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New Sanlam Fintech cluster hires globally competitive Exco Team

14 December 2023 Sanlam

Sanlam, the largest non-banking financial services group in Africa, has recently launched its cutting-edge fintech business cluster. Led by a globally competitive exco team, Sanlam Fintech represents a strategic move within the Sanlam Group to expand its existing fintech offerings and ensure that all aspects of the $8-billion (R143-billion) listed corporation's services are digitally-driven.

The overarching goal is to use tech to accelerate access to financial services for all Africans, delivering on the group’s purpose: to help Africans live with financial confidence. The cluster will be led by a powerful group of heavy hitters, headed up by Riaan van Dyk as CEO. Van Dyk was the former Group CEO of Assupol, with over 25 years’ experience in the financial services sector.

A wealth of high-profile exco appointments signal the cluster’s immense ambition. Johan Moolman – the acclaimed former CEO of FNB eBucks Rewards – joined Sanlam Fintech in October to lead Sanlam Loyalty & Rewards. “Johan is a real coup for Sanlam,” says van Dyk. “We are serious about rewarding our clients and building a loyalty ecosystem that will be one of the best on the continent, and Johan is unparalleled in his experience and track record in this regard.”

In addition, Atle Jorgensen, who spent 10 years as a senior software engineer at Amazon, joined Sanlam Fintech as Chief Technology Officer in August, and Spotify’s Rishi Kumar joined in September to lead the cluster’s data capability. JUMO’s former Chief Product Officer Martin Vogdt will oversee Sanlam Fintech’s product offering. The might of these appointments aligns with van Dyk’s belief that having top talent is key to the cluster’s success in its mission to democratise financial inclusion.

Van Dyk adds, "We have carefully listened to the needs of the market and are responding in a way that positions us to serve both today's clients and those of the future. Our vision for Sanlam Fintech is to be the best, most cost-effective means of offering trusted financial guidance and solutions at scale. We see this as our greatest chance to democratise financial literacy and pave the way for more people to achieve financial confidence and prosperity."

Sanlam will also invest in new value propositions to drive future growth. An entrepreneurial team within Sanlam Fintech will focus on developing new tools, products, and capabilities. This includes expediting AI development and deployment to enhance existing product experiences and sales processes. "Our approach is agile, centred around experimentation, and entirely driven by client needs. We want to learn quickly from these experiments without imposing products on clients unwillingly," says van Dyk.

Sanlam Fintech will adopt an iterative approach, releasing innovations through soft launches as part of a phased project approach. "We firmly believe that our new Fintech cluster will drive our transformation agenda through financial literacy, advice, and radical inclusion. We are excited about the opportunity to make a difference. Building something new can be challenging, requiring patience and perseverance. However, the team is eager to embrace rapid innovation cycles and the uncertainties that come with it. We are poised to shape the future of fintech and make a meaningful impact on people's lives,” concludes van Dyk.

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