For immediate release
31 March 2020
Sanlam announces new leadership in its most key positions
New independent non-executive Chair of Sanlam Board
New Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer
New Sanlam Group Financial Director
Bellville – Sanlam today announced that the Sanlam Board has approved new appointments in three of its most senior positions in the diversified financial services group.
The Sanlam Board has approved that:
Mr Elias Masilela be appointed as independent non-executive Chair of the Sanlam Board with effect from 10 June 2020;
Mr Paul Hanratty be appointed as Group CEO from 01 July 2020; and
Ms Abigail Mukhuba be appointed as Group Financial Director from 01 October 2020.
Each of the appointments was made following rigorous and thorough Board processes with internal and external candidates for each of the three key positions as well as the requisite approvals from the Prudential Authority.
Sanlam views leadership succession as important and takes a proactive stance when it comes to leadership transition. Vacancies in the most senior positions have created the opportunity to find the best available candidates as well as advancing the Group’s transformation agenda at the most senior levels in the organisation.
New independent non-executive Chair of Sanlam Board
Mr Masilela, who already serves as a Board member, is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). He currently serves on a number of company boards and co-owns and co-manages a consultancy focused on strategy, economics and business development.
Mr Masilela succeeds Dr Johan van Zyl as Board Chair. Dr Van Zyl’s departure as Board Chair in June 2020 was announced in March 2019.
Mr Masilela’s extensive network of key stakeholders in both the private and public sectors in South Africa and beyond is viewed as valuable to Sanlam’s existing strategy of becoming the leading financial services company in South Africa and the rest of Africa. Notwithstanding the key contributions made by Sanlam’s businesses outside South Africa, the company still generates some 60% of its earnings within South Africa.
Mr Sipho Nkosi, Chair of the Sanlam Nominations Committee of the Board commented:
“We have followed the same thorough process as with each key appointment within the organisation in the interest of good corporate governance. The Committee recommended the appointment of Mr Masilela as an independent non-executive Chair of the Board and the Board’s decision is unanimous.
“The Board looks forward to Mr Masilela’s leadership at Board level as he directs the Board’s strategic deliberations on key matters going forward. The Board also wishes to express its gratitude to Dr Van Zyl who served for a period of three years as Chair of the Board.”
In accepting his new role, Mr Masilela commented:
“The financial services sector in South Africa is a significant contributor to economic stability and growth in the country. Sanlam has consistently achieved market related performance and, when measured against its peers, can demonstrate that it is a leading contender.
“The Sanlam Group has a clear and focused business strategy to unlock value for its stakeholders. Given where we are in the business cycle, management will do the necessary shifts in emphasis to the Group’s strategy. It will remain the responsibility of the Board to hold management accountable for the implementation of the Group’s strategy, in order to achieve our business objectives and oversee consistent adherence to sound corporate governance practices.”
Dr Van Zyl steps down as Chair of the Board but will continue to serve as a non-executive director on the Board in the interest of continuity at Board level. Dr Van Zyl represents the interests of Sanlam’s largest shareholder Ubuntu-Botho Investments, along with Dr Patrice Motsepe and Dr Rejoice Simelane.
New Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer
Mr Kirk, the current Group CEO, will remain available to the organisation after Mr Hanratty takes over as new Group CEO in July. He will fulfil various responsibilities, including support to Mr Hanratty, until 31 December 2020 when his five-year contract at Sanlam ends.
The Board’s decision is that Mr Hanratty will commence duties as Group CEO on 1 July 2020. However, in light of the very challenging times that South Africa is facing in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, Mr Kirk will continue to play an important role at an ASISA industry level, working with the Government in addressing these challenges. He will continue in a leadership role in the Group through these times and be available until 31 December 2020, as the situation normalises, fulfilling various responsibilities, as well as supporting with the handover to Mr Hanratty.
The appointment of the new Group CEO follows rigorous deliberations by a special ad hoc Board Committee led by Dr Shirley Zinn, a seasoned Human Resources professional who is an independent non-executive director on the Sanlam Board. The Committee was also assisted by relevant external service providers to find and evaluate appropriate internal and external candidates.
Dr Zinn commented:
“The Committee considered applications from several internal as well as external candidates. Shortlisted candidates submitted impressive proof of experience as well as sets of key strategic priorities to ensure the Sanlam Group’s growth trajectory into the future.
“In the end, the Committee was guided by evidence of significant experience to successfully manage a complex financial services business. Experience and insight into the broader financial services sector, including peers, was also considered. Given Sanlam’s scale and relative diverse business activities, the Committee recommended to the Board that Mr Hanratty be considered to be appointed as new Group CEO.”
