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Federal Pacific Finance and Insurance celebrate 15 years

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FPF TEAM: Director, Papalii Alan Hutchison, Chairman, Alistair Hutchison, the General Managers, Namulauulu Sami Leota (Insurance) and Afamasaga Opeta Siilata (Finance).

PR - Federal Pacific Finance and Insurance are in party mode next week as they prepare to celebrate 15 years of insurance and finance service to the Samoan public.

Both companies are local Samoan businesses and have been managed for the last 15 years by Afamasaga Opeta Siilata (Finance) and Namulauulu Leota Sami Leota (Insurance).

“When the businesses started, 15 years ago we had nothing on our loans portfolio and written premium income; this was a green-fields start-up. We have been very fortunate with the strong management and support of all staff in both companies and of course our excellent customers,” said Director Papalii Alan Hutchison.

“Additionally I am truly grateful to the Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS), Maiava Atalina Enari who regulates the insurance industry, for the balanced and supportive role she plays in encouraging open dialogue between CBS (as the regulators) and ourselves.”

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“It’s encouraging for private businesses to see the level of partnership that is possible between an open regulatory body and the private sector,” said Papalii.

Customising finance for flexibility

The Finance service offers medium to large loans to the public within a 36 month period. Located at Federal Pacific House in Saleufi, the company employs some 20+ staff on Upolu and Savaii. FP Finance has been in Tonga since 2004 in central Nukualofa, and currently employs a staff of 10 Tongan nationals.

General Manager Afamasaga Opeta Siilata said the aim of the company was flexibility in the assessment and structure of loans – as much as possible customising each to meet the needs of his customers and the demands of life in Samoa.

“Our customers have come to expect this from us and it makes for some very good long term relationships,” he said.

Afamasaga said one of the company’s biggest advantages is that if all assessment requirements are met, loans could generally be processed within 24 hours for small to medium loans, and 48 hours for larger loans.

“That means something to our customers, particularly when there is a fa’alavelave or unplanned financial obligations,” he said.

“Fifteen years ago when we kicked off, we knew the market was out there and we knew through prudent management and solid systems we could offer finance options that were appealing to our community and at the same time, we could achieve our own goals,” said Afamasaga.

“We have a great team at Federal Pacific Finance, and I’m very happy to share the credit for reaching this milestone with them; nothing worthwhile is easy to achieve and hard work gets results,” he said.

From small things

Federal Pacific Insurance has seen many changes along the way from its early days in Tanugamanono to its current homes in Federal Pacific House in Apia, Fund Management House in Tonga & 6 Lloyds Avenue in London. The one thing that hasn’t changed is its belief in its products.

From multi-million tālā claim payouts for a tsunami and a cyclone and hundreds of other settlements in the intervening years, the company has worked hard to remain true to its basic tenets: sound assessments, solid reinsurance backing and honouring genuine claims.

“It’s the formula that works: we do our homework, we back ourselves up and we will honour all genuine policy commitments to our customers,” said General Manager, Namulauulu Sami Leota.

Some of the company’s biggest challenges in the last 15 years have occurred in the last five years, namely the destruction and devastation of the 2009 tsunami and Cyclone Evan in 2012.

“Quick responses from international loss adjusters (Cunningham Lindsey formerly GAB Robbins), our Reinsurers, THB in London for the Lloyds Syndicates that participate in our Reinsurance, meant the worst affected customers received payments quickly in order to deal with getting their lives back in order”.

These challenges have not been limited to Samoa. In November 2006, riots in Nukualofa devastated half of the capital and caused tens of millions of pa’anga in damage. Federal Pacific Insurance was one of very few insurers to settle all claims following those riots.

“We were also there to handle claims following the January 2014 destruction caused by Cyclone Ian,” said Namulauulu.

Director, Papalii Alan Hutchison said the group was keen to establish a further presence in the region using the same model as Samoa, believing that it would also do well in other Pacific countries.

“For the moment, we’re just very happy to celebrate this anniversary and look to the future with optimism. Most of all we wish to extend our most grateful thanks to all our loyal and supportive customers who have trusted these services over the past 15 years and we will continue to provide support in the future,” he said.

The companies will share the anniversary celebrations at a function to be held next week.

 

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