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Metropolitan, Swabou complete merger

Mon, 14 July 2014 01:52
by Linekela Halwoodi


Metropolitan and Swabou Life have completed a merger of the two companies that was initiated two years ago in a bid to improve on their influence on the Namibian market.
Chief Executive of MMI Holdings, Jason Nandago told The Villager in an interview that the merger between the two companies was also necessitated by the need to provide insurance products for all classes.
“I am sharing with you a journey that started two and a half years ago, that culminated into what we are here to witness. In February 2012 two giants in the financed services sector, especially in life insurance decide to join hands to become a giant. MMI is an investor’s branch a merger of momentum and metropolitan. Its listed on the stock exchange. If metropolitan was your favourite it will still be the same, and if Swabou Life was your favourite the brands you have known have not changed” said Nandago.
The merger provides a platform for the company to operate across all classes, now covering both high, middle and to low income markets. The merger now serves as a life insurer, asset manager and a health administer with MMI owning 51% of Methealth Administrator.
“It is critical that we take savings seriously because the cost of living is increasing as life becomes expensive. Within the group, we offer savings and risk products. For example if you die, your family would be left to suffer with the funeral costs. Now you can transfer the risk from yourself to MMI Holdings, in your absence you would be covered” Nandago said
He added that, “Both Momentum and Metropolitan were one size so we asked ourselves, How can we become bigger? Metropolitan has always been a middle to low income service provider and momentum caters for middle to high income. The product we are launching today, is the best of both.
The merger was announced in 2012 but in Namibia it only took effect on 1 July 2013.
Nandago added that the combination of  the two balance sheets will  create a much bigger entity with more financial resources.
“We know that reserves are the backbone of financial institutions, and this will bring more security. Now we also have a wide range of products that will be available to our customers. As a combined group our employees are just below 1000 which makes us a major contributor to employment, in addition this makes us a major contributor to the general economy in form of taxes,” he said.
According to Nandago the two companies made a deliberate ploy to launch their union in the northern part of the country because that’s where most of their clientele hails from.
“Namibia is relatively independent from South Africa. We have a product development team in Namibia, so we would not need approval from South Africa to introduce products. The only support we seek from the group is on product pricing. The Namibian market with a population of just above 2 million and 15 life insurers, I say the market is over traded. Consolidation is inevitable and we probably have better and secure business when you look at investing with the big three life covering companies in Namibia,” he said.