FMI opens up the life market for Bidvest Insurance Group

10 August 2016 FMI
Brad Torrien (CEO of FMI) and Mark Paton (MD of  Bidvest Insurance Group)  shaking hands.

Brad Torrien (CEO of FMI) and Mark Paton (MD of Bidvest Insurance Group) shaking hands.

Durban-based income protection specialist, FMI, today announced that it has been acquired by the Bidvest Insurance Group (BIG). FMI will become a division of Bidvest Life and, with the vision of being the leading provider of income benefits to all South Africans, will spearhead BIG's expansion into the field of more complex individual life insurance products distributed through intermediaries.

The knowledge that FMI is now part of the greater Bidvest Group will give policyholders and financial advisors additional peace of mind and security.

Ready for the future

FMI will continue to be independently run in keeping with Bidvest's decentralised model. "We will retain our name and who we are as a business won't change," explains Brad Toerien, CEO of FMI. "In fact, Bidvest is the ideal partner for us as we align strongly with their mantra of innovation, integrity and insight and we don't have to compromise our entrepreneurial spirit.

“We are passionate about protecting people’s ability to earn an income and the FMI brand is synonymous with innovation in this space. Bidvest supports our passion and our vision and with the additional financial strength that Bidvest brings, we can pursue our plans and accelerate our growth. We also expect to achieve financial efficiencies as a division of Bidvest Insurance Group instead of being an Underwriting Manager and we will be able to access the opportunities within the wider Bidvest network," says Brad.

Feather in the BIG cap

Bidvest is renowned for their model of acquiring businesses that will benefit from the synergies and strength that Bidvest brings, in order to enable growth and ultimately deliver a greater return on investment. "Bidvest’s strategy is to turn ordinary companies into extraordinary performers, delivering strong and consistent shareholder returns in the process," says Mark Paton, MD of Bidvest Insurance Group. "FMI are considered the life insurance thought-leaders in their class, but they have lacked greater public awareness and have been overshadowed by the bigger players in the insurance world. But by leveraging the strength of Bidvest, FMI has the opportunity to make a bigger noise around what truly makes them like no other life insurer," he concludes.

With 100% of FMI being acquired by BIG, CEO Brad Toerien, and Executive Director, Craig Harding, along with strategic shareholder, Lomvest, have sold their shares in the business. Brad and Craig both remain in executive positions to implement their plans and ambitions for FMI. "Becoming part of the Bidvest Group will give us the financial strength and access to capital to ensure that we can grow into the future we envision for ourselves. FMI is more than a business to us. We want to see it grow and succeed and that’s why we are excited about what this deal means for all of us," says Brad. The management team remains as committed as ever to delivering the vision and strategy of FMI.

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