Having chosen ‘Striving for Excellence’ as the theme for his presidential year, Daniel Stevens certainly made this mantra felt in 2018. It was a remarkable year for Daniel, who was at the helm of the institute successfully promoting its key strategic pillars, namely Education & Personal Growth, Professional Networking & Real Connectivity, Transformation & Impact, and Affiliation & Pride.
We caught up with Daniel to hear about his journey and how being the IIG president positively affected his life.
Tell us a little about yourself, and your career so far in the insurance industry.
In 1999, I joined the Santam team at their head office in Cape Town. Here I worked in the marketing and client services area for a few years before being transferred to Johannesburg in 2003 where I enjoyed a business development role. Two years later, I was transferred again, this time it was to Durban to take up the regional manager position. It wasn’t long before I was transferred back to Johannesburg (in 2008), also in a regional manager role. I decided that it was time for something new so I joined Hollard from 2011 to 2015 in the UMA environment. Following this, I re-joined Santam as head of outsource business portfolio management, where I find myself today.
Why did you become involved in the IIG?
When I re-joined Santam in 2016, they had no representation on the IIG council and after some consideration, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to join the institute.
I believe that it’s vitally important for us to brand the industry as an attractive one for young people in order for them to pursue it as a profession. Most people end up in insurance rather than pursuing it as a career choice at university. The IIG education and networking events are highlighted on social media and the message is that this is a dynamic industry to be part of and choosing it as a career makes sense. In addition, the insurance industry is a significant employer and the role it plays in economic growth is undeniable. The more people we attract the better for the industry.
Where do you see insurance going in the next few years?
We know that insurance, especially commercial and corporate insurance, is broker driven and I believe it will remain this way. I also think business owners will concentrate on their core business and rely on brokers to understand what they are and are not covered for. I also think that the majority of personal lines business will be driven through direct/online channels, whilst the upper end of the market will continue to rely on a broker to service them.
Technology will continue to “disrupt” and force change, not to mention the advent of driverless vehicles.
What was your biggest highlight during your presidential year?
There are many highlights, however, if I were to pick one it will be the IIG International trip to Zurich and Amsterdam. This is a tour I wish every insurance professional could experience because you’re exposed to leading global companies which means the learnings are invaluable. The networking element was also simply incredible and enabled me to build relationships with other professionals that I know will last a lifetime.
The IIG council salutes our Outgoing President for an incredible year and would like to thank him for being the shining example of “Striving for Excellence” in making a change in our industry.