McCarthy Insurance Services and the Liberty Group have established a new venture known as McCarthy Financial Consulting to offer life and investment consulting services to McCarthy’s customer base.

McCarthy Insurance Services, a subsidiary of McCarthy Limited, and the Liberty Group have entered into a franchise agreement to establish McCarthy Financial Consulting.

The new venture will offer life and investment consulting services to McCarthy’s customer base of more than 300 000 vehicle owners. It is aimed at extending the various insurance services already offered by McCarthy Insurance Services.

McCarthy said it will have financial consultants based in the major centres around the country, who will be fully trained by the Liberty Group to analyse and advise customers on their personal finance requirements.

“We are now able to provide our customers with an even more diverse product offering,” said Brand Pretorius, chairman of McCarthy Motor Holdings.

According to Pretorius, McCarthy Financial Services, of which McCarthy Insurance Services is an integral part, is adding to McCarthy Limited’s overall profitability. The division recorded a net profit before tax of R23,6 million over the six months July to December 2002, up 19,4 per cent on the same period in 2001.

“We are therefore confident that this partnership with the Liberty Group will only go from strength to strength, and that it will assist us in reducing our reliance on the new vehicle market, which tends to be quite cyclical and suffering from significant margin pressure, at present,” said Pretorius.