Mergers and Acquisitions:  the Impact on UAP Old Mutual

In June 2015, Old Mutual plc (‘Old Mutual’)  announced that it had completed the acquisition of a further 37.3% shareholding in UAP Holdings Limited (‘UAP’). Old Mutual now owns 60.7% of UAP.

We spoke to UAP Old mutual about how the the process affected operations, how the change caused them to rethink their company and brand position, new products, the impact of the new Insurance Act on the company and their goals and vision for the next 5 years.

 

  1. How has the process affected the operations of your company?

The UAP Old Mutual group in Uganda, operates four businesses i.e. life assurance, general insurance, properties and health insurance.  Prior to the merger the UAP business in Uganda has enjoyed market leadership in the category as well as significant brand equity based on a strong foundation that had been laid over the years.

 

The merger brought about more efficiencies such as improved long term business sustainability modelling, enhanced governance structures, improvements in staff talent development through training opportunities and exposure within the wider Old Mutual group globally such as Europe, America, Asia, South Africa.

 

These have been the most significant changes among several others which have since started bearing fruit in the business.  The brand has had to change to a new identity to reflect the merger with Old Mutual and the application of the same is still ongoing.

 

  1. How did this change cause you to re-think your positioning as a company and brand?

When two strong brands with complementary businesses merge there is a lot of synergies that can be realized as well as improved customer experience. Our ambition is to become a financial services champion in East Africa through market-led integrated financial services.  This has necessitated a change in our approach to the market; being cognisant that customers are looking for a one-stop model which is our focus.

 

Consequently, there has since been an enhanced drive emanating from both existent and newly innovated methodologies to achieve a holistic financial services company strategically positioning our brand as one dedicated to enabling every East African to realise their dreams. We are confident that the market will see the value of our new proposition that puts the customer at the centre of our business.

 

  1. Have you developed or are you developing any new products since then to enable growth in market share?

Yes, we are. We have since relooked at our entire customer value propositions beyond just the products to ensure that we not only meet our customers’ core needs but also deliver our solutions in a convenient way.

 

There are on-going negotiations with strategic partners that will enhance our solutions as well as service delivery based on customer needs. We continuously endeavour to build on what has been working well and make necessary changes to win in the customer space.

 

For the communities that we serve at large, we plan to add value to them through financial literacy and risk awareness programmes that will equip them with knowledge in making better financial decisions as well as mitigate expected risks better.

 

  1. How do you think the new Insurance Act will affect the operations of your company?

Notably, the new Act introduces risk based supervision which will be enforced by the Insurance Regulatory Authority.

 

Our distinctive advantage is that some of the Old Mutual subsidiaries in other markets are already being regulated under a risk based supervision; so we will be able to leverage on their learnings and experience.

 

We also are privileged to be part of a FTSE company which is also listed on the stock exchange in London, Johannesburg and several Markets in Africa which comes with stringent compliance expectations.

 

Additionally, from a UAP Old Mutual group level perspective, we do have a fully-fledged well constituted risk, governance and compliance department which has successfully handled issues in that regard. We can contentedly say it is part of our culture to be compliant and don’t see the act affecting the operations of the organization at all.

 

 

  1. What are your goals and where do you see UAP Old Mutual going in the next 5 years?

Our goals are clearly stipulated to do great things which will holistically enable every east African to realize their dreams. We are well on track in terms of realizing our merger business case and this should deliver compelling results as we will be the most preferred financial services company across the board as we deliver on our promises to all our stakeholders.