Alexander Forbes and Mercer design pan-African benefits solution


Alexander Forbes and Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career, have come together to launch Arrive, a benefits solution with an unrivalled broker network – the most comprehensive offering of its kind across Africa. The one-stop platform will assist companies in Africa that want to standardise their benefits.

According to Dawie de Villiers, Alexander Forbes Group CE, the client-led strategy is underpinned by the company’s best advice and delivered through an integrated and seamless distribution platform. “Because each country has its own regulatory and benefit rules, it makes it challenging for multinationals to standardise and optimise benefits when operating in multiple jurisdictions and countries,” says De Villiers.

“With Arrive, employers can enjoy improved efficiency, easy decision-making and affordability from a single point of contact while enabling employees to arrive at financial well-being, a rewarding career and better health throughout their life journey,” says Peter Botha, CEO for Africa, Mercer.

With Africa susceptible to the disruptions presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a compelling employee value proposition is becoming increasingly vital. According to Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Study, 73% of C-suite executives expect significant industry disruption in the next three years, which puts companies under increasing pressure to stay ahead of the challenges presented by technological advancements and changing workforce dynamics.

According to the 2018 Alexander Forbes Benefits Barometer, the financial well-being of employees impacts on presenteeism, absenteeism and, in turn, lowers productivity, and ultimately retention. Similar studies, such as the Healthy, Wealthy, Work-Wise Study conducted last year revealed that 60% of employees are at least somewhat stressed by their financial situation, which means they don’t bring their whole selves to work.

“Thriving businesses place people at the heart of what they do, because it makes good business sense. If people feel valued, then they are more likely to really thrive at work, and, in turn, the company achieves better results,” notes Botha. “Success comes from seeing the big picture; therefore, business leaders need to ensure that they treat their people as an asset in which to invest, and not as a business cost.”

The 2017 WEF Human Capital Report showed this is not being recognised enough on our continent, with Kenya ranking at 78 in the world, and South Africa and Nigeria coming in at number 87 and 114 respectively. “African organisations have to be mindful of giving their employees flexible and personalised work-life solutions, as the continent is not immune to global developments. Our partnership with Mercer ensures we can structure benefits and solutions that deliver value consistently for companies,” concludes de Villiers.