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Absa Life. Video. Absa Life Exco. Managing Executive Life Jannie Venter. PA Marietta Pedridis. EA Vacant. GM High Advice Mugove Nyimu. GM Embedded Products Khanyi Mashapa. Direct and Digital Ayanda Seboni. GM Branch Sejal Vallabh. Head Customer Experience Shelley Jones.

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Absa Life

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Absa Life Exco

Managing Executive Life

Jannie Venter


Marietta Pedridis



GM High Advice


  • GM Embedded Products
  • KhanyiMashapa
  • Direct and Digital
  • AyandaSeboni
  • GM Branch
  • SejalVallabh
  • Head Customer Experience
  • Shelley Jones
  • GM Risk and Capital Managment
  • Bertus Thomas
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Eugene Strauss
  • Head of HR Life
  • JameelaEssop
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Sunil Nagar
strategic themes
Strategic Themes

Each strategic theme has been unpacked into certain actions that are required to achieve them.

These actions have been regrouped into strategic initiatives to facilitate the implementation framework of the strategy

Develop the skills and capabilities to be a global business that can implement and manage its business in many different countries

Be excellent in our core business, focussing on Product, Service, Process and Support

Manage our key stakeholders well to ensure that they support our vision and assist us in achieving our goals

Establish and maintain a clear focus on bancassurance and not to be distracted by smaller opportunities

Understand how to utilise marketing and branding, and develop the skills required to make this happen in practice

Contribute to the Customer Value Proposition of the bank, making the overall offering of the bank more competitive

Excel at fostering working relationships at all levels with the bank

Improve our capability in branch sales

Ensure our People / Employee value proposition is such that we can

continue to attract and retain talented people and that all employees are motivated to do their best

Create capacity in all the work we have identified. This means being very selective in what we work on

Continue to develop our good skills in the provision of high advice products

Learn to interact digitally


Describe the Values and behaviours of your business unit

Absa Life fully subscribes to the Barclays values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Stewardship. We believe that it is a business imperative that all staff operates from a basis that encompasses the values. We expect that all our staff live the values at all times and any behaviour that is at odds with the values is not accepted

What is your Business Unit’s Purpose

Absa Life is a long-term insurer focusing on life insurance and investment products. The business insures a large pool of customers through a variety of distribution channels. These include the Absa Insurance and Financial Advisers (AIFA), the Absa Retail Bank branch network, a number of telesales channel partners as well as some direct platforms such as automated teller machines (ATMs), the internet and mobile phone

What are the upcoming quarter’s focus areas for your business unit

The main focus areas for the rest of the year are to ensure that at a minimum we achieve the business targets that we have set ourselves. Another key focus area is to ensure that we start executing on our strategy. We also want to continue our journey of ensuring that we always place the customer at the centre of everything we do

markets and opportunities
Markets and Opportunities
  • Markets
  • Whilst the life insurance market is mature in South Africa, penetration rates on the rest of the continent low. AFS’s access to the Barclays customer base and its experience of growing the mass market in South Africa stands it in good stead.
  • Regulatory Changes
  • Opening up new opportunities in Africa.
  • Consumers
  • Global trend to protection products (vs. savings) in a global financial crisis, but consumers are price sensitive and want to deal with trusted brands. AFS’s Bancassurance model delivers cost competitive products from trusted brands (Absa brand in South Africa, Barclays outside South Africa).

