Mercer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), has reached an agreement to buy a 34% shareholding in South Africa-based employee benefits firm Alexander Forbes Group, to its business capabilities.


Following completion of the transaction, Mercer will become a key strategic shareholder in the upcoming listing of Alexander Forbes on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Alexander Forbes delivers an array of services to institutional and retail clients that align closely with Mercer’s global business. It is a provider in the retirement, investments, and employee benefits space in South Africa and broader Sub-Saharan Africa.

Commenting on the transaction, Mercer president and CEO Julio Portalatin said that the firm is pleased to have this opportunity to establish a relationship with Alexander Forbes.

"This is the beginning of a strong partnership that will generate value for both of our firms and our respective clients.

"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," Portalatin added.

Focusing on employee benefits and investment solutions for institutional clients, and financial wellbeing and retail financial solutions for individual clients, Alexander Forbes offers services including retirement funds and investment consulting, actuarial and administration services, employee risk benefits and personal lines and business insurance.

BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as financial advisor, while Webber Wentzel in South Africa and Slaughter and May in the UK acted as legal advisors on the transaction.
Image: Mercer agrees to purchase 34% equity stake in South African Alexander Forbes. Photo courtesy of scottchan/