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Exciting new beginnings for FMI

09 May 2014 FMI

FMI has grown significantly as an Underwriting Manager and strategically will no longer rely on Lombard Life for their insurance licence.

As a niche provider of Income Protection to the self-employed market, FMI needs supportive shareholders and cost efficient licence support. From 1 July, Guardrisk Life will replace Lombard Life as FMI’s licence partner. Guardrisk Life Limited is a licensed Cell Captive Insurer and a subsidiary of Guardrisk Group (Pty) Ltd, who is itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of MMI Holdings. The broader Lombard Group will, remain a significant shareholder in the FMI business.

By partnering with Guardrisk Life, FMI achieves cost efficiencies while maintaining independence, and sound financial backing, to diversify their business and develop exciting new customer-centric products. The new licence partnership enables FMI to continue growing in a competitive market.

As shareholders, Lombard will continue to participate in the achievement of FMI’s strategic vision to be known as the leader in income protection to self-employed individuals and SMMEs. FMI’s CEO since 2008, Brad Toerien is committed to building FMI into a market leader and has increased his effective shareholding significantly.

"FMI has long been the champion of owner managed businesses.” Says Johnny Symmonds, CEO of the Lombard Insurance Group, "The FMI management have now taken an opportunity to increase their shareholding and become an owner managed business themselves.”

Craig Harding has also joined FMI as a new shareholder alongside Brad and Lombard, and will play an active role in the growth of FMI. Craig has extensive financial and operating experience in the African financial services market, and is enthusiastic about joining FMI, "The South African Life Insurance industry has long been regarded as amongst the most innovative in the world, so to have the opportunity to be involved with a player like FMI, who challenges convention in this market, is very exciting."

The new licence partnership enables FMI to continue growing in a competitive market and focus on what they do best – developing innovative products that challenge convention to give their clients a better offering.

Brad believes the new partnership and shareholder structure best suits FMI’s growth and future business strategies, "I am proud of what FMI has achieved over the past five years and want to thank Lombard for their support.” He adds, "I believe we are now entering an exciting phase for FMI. With the continued involvement of Lombard and the introduction of Craig to the team, as well as our new partnership with Guardrisk Life, we are ideally placed to take FMI to new heights and lead the market with innovative products built around our income protection philosophy.”

Johnny concurs, "We congratulate Brad and his team, and are proud to remain shareholders in what is going to be an exciting new beginning.”

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