The IIG Education team is responsible for all the educational programmes within the IIG which include the GMP and Insight sessions that have an immense impact on the development of talent within the insurance industry. Meet the influential members of the team.
Simphiwe is in her fourth year of being on council, she began her IIG journey as a co-opted council member and was recently appointed as the IIG Vice President. Her role on the council has evolved from being part of the team that actions the council’s strategy to being a valid contributor and custodian of the direction that the IIG is taking.
She was the first employee at Howden Broking Group, former MIRB Africa, and has contributed to the growth of the company from when it was still an unknown name on the African continent to the recognised global brand it is today.
Her journey in both her work life and the IIG has been very similar, starting from humble beginnings and allowing her work ethic, quality of delivery and passion to speak for itself.
The IIG has had its agility tested in the past two years, similar to most companies across different industries. As head of the Education portfolio, Simphiwe is proud to have led a team that was able to achieve and exceed the deliverables set for the portfolio at the beginning of this year.
She has never doubted the importance and impact the IIG has on the industry but her years on council have further opened up her eyes to the difference that each industry participant can make. No matter how small, the incremental contributions all add up.
Simphiwe is keen to start travelling again, attend a live music concert and although it’s too late for her summer body the lockdown weight has motivated her to go back to her CrossFit box.
Tebogo joined the IIG council earlier this year in the education portfolio looking after Online Insights sessions. She has been in the Short Term Insurance industry for over 7 years and is currently a Technical Underwriter in the Commercial space at Discovery Insure.
Tebogo is passionate about youth empowerment and transformation within the insurance industry through mentorships, education, and skills development.
She holds a BCom in Insurance and Risk Management from Wits University and a Postgraduate in Risk
Management from Unisa. As a true ambassador of the IIG and passion for education and skills development, Tebogo has been part of the Class of Programme in 2017, Graduated from the IIG ILPD in 2019. She recently also completed the IIG Roots and Wings Mentorship Programme in 2020.
Over and above being a book worm, she has recently taken up boxing to work on her jabs, hooks and uppercuts but above all, self-discipline! “Life is like a boxing match, defeat is declared not when you fall but when you refuse to stand again” – Muhammad Ali
Kinesh is the Head of Dealer Distribution at Absa Insurance Company. Here he has a proven track record in product development, binder and UMA relations, dealer relations and sound networking both internally and externally to the organisation. He enjoys working with people from different disciplines and has shown that his relationship and interpersonal skills can be relied upon to get the job done. His high-performance attitude and approach to work have resulted in external business growth for Absa idirect where he was employed as the Channel Manager. He has a deep appreciation for internal corporate governance and external regulatory frameworks, and thus ensures compliance to the requirements set out before him. He believes in responsible product development and customer servicing for this exciting industry.
Kinesh has over 21 years of experience within the fields of both Health and Short Term Personal Lines insurance. He has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience in his career with employment in senior leadership roles at Discovery Health and Pru Health, Hollard Short Term and now Absa Insurance Company. He grew from humble beginnings in Discovery as a call centre agent, business analyst and eventually Service Manager roles in Centurion, KZN and eventually Pru Health. He was headhunted by Hollard for a partnership with Exiliti Services, and then eventually was appointed as Head of Short Term Operations Service Team. He has a deep belief in servant leadership and more especially in the empowerment of women in leadership and appreciates that people are the heartbeat of the organisation.
Kinesh has attained a Post Graduate Diploma from Henley Business School and is currently in progress with his MBA at the same institution. This affirms his belief in ongoing personal growth and development and his passion for Henley Mission Statement, i.e. “Building the businesses, that build the people, that build Africa.”
Kinesh is a family man at heart, and also enjoys playing golf and most recently has entered the world of cycling and fitness with MTB. Typical of most men, Kinesh enjoys fast cars and motoring and is a die-hard Liverpool fan. He believes that in order to live a fulfilled life, we must go in search of our ‘Ikigai’ – i.e. our life’s purpose and seek to live a fulfilled life given the impact of the pandemic on our personal lives.
Suren is the founder of both XINIX (A financial intermediary) and Syfinity Solutions (A software development company). With over 23 years of experience in insurance, information technology and as an accountant by trade, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience that provides a well-rounded and dynamic view from an entrepreneur’s perspective.
