Broking group has been approached by South African equity providers

Alexander Forbes has emailed staff to allay concerns about the future of the business after the emergence of a potential buyer.

The broking group has been approached by a number of South African-based private equity providers looking to acquire the whole business.

But in an internal email seen by Insurance Times,

senior managers trumpeted the future growth plans of the International Risk Services (IRS) division, under its leader, deputy chairman Mike Hammond.

The email acknowledged the board had received "a number of unsolicited approaches from various parties about the possibility of concluding a transaction" with Alexander Forbes Ltd, which covers the Africa and International divisions.

The email said discussions were "in an early stage and may or may not result in a transaction".

Stuart McCulloch, IRS chief executive, however, emphasised in the email that the IRS division was looking for private investors to help the division grow.

"I am delighted to announce exciting plans to reposition the IRS division to best capitalise on current market conditions.

"To facilitate this repositioning, discussions are currently being held with a few select private investors with a view to taking a stake in the IRS business alongside Alexander Forbes Group."

Hammond added in the email: "This is a substantial brokerage business with a great mandate to grow and invest.

"No one else is out there seeking external investment to help fund that growth. We are in talks with a number of London-based investors."

Meanwhile, Alexander Forbes Group chief executive Rael Gordon has stepped down from the position.

It comes as the broker announced that it could be making this role South Africa-based.

Peter Moyo, currently managing director of Alexander Forbes Africa, will succeed Gordon from 1 July.