At his current level as the Executive Director in charge of operations at Regency Alliance Insurance Plc, a hybrid insurance company which commands great followership in the market place, Dr Sammy Olaniyi can at best be described as successful. Sammy Olaniyi is indeed successful on all fronts. This much have been acknowledged by his colleagues in the insurance profession where he is revered as an enigma with particular emphasis on insurance marketing and underwriting.
It will amount to an exercise in futility for anyone to attempt an empirical inquiry into the lofty heights thus far attained by the modern day insurance industry in Nigeria without devoting some pages on Sammy Olaniyi for he stands strong as a dependable link in modern day insurance practice.
Sammy Olaniyi’s versatility in the art and business of insurance steams from the fact that he has painstakingly involved himself in all and every facet of insurance practice ranging from insurance broking, loss adjusting, insurance underwriting, risk surveyor and marketing. The gap which Sammy left in reinsurance business was quickly made up with his Lloyd’s of London MBA Summarised Programme.
There is no gain in saying that Sammy blends perfectly well with the rest of the executive management of Regency Alliance Insurance Plc which include the Group Managing Director Mr. Biyi Otegbeye and Executive Director Finance and Administration Mr Kehinde Oyadiran in lifting Regency Alliance to enviable height thus making the company a recurring decimal in the business considerations of both insurance brokers in the market and customers especially government agencies and corporate clients who are always looking for the best in terms of risk profiling, pricing and management. As a measure of the height which Regency Alliance Insurance Plc has attained courtesy of the competence of its managers, the company, working with its three other subsidiaries pulled a gross premium of N6.543 billion in 2020. The unofficial figures for 2021 are mouth watering.
Born in January 8, 1962 Sammy who is an indigene of Ogbomosho South local government area of Oyo prides himself as a distinguished marketing strategist. He holds a degree in Accounting and yet another in Business Administration all from University of Lagos. He is a Chartered Insurer with the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN).
A Fellow of the Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (RIMSON), an Associate member of the Nigerian Institute of Management as well as Fellow of the Institute of Directors (IOD), Sammy Olaniyi started his career as trainee accountant in Auditing and Consultancy before joining Associated Surveyors and Adjusters in August of 1988 as senior Finance Officer. In September of 1993 he was appointed Assistant General Manager at African General Insurance Brokers. Typical of the proverbial golden fish which does not have any hiding place, Sammy was yet again to be dragged back to Associated Surveyors and Adjusters in December of 1994 this time as the Chief Executive Officer. Charismatic in service delivery and outstanding in achieving results, Sammy was a leading team member of the consortium of investors that brought Nigerian Alliance Assurance Corporation Limited into fruition in 1997 hence he was subsequently appointed Executive Director of the company. The merger and consolidation exercises in Nigeria’s insurance landscape in 2007 which saw Regency Insurance Company Limited closing ranks with Nigerian Alliance Assurance Corporation Limited and two other companies culminated in throwing Sammy Olaniyi up as an Executive Director of Regency Insurance Company Plc, a company which has remained unrivaled in general insurance business market place.
One William Edward Burghardt had in a letter to his great grandson observed that “the return from your work must be the satisfaction which your work brings to you and the world’s need of that work. With this, life is heaven or as near heaven as you can get. Without this—with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need—this life is hell”.
Sammy Olaniyi has in his almost 25 years in the business of risk management and underwriting strived towards bringing satisfaction and smiles on the faces of each and every of his customers and related stakeholders in the insurance space.
This accomplishment is a product of calculated efforts and investment in both time and resources considering that Sammy Olaniyi has committed so much in training himself to becoming one of the best that the industry could produce.
From Ghana Secondary School, Tamale, Ghana to Middlesex University London from where he obtained a Doctorate degree in Oil and Gas Insurance, Sammy has remained a practitioner ever willing to improve on his competences. His passion for excellence has seen him accepting to understudy the strength and proficiency of both competing and allied professionals.
A checklist of professional courses and trainings which he has gone through presents another side of his humility: Reed training on motivation techniques, Ernest & Young on hazard experience, Marsh Energy Insurance Diploma, Corporate Governance and Management Development, Fiduciary Certificate in Fiduciary Awareness, Board Development Programme, International Finance Reporting Standards, Governance in Risk Management, NCRIB’s Risk Pricing & Solution are among other intensive skill acquisition, development and training programmes which he has indulged himself all in an honest effort to be the best of that which he has chosen to be.
“I have enjoyed a delightful experience working in the insurance industry as a practitioner and professional. Insurance is one of those few professions where one’s services bring relief and happiness to others. As a professional, you work towards mitigating loses and when such risks occur, your claims payment capabilities help in restoring hope thus guarantying the continuity of businesses and individual endevours. I am happy that many more Nigerians and businesses are embracing insurance as a culture. Without the succour which insurance offers by way of claims payment, many businesses would have folded up. Take the case of loses which trailed the #EndSARES protest; insurance companies in Nigeria have paid billions of naira in claims. Nigerian insurance companies deserve the commendation and patronage of government, corporate organizations and individuals”, Dr Sammy Olaniyi summed up.
For him, it is not all about all work and no play for he finds joy in fellowshipping at Ikoyi Club. He is also in communion with membership of Institute of Directors and Chartered Institute of Management among others where he is a member.
For a professional whose skills are in high demand, Sammy serves on the board of such other institutions as Regency NEM Insurance Limited Ghana and RIC Microfinance Bank Limited. No wonder then that Sammy was part of the presidential trip to the United Kingdom way back in 2008. Simply put, insurance has become a way of life for Sammy Olaniyi.