Suren has been part of the IIG since 2020. Last year he was an ambassador involved with the Roots & Wings programme and is currently involved with the Education team, which coordinates the Insight Webinars attended by almost everyone in the financial industry. This function requires sound efficiency in administration and attention to detail. To enhance the process, Suren created a website to help manage these webinar sessions, thus keeping each team member informed, of every step in the process. This solution provided effective management of the process and played a pivotal role in making the webinars run in a professional and efficient manner.
Suren has since been tasked with providing a digital transformation pathway for the IIG, which looks to create an exciting new journey, to enhance the user and office experience.
One of his motivators that provides him with comfort is based on scripture, Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. ‘”
He is married to his lovely wife Loshnee for the last 22 years and has two beautiful daughters, Chloé and Charissa, aged 18 and 13 respectively.
Caryn Josephs-Solomons has been in the industry for many years and has utilized every opportunity to learn about non-life insurance. Her career launched at Santam in 2003, where she collected a vast amount of experience over a range of platforms and products ranging from distribution to information systems. Moving to Old Mutual Insure in 2018 she managed relationships with various levels of people both internally and externally. Most recently Caryn joined the OMI marketing team as the Channel Marketing manager overseeing the marketing functions for various distribution channels.
In 2019 she completed the GIBS IIG leadership development program and enjoys working with youth to develop and further their careers.
Caryn joined the IIG in 2021 as a counsellor on the education portfolio working on the institute’s flagship ILDP.
She is a mother, wife and avid reader who is set to make a difference in the industry.
Daphne Peter is Head of Alternative Risk Transfer at Hollard. Daphne started her insurance career in 1982 as a corporate broker and joined Hollard in 2015, specialising in finding solutions for clients wanting to insure their risks via non-traditional insurance solutions. After 39 years in the insurance industry, she is a well-seasoned insurance professional and her wealth of experience and knowledge enables her to bring creative thinking to the solutions that clients require.
Daphne has been part of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng since 2017, Head of the Education Portfolio from 2018-2020 and she currently serves as an ambassador in the Education portfolio. Daphne strongly believes that education is the key to making a difference in the lives of people, it makes it possible for people to stand as equals irrespective of their background. Being part of the IIG education team has been inspiring for Daphne and has motivated her to ensure that the insights topics presented by the IIG are relevant, thought-provoking to the audience and assists in developing industry skills.
Daphne loves spending time with her daughter Cheyenne, reading, travelling, photography and being creative with paper.
Multi-talented businesswoman and mom, newlywed Melissa Jacobs, now Visser has invested much of her time towards social entrepreneurship. This decision can be attributed to the need she identified in her community, which she believed could be met through the upliftment of youth and women.
At the age of 20 Melissa joined the insurance industry and many birthdays later she excelled in the Industry with just over twelve years experience, becoming a subject expert on various Multimark Classes – hosting workshops on Introduction to Insurance and also assisting policyholders to read and understand their policy wordings, in her personal capacity. She currently facilitates RE5 workshops, of the most difficult exams – Regulatory Exams are for professionals in the Financial Industry or those individuals who would like to pursue opportunities within the Financial Industry.
In 2012, Melissa created Mel J – under Melissa Publications. Mel J gives the necessary exposure for upcoming entrepreneurs and upcoming talent, whilst at the same time serving as an entertainment and motivational electronic magazine to her readers. As an Award-Winning Author of “When you get to my age” – she shares her insights, experiences and expertise in the book she wrote in a sisterly tone on lessons learnt.
With women’s development close to Melissa’s heart; she eagerly serves as a philanthropist for programmes designed to develop and encourage women. She is also able to contribute to the development of others through her motivational speaking engagements with topics ranging from Work-life- Balance, Self-worth, Confidence and Positivity. No challenge is too big for Melissa who takes on each aspect of life with enthusiasm and passion. She is a firm believer in the adage, “All things are possible”, which is at the core of her Motivational Speaking and enables her to address audiences of all genders and ages.
In November 2021 Melissa graduated at GIBS, Insurance Institute of Gauteng Leadership Development Programme and was co-opted to the IIG and serves within the Education portfolio and continues to display a passion for her industry.