Sacos celebrates 40th anniversary | 01 August 2020
Sacos today, August 1, 2020, celebrates its 40th anniversary milestone in its journey as one among the leading insurance providers in Seychelles.
The company has come a long way since the enactment of the State Assurance Corporation of Seychelles Act on August 1, 1980. Sacos was the household name during an era where many state-owned enterprises were renowned by their acronyms.
At the time, the company focused mainly on the sale of general insurance. The life insurance business would only be introduced a decade later on March 1, 1990, with the first survival benefit paid out in 1995. In 1996, Sacos activated the first insurance agents to help meet its premium target for the year.
Over the years, Sacos expanded its portfolio of insurance products to tailor to the specific needs of its customers. Some of the most recent products have been the Junior Plan, Mortgage Protection, Student Travel Insurance and the enhanced motor comprehensive insurance with funeral cover. In February 2020, the first Funeral Insurance Plan was made available in Seychelles and it became the newest addition to an ever-expanding range of insurance products.
The new millennium introduced significant organisational and company changes to Sacos as a response to the changing business environment and the proliferation of the information age.
In 2006, the government of Seychelles announced the decision to privatise Sacos. At the time, the government retained a twenty percent stake in the company and thirty percent of the shares were tendered to strategic investors. To embrace a ‘share ownership culture’, the remaining shares were tendered to the general public in the following year. Sacos was thus incorporated as the State Assurance Company Ltd (SACL). The government sold its remaining shares on Trop-X in 2014.
In August 2013, Sacos became the first company to be listed on Trop-X (the Seychelles securities exchange). Since its original listing, the share price experienced rapid growth from the original price of R35 to R115.
Sacos further embarked on a rebranding exercise in 2017, changing its trading name to Sacos Insurance Group and introducing a number of structural changes. In that same year Sacos amalgamated two of its subsidiary arms under the main company Sacos Group Ltd. Sacos Life Assurance Company Ltd remains a separate legal entity under the constitution of the Sacos Group of Companies.
Diversification goals and an intent to assist the government with its social objectives, Sacos first entered the real estate business in 1996, following the purchase of a property plot at Anse Etoile. By 1998, a block of 63-bedroom units had been built and the first tenants moved into their apartments. Over the years, Sacos would later expand its residential portfolio by building new blocks at Anse Etoile, Quincy Village and Pointe Larue.
In 2017, the company set out to diversify from residential properties and focus more on commercial and other types of investments. This saw the sale of the Quincy Village and Pointe Larue Apartments. The company owns or have stakes in several commercial properties in Seychelles, including Docklands and Sunshine House. In 2019, Sacos opened its first warehouse at Providence with separate units for rental, with a second such investment made in 2020.
Sacos introduced its first IT system (AS400) in the early 1990s, which to some extent is still being used today but slowly being replaced. Since then Sacos has seen the introduction of other more modern IT systems for its core business (Life and General insurance).
Sacos went online in 2000 in the year of the Y2k when it launched its first website although a more prominent digital footprint was cemented in the following decade. A Facebook page was launched in 2016, followed later by an Instagram page. As part of the rebranding exercise in 2017, the website was completely revamped and featured interactive options such as insurance online calculation and online quotation requests. The Sacos blog was launched in April 2018 to provide clients with reader-friendly access to insurance-related information.
The first Sacos office, opened in September 1980, was based at the now-demolished Pirates Arms Building. The headquarters eventually moved to Sacos Tower, an iconic R18m tall building on Palm Street, in 2006. The move was largely emblematic of the journey Sacos had embarked on at the time. With the growth of its business and the objective of making its services accessible to all, Sacos opened other branches on Mahé and Praslin.
In October 2018, Sacos' headquarters moved to the Maison Esplanade on Francis Rachel Street. The new location provides walk-in customers with a more centralised location and a more open and friendly access to staff and services.
The company’s journey and accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of its hard working team and the confidence of its loyal customers. For that, Sacos sincerely thanks all of you for your support and trust.
Contributed by Sacos