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BE170057

Financial Services Group of the Year - South Africa Company: Discovery Limited Contact: Barry Swartzberg Contact Email: mariettee@discovery.co.za Address: 155 West Street, Sandton, 2146, P.O Box 786722, South Africa Phone: 0027 11 529 4514 Website: www.discovery.co.za/portal

Discovery Limited Discovery Limited is a shared value insurance company whose purpose and ambition are achieved through a pioneering business model that incentivises people to be healthier, and enhances and protects their lives. We invited Barry Swartzberg to tell us more. Drawing on over a quarter of a century’s experience, Discovery is an innovative insurance company operating primarily in South Africa and the UK. Barry, who is co-founder of the firm, discusses the history of this vibrant and dynamic company and how it has grown into the success it is today. “When Discovery was founded in 1992, I worked alongside Adrian Gore to develop the Discovery concept and the business. We wanted the business to have an impact and for it to touch people’s lives in a positive way. Friday, 10 March 2017, marked 25 years to the day that we started Discovery. What we could not have known was how the brilliance of our people and what they do would develop Discovery into the diverse and successful financial services organisation that it is today, operating in the healthcare, life assurance, shortterm insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. “From the outset, our core purpose has always been clear – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Most companies know what they do and how; but very few know why – we believe this clarity of purpose has contributed profoundly to our progress. Our secondary aim is to be a market disruptor and a force for social good. A fast-paced environment that supports idea generation and celebrates progress and achievement enables this. What also helps set us apart is the way our people challenge themselves every day to identify solutions that benefit our company, our clients and society. “Since 2005 I have been leading the diversification of Discovery’s operations both locally and internationally and recently, I took on the role of leading our global operations, through a formalised entity called the Vitality Group. Founded in Johannesburg, Discovery owns and operates financial services businesses in South Africa and the UK, and through our international partnerships with leading global insurers; Vitality has grown into 14 countries. Today, with close to 12 000 employees worldwide, Vitality impacts 6.9 million people around the globe.” Operating internationally, the firm tailors its services to meet the needs of each specific market. In South Africa, Discovery operates in the industries of health insurance, life assurance, long-term savings and investments, short-term insurance, credit card and wellness. In the UK, Discovery operates in the private medical insurance, long-term protection and wellness markets. Barry is eager to highlight the firm’s vast array of services and the markets it operates in and how the firm strives to provide excellence to each of its diverse range of clients. “Driven by a core purpose, to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives, Discovery has

over 25 years developed solutions that address specific needs, disrupt the industry, and change the way insurance works. In the healthcare industry, Discovery was first to put consumers in charge of their daily healthcare spend with a Medical Savings Account, in life assurance it was first to split risk and savings. With hundreds of innovations to benefit clients, innovation is a key pillar of the operating model and is encouraged across the business through yearly product updates. Vitality, developed in 1997 as a wellness solution, is a world-leading health promotion programme that assists to monetise insurance risk and share value from improved health with clients, and societies around the world. In our primary markets, Vitality is offered either as an integrated part of, or in conjunction with, our insurance products. Vitality supports Discovery’s broader business by increasing product integration and cross-selling opportunities across the Discovery portfolio of products. “Through our partner markets, Discovery operates in the US, Canada, Europe and Pan-Asia. In these markets, we offer shared-value insurance products (Vitality integrated with life assurance). In China, Discovery has a 25% partnership with the Ping An Group of China through Ping An Health and offers private health insurance cover in this market. Sharedvalue insurance products are offered with Ping An Life (Vitality integrated with life assurance). We also offer corporate wellness solutions to clients in the US through The Vitality Group. What unites each of these markets is our dedication to offering the very highest standard of service and achieving excellence in each and every one of them.” Ultimately, despite having already achieved impressive success around the world, Discovery is not ready to rest on its laurels, and Barry has big plans for the future of the firm which he is eager to share with us. “At Discovery, our growth methodology is aimed at reaching operating profit growth of CPI +10%, and creating a stable of profitable, disruptive businesses that embody our purpose of making people healthier. Vitality Group is a rapidly growing global franchise with strong membership growth. We also continue to invest in new initiatives, which include our banking aspirations; the Global Vitality Network; and new adjacent businesses, namely entering commercial insurance through our short-term insurance business, Discovery Insure; the addition of Umbrella Funds in Discovery Invest; and a new investment venture by Vitality UK. This work combined with a rigorous capital management philosophy that is both disciplined and receptive to opportunity, puts us well on course to reach our ambition to become the best insurance organisation globally and a powerful force for social good.”

Acquisition International - Business Excellence Awards 2017 21

AI Business Excellence Awards 2017  
AI Business Excellence Awards 2017