HomeBusiness DigestFidelity firms grip on Flam

Fidelity firms grip on Flam

Ndamu Sandu

FIDELITY Life Assurance (Fidelity) is now the major shareholder in Fidelity Life Asset Management (Flam) after it acquired a 52,6% stake in the Harare company from parent ZHL

Holdings Ltd (ZHL) and group associate Ukubambana-Kubatana Investments (UKI), businessdigest has learnt.

ZHL, also listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, previously owned a 78% stake in the asset manager, while UKI held 22%.

Strategically-placed sources said the quoted Fidelity assurance company clinched the $2 billion-plus deal last month as part of long-stated efforts to diversify revenue streams.

Company managing director Simon Chapereka was unreachable for comment this week. This paper also learnt that Fidelity was also angling for a controlling stake in former UKI share brokerage, Fidelity Securities (FS). ZHL wholly owns the company.

Under the latest share structure, in which ZHL retains 10% control of Flam, about 16,4% shareholding has been distributed to brokering arm Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers (ZIB), quoted insurer NicozDiamond and a Flam staff investment vehicle.

It can be noted as well that UKI sold its “entire shareholding” to the same group of companies and “new investors”.

While asserting Fidelity’s lead position, the Flam buy by a set of new investors also sees company staff holding a 10% stake, Nicoz owning 17,4% and ZIB another 10%.

Market watchers this week said Fidelity’s controlling equity in Flam was aimed at boosting its profile and growth capacity credentials, ever since it listed on the Zimbabwe bourse in July last year.

Until its public offering, ZHL wholly-owned Fidelity, but it now owns slightly over 50%.

Formerly known as Legal and General of Rhodesia, the company was incorporated in Zimbabwe to inherit the business of a British insurance company, having first operated in South Africa and then in Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city.

In 1982, the company split into two distinct long and short-term assurance divisions, while straddling ZHL bought into the company’s long-term assurance division four years later to mark the severance of ties with both SA and the United Kingdom.

The Flam buy also means Fidelity is now a fully diversified fianancial services group.

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