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Marsh to Acquire Brokerage Business of Alexander Forbes

Posted on 01 Sep 2011

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Marsh, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies on Wednesday announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the brokerage business of Alexander Forbes (AF). This business comprises Alexander Forbes Risk Services (AFRS) and certain local and correspondent operations serviced across sub-Saharan Africa, including Botswana and Namibia. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Following completion of this transaction, which is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2011, Marsh will have taken a significant step forward in expanding its presence in Africa. In particular, it will have a leading market position in South Africa. The transaction combines Alexander Forbes’ well established South African operations, broader network and respected enterprise with Marsh’s global solutions, resources and placement capabilities to enhance Marsh’s competitive position in key markets.

Peter Zaffino, President and CEO of Marsh Inc., said: “Marsh recognizes the tremendous potential of the African continent as a major market for insurance and risk management services. In Alexander Forbes Risk Services, we will acquire a highly regarded firm, greatly strengthening our immediate presence and providing us with a powerful platform to deliver value to the fast-developing sub-Saharan region.”

David Batchelor, CEO of Marsh’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said: “This transaction is positive news for our clients, colleagues and the risk and insurance industry across Africa. Our clients will benefit from the deep expertise brought together in the combined business; our colleagues will enjoy expanded career opportunities; and our global services and solutions will give greater options to companies of all sizes across the region.”

Jurie Erwee, CEO of AFRS, will be appointed CEO of the combined business in Africa, to be called Marsh Africa, and will report to Mr Batchelor. Brian Blake, CEO of Marsh South Africa, will be appointed Vice Chairman of Marsh Africa with specific responsibility for developing African business outside South Africa, and will report to Mr Erwee.

Mr Erwee said: “By aligning the local strengths of Alexander Forbes with Marsh’s global resources, we are bringing the world’s best to Africa. Marsh Africa will provide a broader offering to our clients and ensure that we can provide them with the risk solutions best suited to their needs. Both Alexander Forbes and Marsh have, through focused investment and support, achieved Level 3 status in our respective Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard ratings. As a combined enterprise we are committed to continuous improvement in our BEE performance levels.”

Dan Glaser, Group President and Chief Operating Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies said: “Africa is a region of increasing growth opportunities and focus for Marsh & McLennan Companies. We are delighted to welcome Alexander Forbes’ respected management team and colleagues who have a well-deserved reputation for excellent client relationships. Together, we will bring the best of Marsh & McLennan Companies’ global capabilities to their impressive range of clients, which includes some of South Africa’s most prominent industrial, commercial and public organizations.”