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AFGRI extends financial services offering to Northern Cape

AFGRI, the leading agricultural services, food processing and grain commodities company, is expanding its financial services offering through a working relationship between UNIGRO Financial Services and KLK Landbou.

UNIGRO Financial Services, one of the businesses in AFGRI’s financial portfolio, is spreading its wings to the Northern Cape in line with its strategy to expand beyond the areas where it is currently doing business.

Early in 2016 a working relationship with Northern Cape-based KLK Landbou Limited was established. This relationship was put into place to enhance KLK’s offering to their clients and to enable KLK to supplement their services through UNIGRO’s relationships with various insurers. This co-operation is now being expanded to include UNIGRO’s lending products.

UNIGRO not only provides crop insurance, covering hail, extended hail, wind, transit, fire, frost and multi-peril, but also asset insurance, health, wealth management and planning, medical aid as well as credit life insurance which provides farmers with security against production loans.

Traditional lending products such as term loans, hire purchases and production loans are augmented by innovative financial solutions such as UNIGRO’s revolving credit facility.

Theo Potgieter, Insurance Director at UNIGRO, says the agreement offers new opportunities to both entities. “UNIGRO together with KLK will be able to expand its crop insurance and asset insurance offering to established as well as emerging farmers in the region, whilst KLK will have the opportunity to target large corporate clients with the assistance of UNIGRO. The working relationship will place emphasis on the KLK clients especially those not insured via KLK”.

The agreement with KLK was followed in February by the establishment of a working relationship between UNIGRO and Indwe Risk Services, a leading personal, business and specialist risk and insurance advisory business.

This agreement allows Indwe access to UNIGRO’s expertise in agricultural insurance and financial products, while UNIGRO will gain by utilising Indwe’s full range of risk advisory services.

Potgieter says the collaboration with Indwe creates an opportunity for UNIGRO to expand into Africa through Indwe’s Allied Africa Broker Network, an integrated network of independently African-owned and operated short-term insurance brokers.

As a parting comment, Potgieter indicated that in hard times, such as those currently being experienced in the agricultural sector, purchases such as insurance and cover, are often the first areas to be cut back, unfortunately to the detriment of the farmer, should anything unforeseen happen. “In times like this, it is much better to approach your broker or relationship manager, and discuss possible options, rather than cancel policies and cover outright,” said Potgieter.

UNIGRO and Indwe join forces to offer improved insurance services to customers

Leading agricultural services, food processing and grain commodities company AFGRI has announced a working relationship between its UNIGRO Insurance Brokers  (“UNIGRO”) business and Indwe Risk Services (“Indwe”), a leading personal, business and specialist risk and insurance advisory business, in order to improve its current insurance offering.

UNIGRO Insurance Brokers, one of the businesses making up AFGRI’s financial portfolio, offers a range of short-term and life insurance products to agricultural and other customers. By joining forces, the offering allows Indwe to access the agricultural expertise that UNIGRO has built up over decades of specialising in agricultural insurance and financial products. UNIGRO will in return gain significant expertise by utilising Indwe’s full range of risk advisory services.

“We believe that there are a number of commercially sensible and mutually-beneficial grounds for a partnership with Indwe,” says Ross Simmonds, Managing Director of UNIGRO Financial Services. “These include optimising costs, enhancing and improving our existing service offering and diversifying our business, particularly in identified niche markets such as this.”

In addition to bolstering its insurance product range, the agreement will see UNIGRO Insurance Brokers and Indwe. optimising its branch network where appropriate, starting with the Nelspruit and Pietermaritzburg branches, followed by Upington and Kimberley.

The collaboration will also potentially allow UNIGRO to expand into Africa through Indwe’s Allied Africa Broker Network (“AAB”), an integrated network of independently African-owned and operated short-term insurance brokers, later in the year.

Peter Olyott, CEO of Indwe, comments that this unique agreement is designed to benefit both companies with the areas of collaboration far exceeding the areas of competition between the two businesses. The potential is great, the cultural fit between the two businesses is good and we both look forward to leveraging off the potential which the two businesses bring about by working together.

“We have had great success in partnering with like-minded businesses previously in order to contribute and join forces in a larger entity. We are doing this again as we believe that together we and our partners are able to ‘make it possible’. This is the spirit in which we are fostering this partnership,” concludes Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI.