US headquartered insurance and risk management firm Marsh has linked up with Israel Skosana’s Kapela Holdings in a black economic empowerment (BEE) deal that delivers 13% equity.
The deal sees Marsh, which acquired Alexander Forbes Risk Services (AFRS) last year achieve about 25% direct BEE ownership. Marsh already has a 12% BEE partner in form of Sam Montsi’s group called Parmtro Investments.
The Kapela transactions comes to debunk the myth that mainstream corporations have lost interest in BEE, that is transactions which give black people equity. Following the post financial crisis lull, BEE deal flow has improved in the past few months with companies realizing that they actually need the cultural collateral which comes with BEE partnerships amongst other benefits.
Marsh also announced that Israel Skosana, Chairman of Kapela, had been appointed as Chairman of Marsh South Africa.
Jurie Erwee, the CEO of Marsh Africa said “We are delighted with the decision by Kapela Holdings to invest in Marsh South Africa. Israel Skosana and the team at Kapela have a strong track record of making significant contributions to the businesses they invest in. I am also delighted that Parmtro Investments, led by Sam Montsi, has made the decision to retain their shareholding in Marsh’s South African business. The contributions of both companies will be invaluable as we grow our business in the years ahead.
“At the time of Marsh’s acquisition of Alexander Forbes Risk Services (AFRS) in 2012, we confirmed our commitment to continuous improvement in our BEE representation to reflect the increased size of our business in the South African market. This transaction underlines our commitment to economic transformation as a business imperative,” added Mr Erwee.
“The acquisition of AFRS by Marsh created one of the leading insurance brokers and risk advisors not just in South Africa but across the continent. As we seek to grow our business further, a broader BBBEE shareholder base will be a strong positive force in the development of our business,” said Brian Blake, the Vice Chairman of Marsh Africa.
Skosana added, “Marsh is an exciting investment for Kapela. As a long-established leader in insurance broking and risk management in Africa, combined with its international capabilities and resources, Marsh has significant potential for us as investors. At Kapela, we take a hands-on approach to our businesses and aim to add value by contributing executive management experience and bringing significant corporate relationships to the fore. We are also excited by the opportunity of furthering Marsh South Africa’s already strong commitment to BEE.”
Montsi, Chairman of Parmtro, said “We are pleased to be able to continue our successful relationship with Marsh South Africa, which goes back well over 10 years. We look forward to working with all the shareholders and management to ensure continued business success.”
Commenting on the completion of the first year of operations following the AFRS acquisition, Mr Erwee added: “We have made it our mission to focus on our clients’ needs throughout the process of combining the businesses. Our client and colleague retention has been good and our business plans are now focused on delivering superior value through focused client service, complimented by working in conjunction with our BEE partners in South Africa.“
Marsh in South Africa currently enjoys a Level 3 BEE rating.