Sanlam spreads its wings to North Africa, becomes Africa’s largest insurer

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Sanlam has concluded its acquisition of Morocco-based SAHAM Finances. This deal, Sanlam’s biggest to date, will transform the Group into Africa’s largest financial services player.

Wich the deal, Sanlam and Santam hold a respective 90% and 10% interest in SAHAM Finances. The $1.05 billion transaction gives the former access to 26 more countries on the continent, besides the seven countries in which it already operates.

“The conclusion of this transaction is an important milestone in achieving our vision of becoming a leading financial services group on the continent,” says Ian Kirk, Group CEO of Sanlam. “The confluence of the combined footprints and respective expertises of Sanlam, Santam and SAHAM Finances provides the Sanlam Group with an opportunity to grow its Life Insurance businesses in Francophone markets. We are uniquely positioned to be the ‘go to’ financial services partner for multinationals doing business on the continent.”

Junior Ngulube, Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Emerging Markets, notes that Sanlam’s size and reach will provide a significant strategic advantage, enabling it to expand its multinational client base, strengthen its position in specialist insurance and employee benefits, and serve as the preferred partner for insurers without a presence in Africa.

“The African presence of the combined Group is unparalleled in the industry,” he says. “With expertise across life, general and specialist insurance and investment management in Africa, we now have significant opportunities for cross-selling and diversification. Through Santam, we will offer specialist insurance solutions. We are looking for growth across the continent. The transaction has the full support of the Board and executive team of SAHAM Finances.”

Under the new set-up, Nadia Fettah will remain the CEO of SAHAM Finances. Together with Emmanuel Brule, Deputy CEO of SAHAM Finances, she will join the Sanlam Emerging Markets executive committee.