When news broke last year that Lockton, the world’s largest independent broker, was making its first foray into the African market, through its acquisition of a majority (60%) stake in firstEquity Risk Management, it was met with great interest and some speculation about whether there was room in our heavily traded, local corporate and commercial market for a major international player.
One year on, the deal has bedded down and firstEquity founder, Seamus Casserly is delighted to report that their organic shift, from a Global Partnership relationship to an equity stake, is yielding the expected synergies and says the time is right for the business to rebrand and change its name to Lockton South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
“By joining forces, our ability to offer advisory solutions to our clients based on the very best global practices and IP has been strengthened,” says Casserly. “So, we are very happy to have adopted the globally-recognized Lockton logo and branding, which betters reflect our ownership structure and renewed growth focus.”
A move that means the name firstEquity ceased to exist on 1 June 2019.
“We have always been committed to providing the highest quality of service,” says Casserly, “and, rather than being driven by price or by growing our physical footprint, we’ve chosen to follow our clients and their risks.”
“Lockton shares these values, which makes them a great fit for our business, and the common ground between us bodes well for further collaboration.” Property is one important area in which he sees more mutual opportunities, particularly as the market globalises.
Global issues demand a global strategy
As the insurance market hardens and prices increase, Casserly says the same patterns and pressures are occurring everywhere and the tie-up with Lockton has proved a timely and effective growth strategy.
“For the first time I can recall in decades, both London and local markets are contending with the same issues. The hardening market is driven by reinsurers, which affects all our clients, no matter where they are in the world. So when there are storm losses in the States, they have a knock-on effect on us here in South Africa, even if it’s only subtle. And, while Lloyd’s was always the foil for local markets in the past, that’s not necessarily the case now. Sometimes there’s no alternative port of call.”
That’s among the many reasons Casserly was so positive about bringing Lockton to South Africa. “It has given us access to world-class, cutting edge resources we can tap into whenever we have a client who will benefit from them – and vice versa.
“Beyond that, it emboldens our efforts to empower our local people, by ensuring they learn best practice and the only way for us to do that is on a global stage.”
Level 2 B-BBEE Status
Lockton South Africa is proud to announce that, with effect from July 2019, it will be qualified as a Level 2 B-BBEE business. A significant achievement that has been a key objective of the Board since Lockton acquired its stake.