Financial Planning

Old Mutual Corporate acquires PwC Research Services REMchannel

By: Old Mutual Corporate

Innovative customer support initiative in response to disruption.

Old Mutual Corporate has successfully concluded a purchase agreement for 100% of the shares of professional services firm PwC’s Research Services business.

The inclusion of PwC Research Services (RS), best known for its remuneration and benefits survey REMchannel, will add a world-class benefits advisory capability to Old Mutual Corporate’s employee benefits consulting business (Old Mutual Corporate Consultants). The transaction is effective 1 November 2020.

According to Malusi Ndlovu, Head of Old Mutual Corporate Consultants, the transaction will enable Old Mutual to provide broader human capital advice to large and medium-sized corporates in South Africa and selected African countries. “The unstable economic environment, combined with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has significantly increased the complexity of remuneration and incentives in the new world of work. 

“This requires a much more detailed explanation of drivers, weightings, thresholds, targets and stretch levels,” says Ndlovu.

A market leader in comprehensive salary survey provision in South Africa and several countries on the continent, RS provides remuneration and benefits benchmarking, job profiling and job evaluation tools, as well as remuneration and reward consulting to more than 700 clients in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Eswatini, Botswana and several other countries. 

According to Rene Richter, Partner responsible for Research Services at PwC, various global and local trends which hampered the business from continuing to grow under PwC’s ownership saw PwC embark on an extensive M&A process to find a strategic buyer that would complement the business units value proposition.

“It was equally important to us that RS realise its full growth potential by enabling all clients, including those that have been restricted by audit independence rules to benefit from what are – in today’s disrupted environment – critical corporate services,” says Richter.

The acquisition will give clients of Old Mutual Corporate Consultants a single source of expertise and advice in keeping with international trends, covering both the salary and long-term employee benefits aspects. This includes employee benefit consulting for employers in umbrella funds and trustees of standalone funds, as well as general risk-benefit, communication and investment consulting.

According to Richter, current clients of RS can expect a continuation of the professional, high value, confidential service they have come to expect from RS for the past 20 years. “The employees of RS will remain employed by the business unit after the transaction, and all services currently provided by Old Mutual Corporate Consultants and RS will continue uninterrupted.

“The business unit will also retain proprietary product names clients have grown accustomed, including REMchannel, REMeasure and REMprofile. All other brand assets will also be maintained; however, references to PwC will be removed,” says Richter.

She says that all contractual agreements will remain with RS, soon to be renamed Remchannel (Pty) Ltd which will be an independent and wholly owned subsidiary of the Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of South Africa. 

“By strengthening Old Mutual Corporate Consultants employee, reward and benefits practice with ongoing research, global best practice and quality data this acquisition supports Old Mutual Corporate clients with new insights and opportunities – providing new tools and far greater certainty in the face of radical change,” concludes Ndlovu.

“We are excited to broaden our corporate advice offering through the acquisition of the RS, and take Remchannel from strength to strength.”




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