INSURANCE: Santam Programme to Grow Number Of Black Insurance Brokers
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SOUTH AFRICA SUFFERS a shortage of black short-term insurance brokers, especially in terms of providing the lower-income segment of the population with broader access to formal financial services such as credit, housing finance, savings and insurance. This is despite the demand for these services growing rapidly.
Santam’s Black Intermediary Development Initiative (SBIDI) is working to fix this. It’s growing the number of qualified and skilled black brokers to diversify the cultural profile of the country’s intermediary professionals. SBIDI is also stimulating job creation in short-term insurance through entrepreneurship development.
SBIDI represents an investment by Santam of more than R1 million and is set to become a long-term, sustainable element of the greater short-term insurance industry.
Selven Govender, Head of Business Development at Santam says SBIDI is designed not only to train black intermediaries, but its principal objective is to supply the industry with a pool of highly qualified black brokers who can run operational and viable businesses of their own.
Candidates who become part of the programme are mentored on all aspects of short-term insurance and how to establish a brokerage. This includes daily operational activities, client service and relationship building skills.
It is Santam’s ambition, in SIBIDI, to help transform the short-term industry in South Africa to make it demographically representative; mentor programme participants; assist participants to find employment in established brokerages or at Santam; and grow the company’s pool of black short-term brokers.
SIBIDI offers enhanced capacity when brokerages employ graduates. It also offers black brokers a variety of short courses (on, for example, business development, marketing and sales) and specialist programmes on Santam product offerings from the personal and commercial lines.
Last year 42 candidates successfully completed the SIBIDI programme. They joined Santam as interns and have since been employed either at Santam or at other major brokerage companies. Govender says Santam is confident that most of the 61 candidates this year will find jobs either at Santam or at other established brokerages.
Govender: “Santam is committed to transformation and development within the short-term industry. We have taken SBIDI to new heights in 2010 and aim to achieve even bigger milestones in 2011 and beyond. There’s excitement within Santam about SBIDI – we want to spread the word and make SBIDI an integral part of how we do business.” explains Govender.
Business News Sector Tags: Infotech| Insurance|