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Sanlam appoints Munich Re exec to head up new unit

As Johan van Zyl returns as a non-exec director.

JOHANNESBURG – Insurance group, Sanlam said on Monday that it will offer its corporate clients a comprehensive employee benefits solution through a new division called Sanlam Corporate, headed up by Junior Ngulube, the former CEO of Munich Reinsurance Company of Africa.

Sanlam also announced that the group’s former CEO, Dr Johan van Zyl, will join the board as a non-executive director and representative of Ubuntu-Botho Investment Holdings, Sanlam’s black economic empowerment partner.

Through Sanlam Corporate, the group hopes to capture a greater share of corporate business by offering companies and their employees life insurance, general insurance, investments, health insurance, retirement, financial planning and advice, Sanlam said in a statement.

Sanlam Corporate will become another of the group’s business clusters, alongside Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments, Sanlam Personal Finance and its short-term insurer, Santam.

Ngulube, who will head up Sanlam Corporate as of next month, has worked for Munich Re of Africa for 28 years and has been CEO of its sub-Saharan operations since 2007.

Based in Germany, Munich Re is one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies (an insurer of insurers) and provides both life and non-life reinsurance solutions.

Ngulube holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe, a Master of Science in Agriculture from the Pennsylvania State University (U.S.A.), as well as a postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management from Damelin College in South Africa.

“Junior brings a wealth of experience in financial services which he gained at one of the largest reinsurance companies in Africa,” commented Sanlam CEO, Ian Kirk. “He has great insurance expertise in South Africa and the rest of Africa. We are confident that he is well qualified to lead the formation of the Sanlam Corporate business cluster and to grow it into a formidable part of the Group’s operations. We welcome him to Sanlam and look forward to his contribution.”

Back in 2013, MMI bought cell captive insurer, Guardrisk from Alexander Forbes for R1.6 billion in order to enhance its employee benefits offering to corporates and offer corporate clients the opportunity to sell branded insurance products to their clients and employees, without having to own their own insurance company.

Alongside Momentum Retail and Metropolitan Retail, Guardrisk forms the third pillar of the group, namely, Corporate and Public Sector. Guardrisk made a strong contribution to the group’s results for the 12 months to June 2015, although MMI lost the medical aid administration of two significant public sector clients after the year end.

A leader in employee benefits, Alexander Forbes administered 328 standalone retirement funds at March 2015, while 1 144 corporate clients were in the Alexander Forbes umbrella retirement fund. 

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