Dawie de Villiers. File picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/ROBERT TSHABALALA
Dawie de Villiers. File picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/ROBERT TSHABALALA

Alexander Forbes plans to make acquisitions that will bolster the retirement-services provider’s consulting and administration capabilities, as part of its refocused strategy.

“We will start looking outside for growth,” CEO Dawie de Villiers said by phone on Monday. “We have done the sales now, so 2020 will be about the acquisitions and that is key for us.”

Since taking the reins in November 2018, De Villiers has been exiting countries such as Uganda and Zambia, while disposing of subscale businesses, including its property and casualty insurance unit in SA. The CEO came on board to spearhead a new strategy aimed at focusing on boosting sales and retaining clients in the company’s main businesses after the group’s former head was fired.

“We are looking at a few smaller deals, mainly to get our foot in the door and see how we can execute on them, but obviously to make a bigger impact we need to look at some bigger deals and we are also busy discussing that,” De Villiers said. Alexander Forbes will do some borrowing to fund transactions, the CEO said.

Additional capital will be distributed to shareholders, he said. The company said in a statement earlier on Monday that operating income increased 1% to R1.6bn for the six months to the end of September. The stock rose as much as 3.6% in Johannesburg.

Bloomberg