NICO's success story is well documented with several firsts.
• It was the first to list on the Malawi Stock Exchange.
• NICO Holdings Limited was the first company in Malawi to have successful investments in a foreign economy.
NICO's successful journey saw the company setting up the first cross-border General Insurance Company in Zambia in 1997. This also made NICO the first Malawian company to open a foreign operation managed and controlled from Malawi.
In 2001, NICO acquired a 74 percent controlling stake in the then New Building Society and converted the financial institution into a full-fledged commercial bank under the name of NBS Bank, making it the third largest bank in the country. The bank successfully listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange in 2007.
However.NICO Holdings Limited remains the major share holder with a diluted 50.1 percent.
Realising the importance of IT in its operations, NICO Technologies was formed to offer IT services to the Group Companies. NICO Technologies continues to give the group many core competencies by providing the Group and other client's high end IT systems and services.
"In 2003, following significant growth of its core business and investment portfolio, the company restructured to allow the major business units to operate as independent and autonomous entities, leaving all central functions to the responsibility of a Holding company.
This, saw the birth of NICO Holdings Limited as the holding company with NICO General Company Limited and, NICO Life Insurance Limited as the subsidiaries.
In 2004, and in alignment with NICO's Regional Growth Strategy, NICO acquired Imperial Insurance Company Limited in Uganda, and in the following year , acquired Imperial Insurance Company Limited in Tanzania. 2009 saw the acquisition of a stake in SFG Insurance in Zimbabwe and the formation of an Investment company, NICO Asset Managers Limited.
Today, NICO is not only a truly multinational company, but also the only Malawian multi-national company.
But what is the secret behind this robust growth?
"A major asset of the group is the experienced and dynamic professional employess. NICO seeks and employs the best people for the job and boasts of a highly motivated, trained and
qualified professional team".
"This team, together with rest of the staff are always ready and eager to serve twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Furthermore, the company also - owes its growth to its portfolio investor. It has significant investments in Standard Bank Malawi, Blantyre Hotels Limited, Chichiri Shopping Centre Limited, Chibuku Products Limited Mwaiwathu Private Hospital, to name a few.
Some of the investments are landmark infrastructural developments which include NICO Centre in Lilongwe, and the Lilongwe City mall, Chichiri Shopping Centre in Blantyre and Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre.
These developments have not only transformed Malawi's landscape but have also contributed to the country's wealth and development. NICO is, therefore, a true partner in the economic transformation of the country.
Back to society
But, as the saying goes, the beauty of neighborhood lies in reciprocating favours. Throughout its history of existence, NICO has been giving back to society through a social corporate investment.
The investment has seen the company engaged in corporate social responsibility gestures such as The Young Achiever Award Program, HIV/Aids at work place, supporting various institutions in risk management activities, and local charities.
As a major milestone for its commitment for Corporate Social Investment, NICO has set up a Foundation, known as the NICO Foundation which will be responsible for the Group's Social Responsibility activities. Significant resources have been committed to this cause and NICO is fully committed to serve and reciprocate to the good will of our clients and the countries in which we operate in.
Yet, at 40, having done all this, the company feels life has just begun. NICO has a great vision of the future with great prospects. Despite the great challenges that face our economy, NICO continues to perform beyond its expectations.
NICO Holdings Limited has a vision and strategy of expansion to be one of the largest financial services companies outside of Southern Africa. NICO Holdings Limited is set to be a Pan African Company. This will be achieved by providing its customers with top of the line products and services making NICO the ICON in Financial services.