Mehdi Tazi’s ambitions in the insurance sector

The former CEO of Saham Assurance, Mehdi Tazi, follows in the footsteps of his former boss, Moulay Hafid Elalamy (MHE). Five months after his resignation from the MHE company, in May 2017 he bought the brokerage firm BelAssur, which he renamed Beassur. The man does not just want to remain active after years of employment, but wants to invent a new model in the profession.

Like MHE, he surrounds himself with a team of seasoned managers, up to his ambitions: Fehd Bouab, CFO of the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries, whom he appoints DG of the cabinet; Ghyzlane Mikou, spotted at Verspieren Paris who will manage the reinsurance activity and the international branch, and Tarik Alouajaji, CEO of Saham Assurance, whom he recruits as managing director.

A team overqualified to manage a simple brokerage firm? Not at all. Because two years later, Mehdi Tazi announced a major capital operation: the entry of the American Marsh, world leader in brokerage in the capital of Beassur, which will become Beassur Marsh. The goal of reinventing the profession, of being the leader in its market, is now within its reach. And it is almost there: Beassur Marsh being considered number 5 in the brokerage market in Morocco, thanks to its organic growth, and to external growth which takes place via the acquisition of several other local brokerage firms.

Mehdi Tazi, who does not intend to stop there, is now aiming for international growth. “With Marsh, we continue to develop, and we have ambitions in the region,” he tells us.

With Axa Assistance, Mehdi Tazi sets foot in sub-Saharan Africa

But Mehdi Tazi’s latest move shows that the man is not content to develop what already exists, he is aiming higher. On April 26, 2022, a press release announced to the market the acquisition, by Mehdi Tazi’s holding company, of 80% of Axa Assistance Morocco. Mehdi Tazi is no longer a broker, he now has an insurance license!

“Assistance is an insurance agreement. It is an insurance company that takes risks on its balance sheet, unlike a broker”underlines the new majority shareholder of Axa Assistance Maroc (subject to regulatory authorizations), who negotiated a deal that goes beyond the borders of the Moroccan market.

“For now, Axa Assurance is the main client and remains the main client of Axa Assistance Maroc. But through this takeover, we also recovered the African activities of Axa Assistance. So we have other customers in Morocco and Africa. We have a strong regional footprint. And we are an independent actor who is not affiliated with any particular group. We have the capacity to work with all the banks and insurance companies in the region in complete independence”, confides Mehdi Tazi.

For him, this acquired company is not a simple operator in traditional assistance (medical transport, evacuation, car towing, etc.), but “a very good tool to support financial inclusion and micro-insurance in Africa “.

How ? “By innovating to make it an African insurtech,” explains the boss of Expanso.

Objective: to become a reference in insurtech in Africa

“This entity can greatly contribute to the development of financial inclusion and microfinance. Because we can through this platform sell small insurance and policyholder protection policies through affinity insurance channels. You can sell small protection insurance policies coupled with bank cards, telephone lines, etc. We can make him a regional leader,” says Mehdi Tazi.

This company, which will continue to operate initially under the name of Axa Assistance Maroc, will thus be the tool allowing him to deploy all his energy, his ideas, his ambitions in a sector which he masters, having been alongside Moulay Hafid Elalamy in all stages of development of Saham Assurance.

But the man wants to be modest: “If we do a tenth of what Moulay Hafid has achieved, we will be very happy. »

But when asked about the possibility of one day being at the head of an insurance company, Mehdi Tazi declares that he does not rule anything out. “If we have an opportunity that we can afford to take up, and we see the possibility of creating added value, of course, we’ll go for it,” he tells us.

In the meantime, the vice-president of CGEM thinks first of all of developing the assets he manages. “We want to grow further. We are very open to external growth. We have to go into segments where we can have added value on insurance. We know who we are, we know our strengths and our weaknesses. We manage well, we are clean and innovative. This is why world leaders like Marsh or Axa partner with us. But we don’t have the financial capacity of the big insurance companies… On the other hand, where we can highlight our comparative advantages, we will,” explains Mehdi Tazi.

Or how to go in five years from the status of a beginner entrepreneur to that of a businessman in a very technical sector, associated in brokerage with the world leader in the sector, Marsh, and in assistance, with the second world operator in the domain, Axa.

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