Under Mr Kirk’s leadership the Sanlam Group has achieved many accolades. Sanlam has achieved the clear leadership position amongst insurance groups operating in South Africa and on the African continent. Key to this was progress on implementing the Group’s profitable growth strategy over the past few years and the completion of the Saham transaction in Morocco. This transaction has cemented Sanlam’s position as having an unparalleled footprint across 32 countries on the African continent.
Mr Hanratty, a qualified actuary, has served on the Sanlam Board as a non-executive director since 3 April 2017. Before he was appointed to the Sanlam Board in 2017, he held key leadership positions at Old Mutual.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Hanratty said:
“Leading an organisation of this scale is certainly an honour. Over the last two decades or so Sanlam has successfully demonstrated that it is able to consistently unlock value for shareholders and the rest of its stakeholders.
“Significant shifts in the operating environment in both South Africa and elsewhere in our key markets may result in increased challenges to Sanlam achieving its business objectives. In successfully meeting these objectives, we’ll be guided by the Group’s existing strategy and we’ll consider the necessary shifts where required and relevant. I look forward to working with Sanlam’s Group Executive Committee as well as its various stakeholders.”
New Sanlam Group Financial Director
The third key appointment that the Group announced, is that of Ms Abigail Mukhuba as Group Financial Director.
Ms Mukhuba joins Sanlam from leading mining company African Rainbow Minerals where she has held the position of Finance Director since 2017. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2005 and holds an MBA (UCT), M Com (RSA and International Tax) (RAU), B Com (Hons) (RAU), B Compt (UNISA). She has held several senior finance positions at KPMG Inc., BMW SA and Exxaro Resources Limited.
She has over 15 years’ experience in the financial reporting and tax specialist environment in both the automotive and mining industries. She is a pioneer in her field and is a fervent supporter of women empowerment.
Ms Mukhuba takes over from Mr Wikus Olivier who has been acting as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since July 2019 when Mr Heinie Werth, former Sanlam Finance Director was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Emerging Markets, the business cluster that is responsible for Sanlam’s businesses across 32 countries in Africa, as well as the Group’s other emerging markets businesses in India, Lebanon and Malaysia.
In announcing Ms Mukhuba’s appointment, Mr Kirk commented:
“We thank Wikus for his stellar contribution as acting CFO and are pleased that he remains with us in a Group Exco position. Over this period, we have had the opportunity to explore the market for the best skills available as well as making progress in advancing Sanlam’s agenda of appointing black professionals at the most senior levels in the organisation. We are delighted to bring Ms Mukhuba on board and wish her every success as part of our dynamic team.”
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Mukhuba said:
“Joining the Sanlam Group as Finance Director is certainly an honour and it comes with significant responsibility as we work towards ensuring the organisation’s financial health to the benefit of all stakeholders. Sanlam is at an inspiring juncture in its history as it has successfully established itself as a major player in financial services – both in South Africa and its key markets. It is working towards unlocking value from existing key investments while carefully navigating its future over the medium to longer term.”
Mr Wikus Olivier who has been acting as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since July 2019 has been appointed as the Group’s Chief Executive: Strategic Projects. Mr Olivier took over the acting position when Mr Heinie Werth, former Sanlam Finance Director, was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Emerging Markets. He will ensure a successful transition and thereafter take responsibility for a portfolio of important change projects at Sanlam.
Notes to editors
Short Profile on Mr Elias Masilela
Mr Masilela (age 56) is the Executive Chairman of DNA Economics, Commissioner of the 1st & 2nd National Planning Commission.
He holds a BA Degree Social Science with the University of Swaziland, MSc in Economic Policy and Analysis with Addis Ababa University as well as several professional certificates with Harvard University.
Mr Masilela serves as Board Chair of several influential entities in South Africa, including Capital Harvest and the National Task Force on Impact Investing in South Africa.
Other Board memberships include Multichoice Group, Multichoice SA, Alternative Prosperity Holdings, Future Planet Capital in London and Strate.
Mr Masilela was previously, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Head of Policy Analysis at Sanlam, Acting Deputy Director General for Economic Policy in the National Treasury, Director of Research at the Central Bank of Swaziland.
Previously, he was a member of the Boards of the South African Reserve Bank, the Government Employee Pension Fund, the Airports Company SA, Absa Financial Services, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, as well as the UN Global Compact Board & Chairman of the (UNGC) SA Local Network. Until recently, he was Chairman of Economic Research Southern Africa and member of the Avior Capital Markets Board, Absa Asset Management and the V&A Waterfront.
Mr Masilela founded several strategic initiatives such as the Financial Sector Charter Council, Social Security and Retirement Reform, United Nations Global Compact Africa Implementation Agenda for the Social Development Goals and the Ratepayers Association network in Swaziland, amongst others.
