Willis Launches M&A Practice in South Africa to Support Growth in Transaction Activity
Johannesburg, South Africa, August 26, 2008 – Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, has launched a new Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Practice in South Africa to serve the insurance brokerage and risk management needs of the burgeoning private equity sector and local corporate clients, the company announced today.
South Africa has recently become an attractive location for M&A investment, with assets under management by private equity firms increasing by 46 percent in the past year. Willis’ decision to expand its International M&A Practice to South Africa is a direct reflection of the growing demand the company sees for specialist advice on the assessment and insurance of the risks and exposures arising from M&A activity in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
William Seccombe, head of Willis’ Financial and Executive Risks division (FINEX) in South Africa, will widen his responsibilities to lead the newly created regional M&A team, with support from Willis’ London M&A team led by Richard Worker.
Commenting on the launch of the new M&A Practice, Ryck Genis, CEO, Willis South Africa, said, “Willis is now ideally positioned to become the leading South African M&A insurance broker by providing highly specialised knowledge and crucial support for South African corporate and private equity clients at this key time. The new structure will enable our International M&A Practice to deliver their vast global expertise to local and international investors with the support of our South African team, which has in-depth knowledge of the local market.”
Alistair Lester, International M&A Practice Leader, said, “South Africa has built a healthy mid-market private-equity platform as well as being home to many of Africa’s most acquisitive companies. Economic confidence remains strong in the sector despite the global credit turmoil. The South African team is an important addition to our global network of M&A capabilities and reinforces our ongoing commitment to developing the M&A Practice in high-growth markets.”
The South African M&A Practice will focus on the provision of Buyer and Vendor Due Diligence, Transactional Insurance Products, Portfolio Company requirements and services arising from mergers, acquisitions, divestments, reconstruction and formal insolvencies. Clients and Prospects will include private equity firms, investment banks, strategic investors, professional firms and major corporations.
The Willis M&A Practice comprises over 90 professionals located in all the major financial centres of the world.
Willis Group Holdings Limited is a leading global insurance broker, developing and delivering professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 300 offices in some 100 countries, with a global team of approximately 16,000 Associates serving clients in some 190 countries. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.