Quanta keen to hit ground running

For Justus Hausiku, Riana Botes and Johan Barnard, this week proved to be a milestone when they launched the first wholly-owned Namibian insurance company. (Photograph by Ogone Tlhage)

Considered a doyen in insurance circles here in Namibia, Johan Barnard together with partner Justus Hausiku this week launched Namibia’s first wholly-owned insurance company Quanta at a low key event at their premises in Windhoek’s Ausspanplatz business district.

Off the back of successfully establishing the N$300 million Hollard Namibia operation, co-founder Hausiku said, “we built this Namibian operation. We noticed that there was no Namibian general insurer. We asked ourselves, why don’t we start something and grow? Put together our skills and start a general insurer.”
Added Hausiku, “nobody thinks transformation can give birth to ownership other then taking up equity in established companies.” Said Barnard, “when we decided [to launch Quanta], we have gotten to the lifecycle of an established business that was mature. We ran Hollard’s southern African operations. Why can’t we have a Namibian identity,” reiterating Hausiku’s sentiments. “We don’t have to do Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), we are BEE. We set up the business together,” said Barnard enthusiatically. Backing Barnard’s statement, Hausiku said, “Transformation should not just be a hand-out of equity.”
Said Barnard passionately, “we sit with passion you won’t find anywhere else. We had big ideas.” While big balance sheets, international partners and good structures are a necessity, Barnard believes Quantas has identified the most important element. “We realised, we’ve got Namibians. Additionally, we’ve got a home ground advantage. We understand insurance locally.”
According to Barnard, Quanta is about transformation. “We want to bring a lot of start-ups into the value chain,” referring to the immense potential inherent in working closely with various small and medium enterprises.
Proof of the confidence in Quanta is the backing of three very large international re-insurers, Swiss-Re, the second biggest re-insurer worldwide, Everst-Re, the biggest insurer in the United States, and Africa-Re which is the continent’s leading re-insurer. Barnard said they also have a re-insurance agreement with the world’s leading maritime insurer, Lloyds of London. Casting their glance to the local industry, Barnard said “We’d also like to work closely with Namib-Re and build a business with them.”
Quipped Barnard, “given the backing we have, Quanta is also now able to insure your hand if need be.”