He has published and lectured widely. He is a public speaker and commentator.
Mr Masilela is also an acclaimed author, having achieved the Top 40 of Alan Paton Award in 2007 (Number 43 Trelawney Park; kwaMagogo). His most recent book is entitled LARRY – Simply Larry, September 2018.
Short Profile on Mr Paul Hanratty
Mr Hanratty (aged 58) had a long and successful career with Old Mutual in South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK).
He holds B.Bus.Sc (Hons) degree from the University of Cape Town and became a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) in 1987. He completed the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) at Harvard University in 2002.
Mr Hanratty joined Old Mutual in 1984 on graduating from UCT. He went on to hold various roles before being appointed CEO of Old Mutual South Africa in 2006. As CEO, he helped the organisation navigate the global financial crisis (GFC) and strongly developed Old Mutual’s presence in the rest of Africa. In 2009 he assumed a broader role within Old Mutual PLC (London) with responsibility for Old Mutual’s insurance and asset management businesses in US, UK, Scandinavia, Europe, South Africa, Africa and other emerging markets. He was responsible for reshaping this portfolio of businesses and transforming the strategic and financial profile of these businesses in the years following the GFC.
He was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Old Mutual PLC in 2011 and then became a board member as Group Chief Operating Officer in 2013. In this final role, he drove business performance and key acquisitions internationally, while also serving on the board of Nedbank.
Aside from serving on the Sanlam board since April 2017, he is a non-executive director of MTN where he chairs the finance committee and is on the audit and risk committees, and of an Ardonagh subsidiary, a private markets UK insurance broker where he chairs the risk and audit committee. He is also Non-Executive Chairman of IDM, a digital financial services group in which he is an investor.
Mr Hanratty is known as a seasoned, highly experienced, high profile, credible and well-regarded figure in South African, broader emerging markets and international insurance circles. He boasts a revered track record of growing and turning around insurance and asset management business. He has extensive mergers and acquisitions experience.
Short Profile on Ms Abigail Mukhuba
Abigail Muelelwa Mukhuba (aged 40) has is currently Financial Director of African Rainbow Minerals, a leading mining company with a market value of R35 billion with some 28 000 employees.
As Financial Director at African Rainbow Minerals her key responsibilities include:
Efficient and optimal capital allocation across the group
Managing and maintaining an effective asset management strategy
Being accountable for overall financial reporting, group governance and risk management and technology and information
Advising the CEO on all strategic matters across areas of accountability
Providing motivational and inspirational leadership to the team and organisation at large, as well as guidance and development to maintain high performing teams
Actively participating in all strategic discussions and decisions at board and related committee and executive meetings
Presenting the group’s financial performance at relevant forums
Leading the controlling and analysing of all relevant business issues
Continuous improvement culture: evaluate potential deviation in trends, support and monitor operational effectiveness programmes, best practice implementation and continuous improvement practices
Adoption of innovation and technology to enable the business to maximise stakeholder returns
Her key achievements to date are developing a formalised capital allocation model framework to guide business decisions on efficient ways of allocating capital across the group. She also implemented a business continuity programme across most of the group entities.
In terms of her new responsibilities as Group Financial Director at Sanlam, she brings technical financial reporting and associated governance capabilities. She strongly believes in living and displaying personal responsibility for her contribution to achievement of the company’s strategy. Given her overall risk management as well as technology and information management experience, she is provided with a holistic view of the organisation which allow for improved business decision making.
She speaks English (fluent), Tshivenda (fluent), IsiZulu (moderate), SeSotho (moderate) and Afrikaans (basic).
Notes to editors
Established as a life insurance company in South Africa, the Sanlam Group has transformed into a diversified Pan-African financial services group which is listed on the JSE, A2x and the NSX. Sanlam’s vision is to be the leader in client-centric wealth creation, management and protection in South Africa, to be a leading player in Pan-African financial services with a meaningful presence in India and Malaysia and to play a niche role in wealth and investment management in specific developed markets.
Through its five business clusters – Sanlam Personal Finance, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments Santam and Sanlam Corporate – the Group provides comprehensive and tailored financial solutions to individual and institutional clients across all market segments. Sanlam’s areas of expertise include insurance (life and general), financial planning, retirement, investments and wealth in both South Africa and selected emerging markets.
In addition to its South African operations, the Group has a direct stake in operations based in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Mauritius, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. It has business interests in the USA, Australia, Burundi, Lesotho and the Philippines. Through the SAHAM Finances holding company, it has direct exposure to insurance operations in Morocco, Angola, Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
For further information, visit www.sanlam.com or follow us @sanlam
Issued by Sanlam Group Communications
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