Marion James, Istanbul
On 23 November 2016 the shares of Demir Hayat Sigorta AŞ (which were owned 100% by Demir Finansal Grup Holding AŞ of Turkey) were transferred to Demir Hayat Group BV of the Netherlands.
But the ultimate ownership of the company is EMF Capital Partners, a London-based private equity firm which aims to link suppliers of capital in developed markets with companies in emerging markets.
Demir Hayat Group BV is a holding company established in the Netherlands in April this year. It currently has no other activities apart from the holding of the Demir Hayat AŞ shares.
Demir Hayat Group BV is owned 100% by EMF NEIF Cooperatif UA, a company that exists to hold the investments of the EMF New Europe Insurance Fund, which is itself the first investment fund established by EMF Capital Partners. The Fund was launched in 2012 and its stated investment aim is to focus on investing in the insurance industry in the CIS and Non-EU Central and Eastern European Countries (including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine).
The EMF New Europe Insurance Fund explains: “The target countries have an insurance penetration which is below that of the EU member Eastern European countries and much lower than the more developed EU markets. The insurance sector in the target countries is therefore projected to grow at a significantly faster pace than in the EU. The fund intends to create value in the portfolio companies by stabilising their current business and developing profitable product lines in an expanding market.”
A bit more digging reveals that the ultimate capital provider isn’t EMF Capital Partners – they are just a “match-maker” between those who want to invest and those who need capital. They provide consultancy and management services based out of a London company that is regulated by the UK’s FCA, and they also have representative offices in Moscow and Istanbul. The real investors in the Fund are the German insurance group Gothaer, the German Development Bank DEG, the Dutch Development Bank FMO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.