, I take things as they come. I know I am in another phase of life now and I know that once your steps are ordered by God there can’t be any mountain that will be too difficult for you to surmount. I am a grandfather and I hope one day I will be a great grandfather. There is no mountain that I envisage that won’t be surmountable,” he reminiscenced.

Segun Balogun is the former Managing Director LASACO Assurance Plc, Pioneer MD/CEO of Metropolitan Trust Insurance Company Limited, former MD/CEO at WAPIC Plc where he served for 12 years, taking the company from the lower rung of the insurance industry ladder to being one of the top five insurance companies in Nigeria.  An embodiment of sterling qualities and a distinguished insurance practitioner with skills and experience spanning 37 years, Balogun also served as Chief Executive Officer of FBN General Insurance Ltd (formerly OASIS Insurance Plc). In all these assignments, he left indelible foot prints of achievements comparable to the best of discerning professionals.

It was said in The ladder of Saint Augustine that “the height by great men reach and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night”. This can be said to be true of Segun Balogun considering that he started honest efforts very early in his childhood to be what he is today, a successful professional with an infectiously high resaviour of knowledge.

Segun’s exhibition of competence can be traced to his secondary school at age 15 in 1976 when he joined the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). By 1984, he had chosen a career path in insurance after his first degree at the University of Lagos. His commitment to the profession aside, Balogun’s legendary and unique abilities propelled his rise to the top in the insurance industry where he has demonstrated exceptional grasp of leadership and administration acumen. Although he retired at the age of 60 years, the industry’s need of his professional competences propelled him into founding Axis Insurance Brokers from where he has continued to make meaningful inputs into the nation’s industry’s growth.

. “Actually, I was meant to be an accountant. Unfortunately, UNILAG did not offer me accounting but insurance. I took insurance as my first degree programme and even had the opportunity to change to accounting at the end of the year. But something happened that altered that decision forever. This was in 1981. I observed that insurance sector was just growing then and there were not too many graduates in the insurance profession. We were inspired by somebody who came to speak to us in year one at the University of Lagos. It was Professor Joe Irukwu, they call him ‘Prof. of insurance.’ Prof. Irukwu spoke to us about the opportunities in insurance.  With words of assurance and insurance from the guru himself, I was convinced and I made up my mind in my year one to stick to insurance. That decision later paid off.” Segun recalled.

Born on May 29, 1961 in Lagos Island, Segun Balogun started his primary school at St. Paul’s Breadfruit Street from 1967 to 1971. He gained admission to Ansar-Ud-Deen Secondary Commercial School now Ansar-Ud-Deen High School, along Falolu Road, Surulere, Lagos in January 1972 where he obtained the West African School Certificate in June 1976. After secondary school, Balogun joined the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) from 1976 to December 1979, thereafter proceeded to Obokun GCE School, Ijebu-Ijesa in the old Oyo State for his GCE ‘A’Level.

He graduated from UNILAG in June 1984 with a degree in insurance and did his mandatory one-year youth service in Akure, Ondo State. He qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London in 1987.

In January 1986, Mr Balogun began his professional insurance career with Glanvill Enthoven Insurance Brokers. In March of the same year, he joined UNIC Insurance Plc and left for Lagos State Assurance Company Limited which later became LASACO Assurance Limited where he was a pioneer staff in 1989 till January 1992. Within the years of his professional journey, he demonstrated exceptional grasp of leadership and administration in his field leading to his successfully heading many insurance institutions as MD/CEO for 25 consecutive years.

“No godfather anywhere apart from God himself. And no educated parents that can put you through or direct you or tell you that this is how to go. My parents tried their best in my educational pursuits to the extent that they made sure that yes, they saw me through up to secondary school. And when I was at the university, they also tried in their own little way. But because I had worked for almost four years before I entered the university, I had already saved enough money to see me through,” he recalled.

It is this penchant for education and continuous professional improvement that made Segun Balogun function as a part time lecturer coaching and preparing aspiring insurance professionals.

 

 

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