A passion for people Old Mutual’s success as a trusted investment, savings, insurance and banking group since 1845 has been built on financial acumen and dedication. Another critical aspect of the Old Mutual business is the passion for the communities we serve, says Helene Africa, Provincial Manager at Old Mutual.
How did the Mass Foundation Cluster come into being?
In what ways has your business adapted to suit your clients changing needs?
Old Mutual is 170 years old but the Mass Foundation Cluster started 40 years ago, primarily because we identified a need in the middle-income market for our products. Employers also asked for something for their clients who were not in the high-income bracket, such as a simple funeral product or even a basic savings or retirement product. As our clients evolved and our initial client basket of two products became increasingly bigger until we had a whole basket of products, even down to education. We try to listen to our clients and help them to progress with their financial life as their needs change. Today the Cluster includes the short-term insurance product iWYZE through to financial support products such as loans, consolidation products and any financial need a client might have. In the past clients would have to go to a competitor for assistance with a loan and then other financial products as their needs changed, so we realised that we needed to look at a client’s financial needs from a wider perspective to be able to retain them as clients and also to accommodate their growing needs. We operate through four divisions: • Foundation Business Unit • Retail Mass Business Unit • Old Mutual Finance Business Unit • iWYZE However, our focus and vision continues to be centred around our clients as we aim to be their most trusted partner. As our customers are at the hub of our business we constantly look at ways of earning and building on their trust by delivering on time and delivering value-for-money prodicts. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017
We launched new technology aimed at improving service Helene Africa, to our customers, as Provincial Manager we moved from a manual environment to paperless and harnessing the power of technology. All our advisers are now equipped with laptops and they run everything through this, instead of paper. Information is now captured from point of sale in order to reduce errors and to prevent a paper application from being lost. It has been a big innovative move and shift for us but it was essential as young people in particular want to do things online without face-to-face interaction, so it’s important to satisfy that need. This came about because we always listen to what our clients want. We are also constantly researching the digital environment and what our future client is going to look like. What are some of the challenges you face in doing your business?
Insurance is not a product that sells itself, and clients don’t come knocking on your door. You have to go out and create awareness about why these products are important for them to consider. The middle-income segment don’t necessarily have lots of disposable income to cover the costs related to death in a family or a serious