Marsh, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, today announced that it has completed its previously agreed acquisition of the brokerage business of Alexander Forbes (AF). This transaction comprises its South African insurance broking operations, Alexander Forbes Risk Services (AFRS) and related ancillary operations, and AF’s insurance broking operations in Botswana and Namibia.
Marsh also announced that it has agreed to acquire other Alexander Forbes local operations across sub-Saharan Africa in Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia subject to regulatory and other approvals. These transactions are expected to close in the first quarter of 2012.
This transaction gives Marsh a leading market position in South Africa and significantly expands its presence in some of the most vibrant economies in the sub-Saharan region. In particular, it greatly enhances Marsh’s position in Africa’s major business sectors, including mining and minerals, power, telecommunications, transport and construction. It also extends Marsh’s reach into the dynamic middle market.
David Batchelor, President of Marsh’s International Division, said: “The combination of Alexander Forbes’ well-established South African operations, its regional network and respected team together with Marsh’s existing South African business, global solutions, resources and placement skills, will bring dramatically enhanced benefits to all our clients. Companies in the rapidly-developing African region are increasingly looking for insurance brokers and risk advisers that can help them both protect their vital assets and grow. This transaction, which is driven by our growth ambitions to be a pan-African leader, gives us a powerful platform to meet these expectations.
“As we have worked more closely together over the last few months, we have been impressed with the team at Alexander Forbes Risk Services, which deservedly enjoys a strong reputation for excellent client service. My Marsh colleagues and I warmly welcome them.”
Jurie Erwee, who today assumed the responsibilities as CEO of the combined enterprise, now called Marsh Africa, added: “The whole team at AFRS has been made to feel very welcome by our colleagues at Marsh and we look forward to a rapid integration of the businesses. Together, as we unite our growth ambitions to become the continent’s pre-eminent broker and risk adviser, we are committed to bringing the world’s best to Africa.”
On closing the transaction, Marsh retained its Level 3 status in its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard rating. “Through focused investment and support, Marsh has made significant achievements in its levels of Black Economic Empowerment. The combined Marsh entity will remain strongly committed to continuous improvement in its BEE performance levels,” Mr Erwee added.