The firm has already made positive strides focusing on improved governance and leadership through the application of best practice corporate governance principles and retention of an experienced talent pool including senior management team member.

Sanlam and Santam have announced the fulfillment of all conditions precedent for the acquisition of the remaining 53.37% of Morocco-based SAHAM Finances, effective October 9, after regulators in various jurisdictions approved the deal. Sanlam and Santam now hold an effective interest in SAHAM Finances of 90% and 10% respectively.

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

The acquisition creates a pan-African financial services group able to offer a full product suite to clients ranging from individuals to corporates. 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,” says Junior Ngulube, Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Emerging Markets. “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. Nadia Fettah will remain the CEO of SAHAM Finances and together with Emmanuel Brule, Deputy CEO of SAHAM Finances, will join the Sanlam Emerging Markets executive committee.”

The acquisition deepens Sanlam’s direct presence in 33 countries stretching from the Cape to the Maghreb and East and West Africa, giving it unmatched access to the continent’s insurance market.

“The businesses are complementary,” says SAHAM Finances Chief Executive Officer Nadia Fattah. “SAHAM Finances developed into a leading insurance group in Africa outside of South Africa, with leading businesses in most of the 26 countries in which it operates.“

SAHAM Finances will be branded as a “member of Sanlam Group” over the short term across its existing businesses.

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“Santam’s increased effective interest in SAHAM Finances is underpinned by the opportunity for Santam to play a leading role in expanding and managing the combined SAHAM Finances and Santam specialist business in Africa in conjunction with SEM and SAHAM Finances, to become the leading pan-African specialist insurance provider,” says Lizé Lambrechts, Chief Executive Officer of Santam. “In addition, Santam will also will play a more meaningful role in the reinsurance businesses of SAHAM Finances” says Lambrechts.

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