Market Proposition

Long term insurance for life and disability protection

Complex (high advice) and simple (low advice) product suite

Competitive products in external market (pricing and benefits)

Easy access via multiple channels, incl. advisors, direct / digital sales, branch network

Embedded product suite to support bank lending products

Under-written and non under-written based on risk profile affects premium and benefits

Packaged (OTC) solutions

Straightforward products

Strong staff proposition



Finance can be described as the backbone to the organisation where all the different areas within the business come together from a financial point of view

They are responsible for:

Producing the annual financial statements and ensuring that the statutory audit process is conducted on a satisfactory basis

Assisting the actuarial team in compiling the regulatory returns and dealing with queries from the regulator

Day to day payment of the all operational payments such as claims, refunds etc

The full accounting process that covers all aspects in the life cycle of a policy

The production of monthly management accounts on a very detailed product level to help the different business areas to get an understanding of their financial position

The taxation computation for the company and ensuring that all SARS payments are made on time

Producing the medium and short term plans for the company based input and insight from the various business areas



The largest MI’s main purpose is to produce and implement an MI strategy that is aligned to the Absa Life strategy and this includes the following:

  • Providing Absa Life with accurate, timeous, and relevant MI reports that enable business decision making.
  • Provide Absa Life with regular and adhoc business intelligence that enables business to understand the trends that occur and why they occur and how best to make business decision based on these trends
  • Continually monitoring the industry for latest trends and developments not only in terms of MI/BI tools and methodologies but also new ways of interrogating data.
  • options
  • Maintain the full MI environment which includes the actual MI architecture, data quality, data loading, reporting, and front end BI tools.
  • Continually look for new ways of making reporting quicker, simpler and more accurate
mi bulk uploads
MI Bulk Uploads
  • Bulk uploads is a function that resides within MI where the daily tasks of the area include the following:
  • Managing the relationship with business partners that provide data to Absa Life to ensure that all changes are understood and are implemented quickly with as little disruption as possible for business.

Validating files received from business partners for accuracy and consistency, and continuously updating and developing new validation programmes to allow for fast and accurate corrections to data quality issues

  • Uploading of Credit Life files onto the MULPAS administration system, and dealing with any issues arising from this process which includes engaging with both external parties and internal IT
  • Producing financial reports that are used as direct inputs into the Absa Life financials on a monthly basis for products uploaded.
  • Producing MI reports that are used by business to track their business on a monthly basis.
high advice
High Advice
  • These include the appropriate Risk and Investment Linked Endowment products, the necessary sales tools for client discussions and any technical support required for a smooth client on-boarding.
  • High Advice is responsible for providing Financial Planners, Financial Advisers and Wealth Managers with Life Insurance solutions.
  • Additionally, we also provide a Group Life and Cell Captive offering as alternative risk options for corporate clients.
  • Corporate clients can achieve scale as large group and we are able to customise affordable life insurance benefits.
absa life absa life continues to outperform the market in terms of roe
Absa Life Absa Life continues to outperform the market in terms of RoE

High Advice and Simple Products

Distribution Channels

Death cover

Funeral cover

Accidental death

Permanent disability

Temporary disability


Income protection

Critical illness


Embedded channel R311m (33%) - Life, Disability and Retrenchment cover

Branch channel R91m (10%) - Funeral, Life and Accident Retail Bank

High advice R289m (30%) - Underwritten life, dread disease and disability

Direct and digital R262m (27%) - Funeral, accidental death and disability cover

Call centres, ABSA online, ATM, mobile

  • Their main role is to entrench the agreed AFS Bancassurance strategy and to enable the sales teams within the retail branches to provide life cover as part of client solutioning into the Absa customer base.
  • The Branch Channel is responsible for the efficient sales of standalone products sold through Absa’s retail branches nationally.
  • Whilst the main function is to provide support to both sales support consultants within AFS Distribution as well as ensure sleek systems and processes for ease of selling, they also provide tactical support by identifying areas where “quick wins” may be achieved as well as ensuring strong strategic relationships within the retail bank structure are created and maintained.
actuarial business solutions
Actuarial Business Solutions

Aims to provide high quality actuarial support to the Barclays Africa life assurance entities, in the form of:

