As South African-based retirement fund manager, Alexander Forbes is seeking to reduce its insurance businesses across Africa with Zambia becoming the latest to see such a move.

Over the next two years, Alexander Forbes will seek to reduce the surplus capital held which will be done through restructuring in addition to selling its insurance businesses.

With this, Octagon Africa has completed the purchase of 49 per cent shareholding in Alexander Forbes Financial Services Zambia.

Reviewing strategic business

This purchase comes after the announcement on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange News Service (SENS) by Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited to review its strategic business and operating model in March 2019.

As a result of our new strategy of offering a centralized advice-led solution platform in Africa, we have decided to exit some in-country operations including Zambia. We are glad that Octagon Africa is the best fit for our business, and we are confident of a seamless transition and our clients can be assured of excellent service as always, said Alexander Forbes Emerging Markets Chief Executive Officer Bonga Mokoena.

Octagon Africa, located in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, is a provider of pension, actuarial services, insurance brokerage and training for both the private and public sector organisations.

Octagon Africa is delighted to mark such a historic moment in our business by buying out Alexander Forbes business in Zambia and also being the official service provider for their clients in this market. We take pride in excellent service delivery and offering innovative solutions that meet our clients’ needs, said Octagon Africa Group Chief Executive Officer Fred Waswa.

The company has built a solid reputation over the last 12 years by leveraging on technology and innovative leadership with a portfolio under management of over 200 corporate clients.

Alexander Forbes sells Ugandan stake

In August, Alexander Forbes sold a 51 per cent stake to Kent Holdings in preparation to fully exit from Uganda.

In a joint statement, Mokoena said, On July 2, 2019, a sale of shares agreement was executed in terms of which, [Alexander] sold 51 per cent in Alexander Forbes Financial Services Uganda to Kent Holdings, a co-shareholder in Alexander Forbes Financial Services Uganda Limited, the notice read.

It added that the sale of shares agreement was subject to fulfilment of conditions.

The Ugandan business under Alexander Forbes Financial Services Uganda then became Zamara Actuaries Administrators and Consultants (Uganda).

Alexander Forbes announced its exit from Uganda in May following a strategic review of its business on March 26, 2019.

The company said that its Uganda and Zambia exits followed the strategic review of its businesses across Africa through its advice-led solution platforms.

With the exits, South Africa remains the company’s primary market and core focus.

In Uganda, Alexander Forbes is the largest retirement fund administration services provider. It offers services in accounting, comprehensive benefits administration, actuarial services and consulting.

The annual results for the period ended March 31 showed that Alexander Forbes was facing internal challenges from the savings and retirement markets which were under pressure. This resulted in lost business in some segments.

Alexander Forbes is now known as Zamara in Uganda.

Zamara has 350 pension administration clients and more than US$2.8 billion total asset base under administration.

The specialised financial services group provides administration solutions and advice to individuals, corporates, states and retirement funds.

It became a part of the Alexander Forbes Group in 2003 before rebranding to Zamara in 2017, adopting the new corporate identity.

Source: African News Agency