UK insurer to launch SA subsidiary

25 January 2011

UK-based multinational insurer Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc is to form a new South African company, together with local management and black economic empowerment partners, as the company seeks to expand its presence in the country.

The decision follows many years of trading in the country, including a three-year partnership with Glenrand MIB, which will now end following their expected takeover by a competitor.

“JLT’s entry into the market underlines its belief in the growth potential of South Africa both domestically and as a hub for the African continent,” the company said in a statement this week. “JLT already has extensive experience in fast-developing markets, with growing operations in both Asia and South America.

“This business will capitalise on the increasing trading between these markets and South Africa.”

Access to industry specialists

The move will provide clients with access to JLT industry specialists in areas such as construction, natural resources, marine, financial risks, life sciences and telecommunications. In addition, the new operation will also offer both facultative and treaty reinsurance capabilities.

The company has already secured the services of several people with experience in the local industry – former Glenrand MIB chief executive Andrew Chislett is expected to take up the position of the new company’s CEO in September.

In addition, Walter Cronje and Danny Buitendag, both of whom held senior management positions within Glenrand MIB, and Paul Turner, who was Aon Benfield’s Facultative Reinsurance Practice head in South Africa, will also join the company.

Market leader aim

”We aim to become a market leader in South Africa, supporting domestic insurers, enhancing access to international markets and creating a key strategic and regional hub for the JLT Group and our international network,” said Mark Drummond-Brady, JLT Group’s international chairman for risk and insurance and chairman of JLT in South Africa.

“We have already received very positive feedback from potential clients and insurance companies who have strongly encouraged us to establish a presence in the region to provide a distinctive alternative for clients, engender greater competition and enhance distribution for insurers and reinsurers.”

Drummond-Brady said that JLT was a committed long-term investor in South Africa, wishing to operate to the highest international standards in partnership with key management and BEE partners.

Subject to regulatory approval, JLT anticipates opening its first office in Johannesburg in April.

SAinfo reporter

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