Step out your estimate, step in your essence and know that you’re excellent. Rise!
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Before you stands a woman born of a factory worker and a primary school teacher from a township in Ekurhuleni. Allow me this evening to share the journey of my career and of my year as IIG President. I believe myself to be an example of what this industry can produce when opportunity and support, meet determination.
What a fantastic year we’ve had as the IIG. I want to start off by acknowledging all the 2023 sponsors, I am because you are. Thank you for partnering with us to make the year of #breakthemould such a great success!
A warm welcome to those who came before me, IIG past presidents, I would also like to acknowledge Candice Smith President of the Insurance Institute of the Border, Thokozile Mahlangu Insurance Institute of South Africa CEO, and all our IIG invited guests.
The year of #breakthemould encouraged the industry to make bold moves. The theme may have been in your face like the dance floor in the middle of the room or as subtle the table talker, on each table, which has tonight’s floor plan with all the company names and numbers to enhance your networking experience. Genius!
When I planned for this year I knew that I wanted 2023 to be littered with gold nuggets, tonight I have the pleasure of taking you through the hard work put in by the IIG council and office.
This year we saw the return of the Academic Program, a program targeted at school leavers to make them employable in the insurance industry. The return of this program was all due to our partnership with the Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences, as well as ABSA who volunteered to host and employ these young individuals. As your companies go through their transformation journeys, remember the IIG has programs like the Academic program which enables sponsors to earn skill development points on the BEE scorecard. A special thank you from me to immediate past president Thabo Twalo, who assisted in ensuring the return of this program.
Our Roots and Wings Mentorship program grows from strength to strength. This year we have 26 mentees who have been paired with an industry captain. We can preach about the importance of mentorship but let me tell you a real-life story that emphasizes its importance. Alexander Forbes Risk Services ran a graduate program that identified potential employees whilst they were still studying. My journey with them began in my second year at Wits University, not only were my fees sponsored but they also allocated a mentor to every student. Mine was Simon Baker currently Manufacturing Divisional Head GIB. I would take a taxi from Wits where I stayed at res to meet with Simon about every quarter. I initially thought this was an odd pairing because I’m have my moments when I’m load and proud and Simon can be a bit vanilla…but I believe that the guidance provided to me by Simon formed part of the foundation that upholds my career to date. Please can we bring back the Alexander Forbes graduate progamme, for me it remains unmatched. Fast forward to the Roots and Wings Launch at the beginning of this year and can you guess who sat about two seats away from me, Simon Baker. I hadn’t seen him for 12 years what a pleasure for me to see him as a mentor to someone else, and what a pleasure for him to see that he had contributed to building an IIG president. When I say I’m a product of this industry, I mean I am a product of this industry.
For the first time this year, we launched the Roots and Wings International program. Sometimes a president you plan months in advance and work tirelessly for the launch of a successful programme. Then other times it’s the people around you that help you win. Roots and Wings international is the latter. 4 mentees living in Kenya, Zimbabwe, 2 in Nigeria were mentored by South Africans. The IIG has responded to the opportunities that online platforms and social media have afforded us, we have expanded beyond our borders. Linda Coetzee and Carla Jordan of Emerald Africa, thank you for this golden nugget, thank you for breaking the mould with the IIG.
Our Class of program remains in high demand, we continued with 2 classes this year of budding under 35’s who have been identified as future industry leaders. We resuscitated the Golden Ticket partnership with The Insurance Apprentice where the Top Class Of student wins a golden ticket into the top 20 elimination rounds. Thank you to Rianet Whitehead founder of TIA for the partnership, creating this initiative was genius and we are glad to be part of it.
The Class of program has a fundraising segment, designed to build group work skills of the delegates and simultaneously enable the IIG to give back to the less fortunate. As we continue to #breakthemould this year we partnered with Bathu, a South African sneaker brand. The Class Of 2023 has raised a total of R72 000 which will be used to purchase Bathu sneakers. The sneakers will be donated to the top 50 matriculates in the township of Kwa-Thema. I’m so proud of this initiative and want to thank the Class of 2023 for overcoming the initial challenges and embracing this initiative. Not only are we supporting a black South African entrepreneur, we are also donating to the less fortunate and spreading the word about a career in insurance and reinsurance to school leavers. #breakthemould
For the first time, the IIG attended a career day. It took place on the 16th of June and we had over 400 students in attendance. The IIG reached out to the insurance industry to ask for marketing collateral to give out on the day and BOY did the market show up. Sasria, GIB, ONE, Emerald, Mukfin, GIFS, Mirabillis, OMI and CIB thank you for the boxes delivered which made the IIG table the most popular. We are spreading the word about insurance, looking to attract talent which is so desperately needed in this industry. Insurance by choice not chance.
Through the generosity of SASRIA, we have also brought back the Information Systems and Technology program. Technological advancements catalyzed by Covid are pushing our industry to embrace the digital world. This program is designed to give insurance knowledge to those who have an interest in technology. Pull out your IT teams from behind those computer screens. Applications are currently open with the program set to launch in February 2024.
