Broker acts swiftly on favourable legislative changes regarding foreign investment in the insurance sector. By Asa Gibson.
Willis Group has agreed to purchase a 49% stake in leading Indian broker Almondz Insurance Brokers Private Ltd.
The joint venture will combine Willis’s global network and expertise with Almondz’s wealth of experience in India. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and the terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Almondz has a wholly owned subsidiary engaged in reinsurance broking services, which means Willis will be able to offer insurance and reinsurance services in the Indian market upon the closure of the transaction and the with the receipt of regulatory approvals.
The move follows recent legislative changes in India that increased the Foreign Direct Investment cap in the insurance sector from 26% to 49%.
Willis Asia regional chief executive Adam Garrard said: “We are delighted to partner with Almondz, with whom we have a solid relationship based on mutual trust and respect. We are excited about the prospect of continued growth and development in the Indian insurance sector.
“This joint venture enables us to fully participate in this dynamic market and to provide our global clients with the levels of service and expertise that they expect from Willis’s operations around the world.”
Almondz managing director Rohit Jain said: “It is a great pleasure to announce the signing of definitive agreements for a joint venture with Willis − a company with a rich heritage in the insurance industry. It is a credit to all my fellow associates that such a world-renowned broker has decided to form this partnership with Almondz.
“I am confident that the combination of our Indian experience and footprint, coupled with Willis’s deep risk and insurance expertise and global reach, will reap great benefits for our clients, our staff and the insurance sector in India.”
Almondz has close to 300 associates in nine offices in India serving clients with a broad range of products and services across diversified industries and segments.