Willis Acquires 22.5% Stake in So. Africa Benefits Provider Amabubesi

Willis Europe BV, a division of Willis Group Holdings, announced the conclusion of a transaction whereby Willis South Africa has acquired 22.5 percent of the equity in Amabubesi Consulting Services (ACS), a specialist employee benefits consulting business.

“ACS belongs to the Amabubesi Group, a South African investment company that acquired 26 percent of Willis South Africa in August 2009,” the bulletin explained. “As part of the first transaction, Amabubesi has the option to increase its shareholding to 32.5 percent within a three-year period from the closing of the 2009 agreement. The latest transaction, which will enhance Willis’ employee benefits business and further strengthen the broker’s position in terms of South African equity legislation, coincides with the 10th anniversary of the insurance broker’s return to South Africa in November 1990.”

As part of the new deal, Peter Moyo, Executive Director of Amabubesi, and Ndivhuwo Ravele, former CEO of ACS, have joined the board of Willis South Africa as Non-Executive Directors; and Ryck Genis, CEO of Willis South Africa, has joined the board of ACS, creating synergies between the two groups.

Genis commented: “We are committed to providing the very best service to our clients, and to developing our business in South Africa – a key market with excellent long-term growth potential for us. Amabubesi, a dynamic firm with a reputation for investing in strong businesses, will help us achieve our objectives. We can think of no better partner as we seek to develop new growth opportunities to meet the insurance and risk management needs of our broad client base in South Africa.”

Moyo added: “Our vision is to partner with first league players and management teams with a credible track record. As South Africa continues to grow and become an increasingly important player in the global economy, local and international companies will need world-class risk management to take advantage of significant opportunities here in sectors like construction, mining, manufacturing and aviation. For this reason, they will look to partner with a broker like Willis, which has strong local roots and expertise, backed by extensive global resources. We look forward to working with Willis to build on their success in South Africa.”

The bulletin also described the Amabubesi Group as a “leading black controlled and managed South African Investment Group. The foundations of the Group lie in its focus on Black Economic Empowerment opportunities, and it is at the forefront of creating a sustainable business model for South Africa. The Group encourages active participation in investments to manage risk and enhance value, adherence to proper governance, cooperation with co-investors and management to derive innovative solutions and maximize value and seeks to create and enhance an entrepreneurial culture.