SASRIA also continues to be the sole sponsor of our Insurance Leadership and Development Program, which is delivered through Henley, Africa’s top business school in executive education. Tonight we have the top students from the 2022 ILDP cohort as VIP guests, Jason Arnott and Dylan Browne. Congratulations on your achievement and we hope the completion of the program catapult you to your NEXT. Amongst them is Vuyokazi Mashiyane – ILDP cohort 2022 from the Easter Cape – founder of VMash Insurance Brokers. She told the most heartwarming story at the ILDP 2022 cohort dinner, about how the ILDP program stretched her to what she thought was her limits but also helped her become a better businesswoman. These are the kind of stories that remind us why we put our hands up to be on council. The IIG is building the people who build the business.
The Broker Leadership Forum, hosted in conjunction with Allianz and the CEO Roundtable, this year hosted with Sasria, are our executive leadership events. These are hosted with a different sponsor each year with the objective of bringing together “captains of the industry” to share insights, challenges and possible solutions of how to move the industry forward. Our heartfelt gratitude to this year’s sponsors, for us to be able to deliver two phenomenal speakers, Prof Nick Binedell at the Broker Leadership Forum and Ayabonga Cawe at the CEO Roundtable is all because of your generosity. Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty as well as Sasria thank you for your contribution to the year of #breakthemould.
We have successfully delivered 4405 CPD points across 13 events from our online and in-person Insights sessions this year, we achieved the road to more than 1000 participants online in September. Our monthly electronic newsletter “The Informer” is now read in parts of Europe and North America, online platforms have taken the IIG global!!
Shaazia Khan, President of Gauteng Women In Insurance, I want to say thank you for the continued partnership with the IIG to deliver what is fast becoming one of the most popular industry events, the IIG/GWII Women’s Day Event. The event was fully booked as soon as the invitation went out to the market, considering that we hosted 455 women and Bukhosi our VP, the response to this event was just phenomenal! Our keynote speakers were Captain Londy Ncobo – Africa’s 1st female Dredge Master and Major Mandisa Mfeka – the 1st black female Combat Pilot, women who are breaking the mould in the maritime and aviation.
After all of that you might be thinking, wow they’ve done so much! But, there’s more!! IIG International, the ultimate educational and networking experience, this year we traveled to Paris, France. One of my missions this year was to give exposure to my world, the world of reinsurance. We were able to successfully achieve this through some of the meetings arranged with international reinsurers, the balance involved French companies with investments in Africa. One of the best ways to learn is through immersion and our delegates can attest to this. In the spirit of keeping balance, where there is work there must be play! A dinner cruise on the River Seine, a visit to global champagne house GH Mumm and of course attending the RWC Match South Africa versus Ireland. New industry friendships have been formed, our group remains in touch to date! We are in the business of people, what a fantastic way to learn whilst building an industry network!
I said this at the beginning of the year and I say it again, Rugby has historically served as a beacon of hope to our country, it has served the purpose of uniting us in the new South Africa and has proven that success can be maintained through transformation. Transformation is not about meeting a quota or compromising on your standards, it’s about having an appreciation for the value that comes with diversity because we are stronger together!
To the sponsors that made the year of breakthemould such a success, I cannot thank you enough. I get emotional when I think about all the people who have rallied beside me, the people who wanted to see me WIN! The sponsor’s cocktail hosted in Pablo Clark showroom and workshop, #breakthemould, was a small gesture from the IIG to show our appreciation. Your contributions keep us a flout, without you we are not able to deliver phenomenal educational programs and events to the industry. Thank you for backing me, for backing us!
All of this year’s success I did not achieved alone. I was supported by a committed office and council members. Thank you for the early mornings, late nights, and everything in between. 2023 would not have been such a great success if you were not beside me.
Gary Ankcorn and my Howden family, thank you for picking up the slack. I’m forever grateful for the support you’ve given me. As one of the co-founders of Howden in Johannesburg, I know where we began, and I can’t help but express my excitement in what the future holds for us. 2024 let’s go!
To my family, thank you for the support you have shown me during what has been one of the most challenging years of my life. It’s been tough times for the last few years, but God has a way of showing us that he has not forgotten us. For me, this is one of those moments. I’m taking it in.
Mom and dad where you lay I hope your girl has made you proud.
I hope my term serves as inspiration for people of all ages, colour, and gender. When opportunity rears its head, grab it with both hands and run!!
This may be the last time I get to give you my user-friendly version of what the purpose and objectives of the IIG are, if you’ve heard it before you’ll have to hear it again
Imagine being part of a village “Where everybody knows your name”, a connected network of individuals where the Have’s generously give and uplift the Have Nots, a safe space where opinions, ideas and experiences are shared, opportunities are offered to all the villagers without favour, an ecosystem where all the people work together for the benefit of the greater village. Nobody ever leaves, the aged impart knowledge to the young and the pride of the villagers makes them activists to surrounding villages. THIS is the ideal that the IIG is pursing for the short terms insurance industry, driving the insurance movement, and creating a platform for its members to Engage, Connect and Grow!
Ladies and gentlemen it has been an absolute honor and pleasure to be YOURIIG President in 2023, thank you!
Speech written by Simphiwe Mtyali