  • Understanding the profitability of the business by monitoring the decrement and persistency experience of the book of business, analysing the sources of profit and determining the profitability of each product line
  • Establishment of sufficient reserves to meet the future obligations arising from the existing book of policies and ensuring that profits are not recognised prematurely
  • Development of market leading life insurance products that meet the needs of customers, and that are priced fairly from the perspective of both policyholders and shareholders
  • Management of the business assets to ensure sufficient liquidity to meet obligations as and when they fall due, efficient asset-liability management is in place, and that excess assets generate investment returns as required by shareholders
  • Monitoring the solvency of the company by ensuring that excess assets are produced from the business operations and that sufficient capital is retained to withstand adverse experience
  • Compliance with Regulatory requirements are met, in particular with respect to solvency, investment restrictions, treating customers fairly and regulatory reporting
  • The Embedded Business unit follows the Bancassurance Model, where a partnership or relationship between Absa Life and Absa Retail bank if formed to create a platform in the bank’s infrastructure to sell insurance products to the bank customers.
  • Our primary product is credit life insurance which is easily accessible, need specific product that ensures comprehensive insurance cover in the event of death, retrenchment, dread disease and disability of permanent or temporal nature.
  • The embedded team members are therefore responsible for effective management of relationships with the bank stakeholders and to influence stakeholder’s attitudes, decisions and actions in the manner they sell our products. And to provide them with maximum support to be able to sell our products and increase the bank’s customer value proposition.
  • Credit life insurance is offered to any customer who has successfully applied for any core credit facility provided by the bank. These can include Vehicle and Asset Finance, Personal Loans, Micro Loans, Credit Card, Revolving Loans, Mortgage Loans, Overdraft facilities as well as credit granted against pension funds.
customer experience

In Absa Life the voice of customer has been significantly elevated in recognition of fact that delivering customer value is a key differentiator

  • in a competitive environment.
Customer Experience

With our priority firmly on our customers we will be focusing on a number of initiatives to build a capability that will enable us to deliver winning value propositions to customers and employees to support Absa Life’s strategic intent to become a world class bancassurer.

These include

  • Improve our retention capability by analysing customer insights of exiting
  • clients and addressing sub optimal process, service or product issues
  • Build a customer dashboard with appropriate management information
  • Use marketing and communications to effectively present our value promise to customers and internal stakeholders
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders who touch customers to understand their needs and establish how we can support them in
  • building strong lifelong relationships
  • Identify the world-class best practices employed for building and leading a
  • competitively unique customer centric enterprise
  • Integrate Absa Life solutions into the Customer Value Proposition of the bank
  • Build a competence around
  • gathering customer insights
direct and digital
Direct and Digital

At direct and digital we understand that not everyone has time to come into the branch or meet with an advisor.

We bring simple, efficient products to you.

Utilising Online, mobile and telephony we present our clients with an opportunity to secure their futures by taking out life insurance products that suit their needs.

Click, Click

Ring, Ring

the chief operating office
The Chief Operating Office

Underwriting is the process of identifying and classifying acceptable risks for insurance companies. Underwriting is essentially an extension of the product pricing process.  To determine the basic premium for a standard risk, age, gender and smoking habits are generally used.

the chief operating office1
The Chief Operating Office
  • An underwriter needs to determine the factors  that presents a higher than standard risk (the factors over and above age, gender and smoker status). When a risk is identified as higher than normal, we refer to it as a substandard risk.
  • Underwriting considerations include medical and non-medical factors when classifying the risk. Examples of medical factors include diseases such as high blood pressure, overweight, heart attack, stroke and cancer. Examples of non-medical factors are: dangerous hobbies, risks associated with certain occupations and financial risks.
  • Substandard risks are charged a higher premium - the underwriter’s job is to determine the extra premium to be charged.

UNDERWRITE  = Understand the risk,

Write profitable business.

the chief operating office2
The Chief Operating Office

Operational Risk (OpRisk) is defined as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events. 

OpRisk responsibilities include the assistance to business in embedding the OpRisk Framework, (including tools and other support) as well as providing independent oversight and challenge across the business.

the chief operating office3
The Chief Operating Office

We support and inform the Board and Exco on any relevant issues, and also assist business to prevent/minimise operational risk events and losses.

We also provide the link between business and Audit, and facilitate the process.