South-African Alexander Forbes Acquired By Marsh

Aug 31, 2011

The following article was published in PropertyCasualty360º on August 31, 2011:

South-African Alexander Forbes Acquired by Marsh

By Mark E. Ruquet

The insurance brokerage business of South Africa-based Alexander Forbes will be acquired by insurance broker Marsh, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

According to a spokesperson for Marsh, the firm will pay Alexander Forbes $116 million with an additional $44.6 million over the following two years, in tranches, depending upon certain revenue, operational and strategic targets. 

“Africa is a region of increasing growth opportunities and focus for Marsh & McLennan Companies,” says Dan Glaser, group president and chief operating officer of Marsh & McLennan Cos.

Marsh says the business comprises Alexander Forbes Risk Services and certain local and correspondent operations serviced across sub-Saharan Africa, including Botswana and Namibia.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Marsh says that after the transaction is complete the firm “will have taken a significant step forward in expanding its presence in Africa” with a leading position in South   Africa.

According to the company’s website, the firm traces its roots back to 1950 as Price Forbes Life and Pension Brokers. The company went under private equity ownership in 2009.

Jurie Erwee, chief executive officer of Alexander Forbes Risk Services, will be appointed CEO of the combined business in Africa, to be called Marsh Africa, and will report to David Batchelor, CEO of Marsh’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

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 Erwee.

Peter Zaffino, president and CEO of Marsh says in a statement, “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.”

Batchelor adds, “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.”

“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,” says Erwee.

“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,” adds Glaser.

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