On the back of steady organic growth and a sharp focus on providing service-focused niche insurance solutions, ACE Insurance South Africa has announced a new partnership which it says will provide profitable growth and diversification of revenues. With effect from 1 December 2011, First Property Assurances (FPA) will become an underwriting management agency for ACE in South Africa.
ACE CEO Mike Durek, says the conclusion of this relationship is a step forward for the company's strategic plan. "Until recently our growth was largely organic. However, with a solid base established and increasing brand recognition, the focus has turned to expansion through partnership or acquisition. The establishment of this relationship with FPA marks another step forward on putting that strategy into action."
In business for over six years, FPA has grown to be the second largest Underwriting Management Agency in its specific line of business, purely writing cover for commercial and residential buildings. With branches in Durban, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, it is head quartered in Cape Town.
ACE met FPA criteria
According to Ian Barton, managing director of FPA, on the exit of its previous insurer it sought a suitable partner. "Specifically, we wanted an organisation which is a specialist rather than a general insurer. Given the turbulent economic times in which we find ourselves, a strong balance sheet was an essential consideration, and a proven ability to deliver quality, niche solutions to market was desirable."
In ACE Insurance these criteria were met. "As the local branch of a highly recognised global player, ACE has stamped its presence on the market and demonstrated its ability to provide quality insurance solutions which are congruent with our business. In addition, it delivers global best practices for product delivery and offers substantial capacity," says Barton.
Durek says the partnership delivers the values and objectives which ACE is seeking. "FPA has proven its success as an underwriting management agency; the relationship allows us to increase our reach through its distribution capabilities and adds to our strategy of being a niche market insurer of choice by offering very specific products to the broker market backed by exceptional service."
"We will continue to tailor insurance solutions which are attractive to end users and rewarding for our broker channel to take to market. With FPA, the market reach of these solutions just got a substantial boost."