OLEA acquires majority stake in APIO

OLEA Insurance Solutions, a pan-African specialist in insurance markets, is accelerating its expansion on the African continent by setting up in South Africa. Recently the company announced its acquisition of a majority stake in the APIO Group, a boutique financial services business based in Johannesburg South Africa, founded ten years ago by two industry professionals, Richard Hood (pictured above left) and Derek Strydom.

The OLEA management team is highly motivated by this acquisition as they strongly believe the DNA of the companies are similar, which would support a long-term strategy to create a dynamic player in the insurance broking space in South Africa, alongside an international footprint and market-leading positions in other key regions of Africa.

OLEA’s interest in expanding its business into South Africa through its partnership with APIO was based on the following:

  • Africa is a growing market and the regulation across Africa is increasingly protective of the domestic markets.
  • South Africa is a key location in Africa – the biggest insurance market by far (USD 8 Billion) and very influential in the sub-region.
  • Many South African companies are expanding into neighbouring countries and beyond, allowing the newly formed partnership to position itself as a unique player to serve all clients in key African territories.
  • APIO has built a strong position over the years in the South African brokerage market and has a range of complementary skills to serve businesses across the African continent.

Olivier Dubois, president of OLEA, commented: “It is a real pride for our group to establish itself in South Africa, and we are very happy that the team from the APIO Group joins the OLEA family. The company, which is now present in 24 countries and has +350 employees, is experiencing sustained growth, which validates the daring development model for which we have opted: a pan-African approach and a deployment mainly thanks to the expansion of our network of partners and subsidiaries. Today, we offer our clients a strong, technical local partnership with strong ethical rules.”

Vincent de Charnacé, CEO of Southern and East Africa (pictured above right) adds “Indeed, the South African market is a significant player on the continent. In the APIO Group we have a young and dynamic company that is technologically driven with an energetic leadership team. People and relationships are key for OLEA, so it makes sense for us to establish ourselves in a territory with like-minded people who share our personal and professional values, to enhance our servicing capabilities.”

Richard Hood, co-founder and director of the APIO Group states: “We are delighted with this merger between APIO and OLEA, which aims to position the group as a significant independent broker on the continent. With many of our clients expanding into Africa and beyond, it places us in a unique position of being able to serve businesses in any territory in the world, through an established network of like-minded independent brokers. The technical knowhow and business network OLEA brings to our business will be immeasurable in providing additional capacity and risk solutions to our clients. Having been in business for 10 years now, we believe this is a positive step in the enhancement of our capabilities.”