Africa Leaders Magazine

JEAN K. DIAGOU – Chairman and CEO, NSIA Group

JEAN K. DIAGOU - Chairman and CEO, NSIA Group - African Leaders Magazine

Jean K. Diagou is the Chairman and CEO of NSIA Group, an African insurance and banking group present today in 12 countries throughout West and Central Africa and still expanding in the continent. NSIA was founded in 1995 by current group chairman and 40-year insurance industry veteran Jean Kacou Diagou. Starting out with the buyout of the Ivorian subsidiary of AGF, the renamed French company, NSIA expanded into Benin, Gabon, Senegal, Congo and Togo. In 2006, it acquired BIAO, the third largest bank in Cote d’Ivoire, permitting it to offer combined bank and insurance “bancassurance” products to its clients, while pursuing its expansion across the CFA zone. Together, NSIA and BIAO employ more than 800 people in the region.

JEAN K. DIAGOU - Chairman and CEO, NSIA Group - African Leaders Magazine

In 2009, NSIA ventured into English speaking Africa with its takeover of Ghana-based CDH Insurance, and later the Nigerian ADIC Insurance.

In 2008, the private equity firm, Emerging Capital Partners (USA) acquired 26% stake in the capital of NSIA.

Mr. Diagou is a Member of the Board of Directors of CiCA Re, a sub-regional reinsurance company based in Lomé, Togo.

Mr. Diagou, an economist, who studied as a seminarian in his youth, wants to structure financial products that meet the needs of the African masses in a continent where the insurance penetration rate is only 1%. Until he created NSIA, Mr. Diagou was one of the top officials of the French premier Insurance conglomerate UAP (Union des Assurances de Paris) in French-speaking Africa.

He is also the Former President of CGECI (Confédération générale des entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire) and Former President of the Fédération des Organisations Patronales d’Afrique de l’ouest (FOPAO).

After a secondary school diploma in philosophy and a master’s degree in economics at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan and a degree of insurance in terms of legal and economic matters at CNAM-Paris (France), he started a career in the insurance industry until becoming Chief Executive Officer of AXA Assurances for Africa.

JEAN K. DIAGOU - Chairman and CEO, NSIA Group - African Leaders Magazine

In 1995, after participating in negotiations on the harmonization of legislations on insurances in the sub-region and co-writing the CIMA code (Inter African conference of insurance markets), he felt that there was room for a 100% African and transnational operator in the insurance industry. That is when he founded the New Inter African Insurance Company, NSIA, which is today strong of 19 subsidiaries and located in 12 countries of the sub-continent.

In 2006, he led negotiations that led to the acquisition of BIAO, the oldest bank in Côte d’Ivoire, by his group NSIA, thus positioning the group as a precursor of insurance banking in Africa. Since this acquisition and the reorganization of the bank, BIAO also located in the whole sub-region, climbed to the 3rd rank of the Ivorian banking sector.

Since 2005, Jean-Kacou Diagou is at the head of CGECI (General Confederation of Ivorian Companies), the Ivorian Federation of employers. After making two successive terms, he was just re-elected for a year, in September 2013, at the presidency of the organization. He is also the President of the Federation of West African employers since September 2010.

JEAN K. DIAGOU - Chairman and CEO, NSIA Group - African Leaders Magazine

Married, father of 5 children, Jean-Kacou Diagou, is Commander of the Ivorian Merit Order and Officer of the National Order of Côte d’Ivoire. Religious music passionate, he is also a writer and composer.

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