Press Office Feature : FGA now wholly owned Hollard subsidiary
|Posted:||25 Jul 2007|
Hollard will house these shares on behalf of its new Black Empowerment entity, Etana, to be launched once an insurance licence has been secured.
“This transaction will offer new and exciting prospects for product diversification and expansion of the company” says Gregg Smith, Managing Director of FGA, the specialist Fidelity Insurance and Commercial Crime Underwriting Managers for Hollard Insurance.
The imminent birth of Etana (part of the Hollard Group), specialising in corporate, commercial, and industrial insurance products, presents FGA with a unique opportunity to, take advantage of natural existing synergies in Hollard’s Commercial and General (HCG) and FGA’s markets, concurrently enabling FGA to create a wider footprint within Southern Africa on the back of HCG’s extensive branch and distribution networks.
Etana aim to diversify and increase their business scope into Casualty insurance lines, including Professional Indemnity, and FGA will play a fundamental role in this regard.
“I’m thrilled at the prospect of Gregg Smith and his team joining our family. Not only is this a real quality team but they bring with them a wealth of technical expertise and networking ability that is just so hard to find these days”, says Nash Omar (Pictured right), Etana’s MD.
He adds, “There’s so much that we share in common with regard to our philosophy of conducting business and continually looking for ways to bring fresh ideas and alternative ways of doing things, to our markets – this move is very symbiotic in that together we can best serve our customers and Brokers, whilst we develop a more diversified liability product solution for them”.
FGA, a 12-year old veteran now, has carved an important niche for itself in the fidelity guarantee market, by responding to their market’s need for stand-alone fidelity guarantee insurance cover and capacity, which your usual commercial and industrial insurance policy cannot adequately cater for.
Having built its reputation on dedicated relationships with its Broker markets, quality and efficient service, superior technical skills and tailor-made insurance solutions, it can safely be said that FGA is the leader in its field.
“This transaction is ultimately the best for FGA and its staff. The opportunities provided us through the new entity, will see both our business and our people blossom, whilst we can now provide the market with a more holistic commercial insurance solution, whether on a stand-alone or ‘bouquet’ basis”, Smith says.
He goes on to add, “The fact that we’re now wholly owned by Hollard has little impact on our independence and flexibility; we will continue to offer Hollard paper where required, but will soon offer an alternative, once the insurance licence is finalised”.
The purchase of minorities sees the exit of Lireas Holdings, the founder of FGA, and a co-shareholder in other significant UMA’s with Hollard.
“The Lireas/Hannover Re/Hollard partnerships are very important to us and parting ways is something we don’t take lightly, nor find easy, but in this instance we must do what’s best for this business and the team, and this opportunity is something that Hollard has diligently evaluated”, says Stef Theofanidis, Divisional Director of Hollard Insurance Partners.
Valerie Hayter, Managing Director of Lireas Holdings adds, “The Lireas strategy of being long term investors in underwriting agencies, with no exit strategy, remains firmly entrenched. In this case, Hollard and FGA Management have asked us to make an exception, which we have reluctantly agreed to do”.
Theofanidis says further, “Although we’re all parting at a shareholding level at least, we see Hannover Re playing a significant role going forward as one of our reinsurers, and to this end we will stay close to the founders of FGA”.
Hollard prides itself in continually seeking to respond to market impulses, and promote what is always in the interests of its 100-strong stable of partnerships. Whether FGA remained purely under Hollard Insurance, or now becomes part of a sister company, changes little in the way Hollard or its partners interact and transact with customers.
“Our aim is to best position any business to serve its target market effectively, and to this end an imminent change in carrier for FGA is of no consequence. Our customers can access fidelity products underwritten by FGA either through the new entity or Hollard – it will be ‘FGA’ and its current known team our customers access and it is what they are used to in the past, with exciting developments to come!”, says Theofanidis.
In a separate development, Gail Carver (Pictured right) has been appointed as the new Managing Director of FGA.
She will be seeking to continue to grow the business with some exciting new product ideas.
Gregg Smith has become FGA’s Non Executive Chairman who will hand over to Gail and will be involved in the development of new specialist underwriting opportunities for Etana.
Colin Stanton will remain on the FGA team continuing to support Gail and Gregg and the team with their new responsibilities.
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