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SHA responds to industry trends with new approach to talent management

18 March 2019 Stalker Hutchison Admiral (Pty) Ltd (SHA)
Malcolm Padayachee, Managing Executive at Stalker Hutchison Admiral

Malcolm Padayachee, Managing Executive at Stalker Hutchison Admiral

Manisha Chiman to be promoted to Executive Head at Stalker Hutchison Admiral

Manisha Chiman to be promoted to Executive Head at Stalker Hutchison Admiral

Dianne Kirk as Executive Head at Stalker Hutchison Admiral

Dianne Kirk as Executive Head at Stalker Hutchison Admiral

Stalker Hutchison Admiral (Pty) Ltd (SHA),announces strategic new appointments to drive business strategy forward.


The insurance industry is constantly evolving as it navigates its way through numerous challenges including a tougher regulatory environment, economic uncertainty, technological advances and more stringent underwriting measures. Insurers are therefore forced to adapt their strategies and models to ensure their survival well into the future. Stalker Hutchison Admiral (SHA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Santam, is ensuring they are future-proofed by getting the right people in place to take the business forward.

According to the PwC Africa Insurance Trends Survey 2017/2018, which looked at 22 countries across Africa, the insurance sector is experiencing significant disruption and changing customer expectations are shaping the future of the industry. There is, however, still significant room for growth. Some of the key themes that emerged from the survey were the technology and data "revolution", unrelenting regulatory and accounting changes, and talent shortages.

In particular, PwC’s survey indicated that the insurance sector lags behind other industries when it comes to investing in the development of young talent, and maintaining a significant pool of skills in this field. Insurers need to innovate strategies to retain and incentivise the older experienced professionals to actively transfer their knowledge and expertise to the next generation of talent that are striving for executive positions in the future work place.

Gareth Beaver, CEO at SHA Specialist Underwriters believes there are many ways for expertise to be transferred from older, more experienced generations to young new talent. “A combination of on-the-job knowledge transfer, formal classroom training initiatives, mentorship and coaching are needed to ensure successful knowledge sharing – all of which need to be in play simultaneously.”

He adds that to succeed in this challenge, a commitment towards technical excellence must exist. “When this culture exists, the older generation are inspired to impart knowledge and the younger generation dedicates itself to acquiring that knowledge quickly.”

In living up to this commitment, and in order to remain competitive into the future, SHA has made a number of strategic new appointments, both from within SHA and externally. The new team structure is designed to fully capitalise on the combined expertise of existing employees as well as new employees.

The first appointment as part of this transformation was that of Malcolm Padayachee into the role of Managing Executive. Malcolm takes on the Executive Management role of the Liability and Professional Indemnity (excluding Construction & Infrastructure Projects) business units at SHA, effective from 1 October 2018.

“I believe Malcolm’s appointment will benefit SHA and all our stakeholders as we work towards retaining and growing our market leadership position in the specialist risks market segment. Malcolm (a qualified attorney) gained experience at Aon in their Professional Risks team and was part of the growth success story enjoyed by iTOO. Having him join SHA will bring some fresh thinking as well as expanded market relationships to the company,” says Beaver.

Furthermore, SHA has made Executive Management changes within the liability team – starting with the appointment of Dianne Kirk as Executive Head: Technical (Liability), a new position within the Liability division. Dianne has been with the company for a total of 15 years, most recently for two years after a short stint at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. In this new role, she will be responsible for improving SHA’s Liability technical underwriting skills, processes and risk rating models.

“The creation of this new role and the fulfilment thereof with someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Dianne evidences our commitment towards investing in technical excellence and skills transfer. In addition, this appointment has created significantly more capacity to deliver on new initiatives such as developing and implementing a new underwriting and risk rating tool. This tool will develop and implement a more detailed risk survey process for SHA’s top risks and will ensure a more scientific risk rating and selection process, among other efficiencies,” states Beaver.

The creation of Dianne’s new role created the opportunity for Manisha Chiman to be promoted to Executive Head Liability from her previous role as Head of Liability. “Manisha’s position places her between the older and younger generations. One of the challenges she faces in this position is to bridge the gap between the two, in order to allow for the transfer of knowledge from one to the other. This requires embracing technology to facilitate knowledge sharing – the younger generation prefers training via mobile devices, as opposed to formal classroom training, as it allows them to learn outside normal office hours,” comments Beaver.

“We are excited to see the changes we’ve been working on for some time now, come to fruition over the coming months. This will include a refreshed brand campaign that reflects the transformation within the business over the past two years as well as our future aspirations,” concludes Beaver.

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