WesBank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, and The Hollard Insurance Company announced in June that they will formalise their long-standing relationship through the formation of a new holding company, which will offer both WesBank and Hollard value-added motor products, were WesBank will be the majority shareholder.
Part of the transaction is that an agreement has been reached between the holding company and the shareholders of Motorite and Smart for the acquisition of these entities,which is still subject to regulatory approval. Motorite offers a variety of vehicle warranty and maintenance products, while SMART specialises in body repair cover through its paint and dent protection policies.
The new company will be headed up by Stephen Vermaak, CA (SA), CFA, who has been appointed as CEO. Vermaak joined WesBank in 2007, as the CFO for WesBank’s Motor Division. In 2012 he was promoted to Head of Insurance.
“We’ve partnered with Hollard for more than two decades and it’s exciting that we are now in a position to significantly boost our insurance aspirations in the motor market,” said Chris de Kock, CEO of WesBank.
“This new holding company will offer the best value-added motor products in the market, all of which will fall under one umbrella. With the leverage of Hollard it will also be in a position to bring these products to a wider audience than before,” he added.
WesBank is already the bank of choice for many car buyers in the South African market, and this venture will allow it to expand its product offerings for consumers. Hollard is South Africa’s largest privately owned insurance group, with decades of successful partnerships in multiple market segments. Hollard offers motor, household, business and life insurance products, as well as a range of investment products, and is considered a leader in the provision of value-added insurance products in the motor market. The formation of a standalone entity that specialises in these motor-specific value-added products is in line with Hollard’s strategy to offer tailor-made products that are relevant to customers’ needs.
“WesBank is the proven leader in vehicle finance, and we look forward to expanding our relationship with them and their established dealer base,” said Nic Kohler, CEO of Hollard. “The vision is to create an innovative value proposition for car buyers, with best-of-breed products available as add-ons to their finance contracts at the time of purchase, so that they can enjoy peace-of-mind motoring.”
The holding company intends to make additional bolt-on acquisitions, should further opportunities present themselves in future. These separate transactions will also be subject to approval by the competition authorities.