Greetings IING members!

We are sitting in the 2nd half of the year and hopefully the weather will start getting warmer now that we have August behind us.

I am just now returning from the 2018 IISA conference held at Sun City. The stand out message, for me, came from Ludovic Subran, Head of Macroeconomic Research for Allianz and Euler Hermes. He spoke about how we can grow the insurance economy.

Ludovic made it very clear that investment need to start internally. South Africa should not just look at international investment, but we need to create avenues and cultures to create within.

Dr Joachim Wenning, Chair of Board of Management: Munich Re spoke about new frontiers and how it is predicted that Africa will have a growth rate of 4.2% by 2030. This compared against only 1.6% for Europe.

If one considers the above statements it would be clear that we need to the see the opportunities within South Africa. It is here where we need to start looking at being more innovative – what has worked for us up and until now will definitely not work going forward.

The insurance sector needs new entrants urgently – It is our responsibility creating these avenues for new entrants. I personally know many insurance professionals who are nearing their retirement – with that we are losing these individuals together with the experience that they have gained over decades of dealing with our clients.

So building sustainability would be making sure we get new entrants and using the experienced individuals to train them. Proper development plans need to be put in place. Formal mentorship is critical to this plan.

But the first building block of this journey is making sure that we have new entrants coming into the industry. Not only corporate companies, but independent companies need to create a pipeline of these new entrants.

As the president of the IING my main goal is assisting entrants that maybe can’t afford studying towards the insurance sector. The IING decided to partner with the IIG in donating money towards a bursary fund. The fund will be used for school leavers to study towards a NQF 5 in the insurance sector. After completion these learners will also be guaranteed employment in the insurance sector. I want to applaud to IIG for creating this avenue and thank them for allowing us to be a part of this wonderful program.

If we as the insurance industry can build similar programs around the country we can start this journey making sure that the average age of an insurance professional in South Africa is no longer over the age of 50.

I am confident that the necessary individuals are out there – we just need to find them, show them that this is a great market and then assist them with the necessary tools, skills and experience. We all have great stories to tell, experience to share – let us all be part of this journey.

Keep well, Anton