Eversheds joins forces with Mahons and El Heni
Law firm Eversheds has announced a tie up with Mahons Attorneys in South Africa which will give the firm bases in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Louis in Mauritius. Mahons will rebrand to take the Eversheds name in the New Year 2014. The ten-Partner team advises domestic and international clients across a broad range of business sectors.
At the same time, the firm has also announced that well established and growing legal firm El Heni in Tunisia, has joined Eversheds and will become the firm’s Tunisian office. Based in Tunis for 30 years, the firm has unique knowledge and experience in the regional market. After working during two years under the name CWA Tunisia in cooperation with Eversheds, El Heni law firm enters into a next step and will become Eversheds El Heni.
Bryan Hughes Eversheds Chief Executive, said:“We have extremely strong and long standing relationships with many of the Mahons team, including Senior Partner Peter van Niekerk who was deputy chairman of our previous business in South Africa. Having a strong platform in South Africa is vital to our growth plans in the region and this is a significant addition to our global offering.
“We have worked successfully with the team at El Heni over a number of years and we are delighted to be taking our relationship to the next level. A strong presence in Tunisia provides us with a key resource to deliver our world-class international legal services.”
Peter van Niekerk, Managing Partner, Eversheds in South Africa, said:“We are committed to Eversheds strategy and particularly the firms desire to develop a significant presence across Africa, totally aligned to a truly international legal service. This will be a huge benefit to our present client base and create many opportunities for growth. Our strong existing relationships with the Eversheds team leaves us in no doubt that we share a common vision and will facilitate the rapid integration of our two businesses.”
Mohamed Raouf El Heni, co-founder of El Heni, Tunisia said: "Eversheds has shown real leadership and innovation in its approach to developing a presence across Africa – which we are very excited about being a part of. We believe this relationship will be of benefit to our diverse existing client base and will create further domestic and international opportunities in the future.”
Both tie ups are further key building blocks in Eversheds’ pan-African strategy announced early October, which will see the establishment of additional offices in the key markets of Morocco, Ghana and Kenya in the coming months.
The firm also announced the launch of the Eversheds African Law Institute (EALI), creating a unique entity in the region which will allow member law firms in Africa to access training and knowledge sharing programmes while fostering commercial opportunities on a regional and international basis. Firms in 14 countries (Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Tunisia) have so far signed up as members of EALI.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.