News Africa04 Nov 2019

Morocco:Broking firm eyes English-speaking markets in Africa

| 04 Nov 2019

ASK Gras Savoye is negotiating to be present in more parts of West Africa and, in a later step, will enter English-speaking African countries, Ms Naima Smires, CEO of the Moroccan company.

She said that the planned expansion follows in the wake of an agreement signed by ASK Gras Savoye in September to acquire the interests in Africa of Willis Towers Watson (WTW), a global consulting and brokerage company.

The deal opens the door for the Moroccan broker to the 13 markets comprising Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo.

In an interview with the newspaper, Morning, she said, “ASK Gras Savoye, through its subsidiary ASK GS Africa, which has Casablanca Finance City status, has bought, depending on the country, either the entire local subsidiary or a significant majority of it while retaining the national shareholders who wish to remain so.

 The opportunities are even greater when you have historical partners like in some countries.”

Once all transactions are finalised, ASK Gras Savoye, which already has 10 Moroccan establishments, will be present in 14 African countries. The broking firm has a technical assistance contract with WTW and its goal is to deliver local solutions to businesses with an international approach and experience.

Ms Smires, “A decade ago, we felt that, because of our expanding business across the Kingdom, we needed to get closer to our customers and get where they are. This is how we opened branches first in 10 other cities in Morocco.”

She added: “We are the first Maghreb broker to settle in sub-Saharan Africa. We have a leading position in all these markets and we intend to bring our know-how and that of our partner, Willis Towers Watson, whom we represent. We also want to contribute to the development of the insurance consulting business and more broadly to that of the insurance market in the region.”

With Morocco's King Mohammed VI placing business expansion and diplomacy across Africa at the centre of Morocco’s development strategy, a number of Moroccan companies have established themselves in several other African countries.

Ms Smires said, “We nourished the ambition to be part of it and to write a new page for Gras Savoye Morocco.”

ASK Gras Savoye, which works with Casa Blanca-headquartered bank, BMCE Bank Of Africa, in the Kingdom, aims to work with the bank too elsewhere on the continent. Ms Smires said, “We have the same goals for Africa in the countries where we operate together.” BMCE Bank is one of the largest banks in Africa where it is present in 20 countries.


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