About Shimelis Belay

Who was Shimelis Belay?

Shimelis Belay was born in Dessie, Ethiopia on April 24, 1953. His father is Major Belay Said and his mother is Lishan Asfaw. Shimelis received his early education at Negus Michael Elementary school in Dessie and attended W/O Sheen Comprehensive High School, Dessie. He was admitted to the University of Haile Selassie—renamed Addis Ababa University in 1970—and graduated as a mechanical Engineer in 1981 while working for the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation.

Mr. Shimelis Belay joined the insurance industry in 1980 while he was still a student and worked in different capacities before rising to the position of head of Risk Management and Survey Department in the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation.

Shimelis was frustrated and disappointed with insurance fraud and corruption in Ethiopia, and he immediately started looking for his own insurance business elsewhere. He moved to Kenya in 1994 and established an underwriting and loss adjusting company with a British partner, as General Manager and CEO.

He joined Africa-re in 2004 as a Senior Underwriter and rose to the position of Assistant Director of Operations in Kenya before moving to Ethiopian in 2011 as a country representative of the Addis Ababa office.

Mr. Shimelis Belay held a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Ethiopia) and MBA (London). Shimelis also had an Associateship of Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII), a Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII) of the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK), an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK) and was an Associate Member of the Institute of Loss Adjusters.

ACII is a professional designation established in the UK identifying an individual who has satisfactorily completed ten examinations on insurance and general business topics. FCII is a professional designation established in the UK awarded to the holders of ACII. FCII achievement includes a dissertation and a large, groundbreaking body of published work. Shimelis was the first Ethiopian national to be awarded ACII and FCII. He was also awarded Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK) and Associate Member of Los Adjusters. A Loss Adjuster is a claims specialist appointed and paid by an insurance company to investigate contentious, complex claims on behalf of the insurance company. The loss adjuster is responsible for establishing the cause of a loss and to determine whether it is covered by insurance policy.

Shimelis permanently moved to the US in 2018. Shimelis again used his extensive insurance experience and established a company: Infinity Property and Casualty Company in Denver, CO. He served as a CEO of the company and passed while he was still working in that capacity.

He is survived by his lovely wife Belaynesh Damte, his sons Yonatan Shimelis, Eyassu Shimelis, his two daughters Lydia and Abigail, and a grandson Isaac. Shimelis is also survived by siblings, Tsehay Teferra,Tibebu Belay, Mesfin Belay, Lulseged Asefa, Nunush Belay, Desta Belay, Fisiha Belay, Zewde Belay and Tadesse W/yes.