Willis Launches So. Africa M&A Practice

August 27, 2008

Willis Group Holdings 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.

Willis explained: “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.

Ryck Genis, CEO, Willis South Africa, commented: “Willis is now ideally positioned to become the leading South African M&A insurance broker by providing highly specialized knowledge and crucial support for South African corporate and private equity clients at this key time.”

Alistair Lester, International M&A Practice Leader, added: “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.”

Willis indicated that the expanded M&A would “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.”

Source: Willis Group Holdings – www.willis.com

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