Mercer buys strategic stake in Alexander Forbes Group

03 July 2014

Mercer has acquired a one-third stake in Alexander Forbes, a South African firm that provides human resource and actuarial services to clients in both the public and private sector.

Alexander Forbes was founded in 1935 in South Africa and has since grown to a medium-sized multinational that services clients in sub-Saharan Africa, the UK and other selected jurisdictions which have employee benefits legislative frameworks similar to their home market. The firm focuses mainly on employee benefits and investment solutions for institutional clients, such as investment consulting, actuarial services, employee risk benefits, healthcare and pension consulting.

Just last week Alexander Forbes announced that it will go public with a listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Prior to its listing, consulting firm Mercer, which is part of the Marsh & McLennan Group, has decided to become a key strategic shareholder of the firm through the acquisition of a 34% stake.

Alexander Forbes - Mercer

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to establish a relationship with Alexander Forbes, a leader in its field in South Africa and broader Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Julio Portalatin, Chief Executive Officer of Mercer. “This is the beginning of a strong partnership that will generate value for both of our firms and our respective clients. We are particularly excited to significantly broaden our exposure to the growth prospects present in the region. Through this investment, we will be able to support our global clients seeking to enter and expand into the African market, and with our global reach and capabilities, we will be able to support Alexander Forbes’ clients seeking to grow outside of Africa.”

The transaction was supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (financial advisor) and law firms Webber Wentzel in South Africa and Slaughter and May in the UK.