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FSB gives Hollard-Etana deal thumbs up

Hollard Group, South Africa's largest privately-owned insurance group, was established in 1980 to provide short-term and life insurance as well as investment products to a diverse customer base - including individual consumers, commercial entities and corporate clients. While Etana is a provider of broker-driven corporate, commercial and personal lines insurance products.

Etana insurance has achieved remarkable success since being spun out of Hollard in 2007, with Hollard retaining a 40% shareholding in the entity at the time. The approval by the FSB mean that insurance business currently placed with Etana will be transferred to the Hollard Insurance Company license and the full operational integration of the Hollard and Etana teams will be completed by the end of March.

With the exception of organisational support areas, Etana staff form part of a new business unit within Hollard, along with a similar number of Hollard staff. The new business unit, focused entirely on brokers and their clients'; corporate, commercial and personal insurance needs, is now called Hollard Broker Markets and is headed by former Etana Chairman Paolo Cavalieri.

The unit takes all existing Etana branches and combines facilities for specialist lines business previously underwritten by the two entities, such as marine, engineering, agri-business and liabilities.

"Hollard believes that the way that this new business complements and enhances our existing business insurance offerings holds the promise of exciting growth. The combined entity draws together two substantial skill sets in a skills-constrained market, creates an expanded product range, raises underwriting capacity - all of which position us very well in what is a difficult market," Hollard Group CEO Nic Kohler says

Headquartered in the Villa Arcadia in Parktown, Johannesburg, the group embraces six million policy holders in 10 countries on four continents. Hollard employs over 2000 people and posted R12.5bn in premium income in the year to June 2013.

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