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2017 Women to Watch: Patty Karuiahe-Martin

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Patty Karuiahe-Martin
Managing director
Namibia Reinsurance Corp.
Windhoek, Namibia

Patty Karuiahe-Martin has focused on her company and the community it ultimately serves in her role as a senior executive at Namibia’s state-owned reinsurer.

As managing director of Namibia Reinsurance Corp., Ms. Karuiahe-Martin is charged with overseeing NamibRe’s mission to help the country’s domestic insurance industry contribute to Namibia’s gross domestic product by stemming the flow of reinsurance premium overseas and, ultimately, helping to improve Namibia’s balance-of-payments position.

The reinsurer was established in 1998.

During her time in the role, between 2014 and 2016, NamibRe’s gross written premiums have increased by 35% and net profit by 82%, according to the company.

Ms. Karuiahe-Martin has helped to raise the profile of NamibRe and strengthen its relationship with the insurance industry in several ways.

In September 2016, NamibRe chaired the organizing committee and worked in conjunction with local insurers to host the Organisation for Eastern & Southern Africa Insurers’ conference, for example.

Training and development is a particular focus for Ms. Karuiahe-Martin, who has had a career of more than 20 years in the financial services industry, including working in auditing.

In her previous role as a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers Namibia, she established an academy that trained many young black Namibians.

At NamibRe, she submitted a policy to the board to ensure that all senior managers at the company take part in leadership and development programs. In addition, all her staff at NamibRe have regular training in reinsurance and finance subjects. Ms. Karuiahe-Martin also implemented annual bursaries to train actuaries and engineers. She is also working on an initiative to establish a school of insurance for Namibia.

During her time at NamibRe, Ms. Karuiahe-Martin has helped to increase the company’s budget for charitable donations, and spending has been directed to buy computers and books for rural schools, and mattresses and blankets to help impoverished communities, among other things.

Ms. Karuiahe-Martin was not available for an interview for this feature.

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