All systems go for major Sanlam Emerging Markets deal

October 11, 2018

Conditions met for acquisition of Morocco-based SAHAM Finances, turning Sanlam into leading pan-African financial services group


Sanlam’s conclusion of its biggest acquisition to date transforms the Group into a leading financial services player in Africa, opening the way for a major growth drive on the continent.


Sanlam and Santam have announced the fulfilment of all conditions precedent for the acquisition of the remaining 53.37% of Morocco-based SAHAM Finances, effective 9 October, after regulators in various jurisdictions approved the deal. Sanlam and Santam now hold an effective interest in SAHAM Finances of 90% and 10% respectively.


“The conclusion of this transaction is an important milestone in achieving our vision of becoming a leading financial services group on the continent.  The confluence of the combined footprint and respective expertise of Sanlam, Santam and SAHAM Finances provides the Sanlam Group with an opportunity to grow its Life Insurance businesses in Francophone markets as well as leveraging the Group’s expertise to grow the general insurance portfolio.  We are uniquely positioned to be the ‘go to’ financial services partner for multinationals doing business on the continent,” says Ian Kirk, Group CEO of Sanlam.


One-stop shop


The acquisition creates a pan-African financial services group able to offer a full product suite to clients ranging from individuals to corporates. Sanlam’s size and reach will provide a significant strategic advantage, enabling it to expand its multinational client base, strengthen its position in specialist insurance and employee benefits, and serve as the preferred partner for insurers without a presence in Africa.


“The African presence of the combined Group is unparalleled in the industry,” says Junior Ngulube, Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Emerging Markets. “With expertise across life, general and specialist insurance and investment management in Africa we now have significant opportunities for cross-selling and diversification. Through Santam, we will offer specialist insurance solutions. We are looking for growth across the continent.  The transaction has the full support of the Board and executive team of SAHAM Finances.  Nadia Fettah will remain the CEO of SAHAM Finances and together with Emmanuel Brule, Deputy CEO of SAHAM Finances, will join the Sanlam Emerging Markets executive committee”


From the Cape to Casablanca


The acquisition deepens Sanlam’s direct presence in 33 countries stretching from the Cape to the Maghreb and East and West Africa, giving it unmatched access to the continent’s insurance market.


“The businesses are complementary,” says SAHAM Finances Chief Executive Officer Nadia Fattah. “SAHAM Finances developed into a leading insurance group in Africa outside of South Africa, with leading businesses in most of the 26 countries in which it operates.“

SAHAM Finances will be branded as a “member of Sanlam Group” over the short term across its existing businesses. 


“Santam’s increased effective interest in SAHAM Finances is underpinned by the opportunity for Santam to play a leading role in expanding and managing the combined SAHAM Finances and Santam specialist business in Africa in conjunction with SEM and SAHAM Finances, to become the leading pan-African specialist insurance provider,” says Lizé Lambrechts, Chief Executive Officer of Santam.  “In addition, Santam will also will play a more meaningful role in the reinsurance businesses of SAHAM Finances” says Lambrechts




Sanlam is significantly extending its African reach through gaining a business with 65 subsidiaries, a network of 700 branches, more than 3 000 employees and $1.2 billion in annual turnover. Despite the considerable reach of both companies, SAHAM Finances and Sanlam have until now overlapped in just four countries: Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda.


Since its establishment in Morocco in 1995 as a subsidiary of SAHAM Group – which also owns health, food and distribution interests – SAHAM Finances has expanded rapidly. At end-2017 it had consolidated net assets worth $850 million and earnings of $77.4 million for the year.


The two companies began their partnership in 2016, when Sanlam Emerging Markets acquired a 30% stake in SAHAM Finances. Sanlam increased its stake to 46.6% the following year.






About the Sanlam Group

Sanlam is a leading financial services group listed on the Johannesburg and Namibian Stock Exchanges. Established in 1918 as a life insurance company, the South Africa-based Sanlam Group has transformed into a diversified financial services business.


Through its business clusters – Sanlam Personal Finance, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments, Santam and the newly established Sanlam Corporate – the Group provides comprehensive and tailored financial solutions to individual and institutional clients across all market segments. The Group’s areas of expertise include insurance (life and general), financial planning, retirement, investments and wealth.


The Group has a direct stake in operations based in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Mauritius, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Malaysia and the United Kingdom and has business interests in the USA, Australia, Burundi, Lesotho and the Philippines. Following the acquisition of the SAHAM Finances Group, it has exposure to insurance operations in Morocco, Angola, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. For further information, visit or follow us @sanlam.


About Santam, Insurance good and proper

Santam is South Africa’s leading general insurer with a market share in excess of 22%. Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Santam group provides a diversified range of general insurance products and services in Southern Africa and internationally through a network of 3600 intermediaries and direct channels. The group’s more than 1 million policyholders range from individuals to commercial and specialist business owners and institutions, including most of the Top 100 companies listed on the JSE. The group employs over 6 000 employees and is recognised by its peers as having the most technically competent employees.


The Santam group, in partnership with Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM), a subsidiary of its major shareholder Sanlam, operates in Southern Africa through Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe; East Africa through Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda; West Africa through Nigeria and Ghana, and in India and Malaysia. Santam, with SEM, shares an interest in the SAHAM Finances Group, which extends the group’s footprint to a total of 33 countries to include Francophone Africa, Angola, Morocco and Lebanon.

Santam’s competitive advantage within South Africa has been entrenched for 100 years by offering its clients a wide range of short-term insurance products that has been scientifically modelled to suit their needs, as well as having the highest claims efficiency in the industry.


For further information, visit


About SAHAM Finances

One of the largest pan African insurance groups, SAHAM Finances recorded a turnover of more than 1.2 billion USD in 2017.


SAHAM Finances operates through its subsidiaries including 34 insurance and reinsurance companies across 700 branches throughout Africa and has a team of more than 3 000 employees.


With an extensive presence in Africa and the Middle East, SAHAM Finances, puts its expertise at the service of insurance, assistance and third-party administration (TPA).


SAHAM Finances accompanies its customers wherever they are so that they feel free to move forward in their lives a