Old Mutual EM unit moves into West Africa with ETI deal

Added 23rd May 2016

Old Mutual Emerging Markets (Omem) has teamed up with pan-African banking group Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) as part of a move to expand its operations into French-speaking nations such as Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

Old Mutual EM unit moves into West Africa with ETI deal

A new agreement was signed by the two companies on Friday in Togo’s capital, Lomé, confirmed a statement on Old Mutual’s website.

It means that Omem, which operates in 12 countries across Africa, will be able to use ETI’s distribution channels to offer insurance, retirement, and savings products into West African countries where it does not currently have presence.

With operations spanning 36 countries across Africa, ETI previously signed an agreement with Omem in 2010, allowing Old Mutual to bolster its business in Nigeria by using the bank’s 400 retail branches to sell insurance products.

Ralph Mupita, chief executive of Omem, said the partnership has also been extended to Ghana where it is proving successful.

Ecobank’s chief executive Ade Ayeyemi said: “This is a productive and valued partnership between two pan-African institutions to provide complete financial services solutions to our customers.”


Nedbank, Old Mutual’s banking subsidiary, owns a 20% stake in ETI and has a separate arrangement with the bank so that it can offer it’s corporate and investment banking services to its existing customers.

Opportunities for growth

Mupita told South Africa’s Business Day, that although insurance services on the continent, excluding South Africa, are "nascent" they offer significant growth opportunities due to faster urbanisation and an increasing consumer market.

"On a 10-year view, you have got to believe in those markets," he said.

A report published by KPMG in 2014 found a shockingly low level - 1.04% - of insurance penetration in Africa, barring South Africa (14.28) which accounted for $54.9bn (£37.8bn, €50bn) of the continent’s $71.9bn worth of insurance premiums in 2012.

Potential JSE-listing

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Omem could be listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange.

The potential listing, which includes Old Mutual South Africa and short-term insurer Mutual & Federal, is being considered as part of Old Mutual Plc's planned managed separation of its business into four units.


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