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A sad farewell to an industry stalwart

20 February 2017 Jonathan Faurie
Jonathan Dixon, FSB

Jonathan Dixon, FSB

After serving the Financial Services Board (FSB) for eight years as the Deputy Executive Officer for Insurance, Jonathan Dixon has been named the Secretary General for the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), which is based in Basel, Switzerland.

According to a release by the FSB, the IAIS is the international standard setting body for the supervision of the insurance sector. Dixon will succeed long time Secretary General Yoshihiro Kawai and is the first person from an emerging market country to hold this position. 

No stranger

The FSB points out that Dixon has been an active participant in the IAIS since 2009, having held a number of leadership positions including IAIS Executive Committee member and Chair of the Implementation Committee. 

Among his participation in the IAIS, he spearheaded the creation of a Coordinated Implementation Framework for maximising the impact of IAIS implementation initiatives and was part of a small leadership team that developed the current IAIS five-year strategic plan. As Chair of the Governing Council for the Access to Insurance Initiative, the IAIS sees Dixon as a highly regarded leader on inclusive and responsible insurance. 

“Jonathan Dixon brings a unique combination of proven insurance supervisory experience with global leadership on key insurance initiatives,” said Dr Victoria Saporta, Chair of the IAIS Executive Committee. 

She added that she has worked alongside Dixon for several years and has been impressed by his commitment to the mission of the IAIS, his pragmatic and proportionate approach to insurance supervision, his inclusiveness in reaching out and building strong partnerships and, ultimately, his track record of delivering on a vision.

Dixon will join the IAIS on 1 September 2017, allowing time for a smooth transfer of his current responsibilities. 

The face of regulatory change

For many years, Dixon has served the financial services industry well and has been the face of industry engagement when it came to regulatory reform. His clam demeanour and measured words was a constant presence at industry conferences and functions as he explained the thinking behind the sensitive subjects of Treating Customers Fairly, the Retail Distribution Review as well as Solvency Assessment and Management (SAM). 

“For eight years Jonathan Dixon has been a vital part of the FSB management team. We are grateful for all his contributions, including the hard work he has put into our move towards Twin Peaks regulation. We wish him everything of the best in his new position, and we are proud of his achievement and how it reflects on the quality of insurance supervision in South Africa” said FSB Executive Officer, Adv. Dube Tshidi. 

The road ahead

FAnews spoke to Dixon on his move and the state of the South African insurance industry. 

“When I joined the FSB eight years ago, we set out to achieve the objective of changing the face of the insurance industry. We wanted to change the way that regulation oversight was done, we were not keen on the approach of officiating the industry as a policeman. Rather, we chose to work with companies to help them become the agents of change that the FSB wanted to achieve. And I think we have made great strides in this. TCF has become a talking point in the industry and there are some companies who are really embracing this culture,” said Dixon. 

He added that a lot has to be done in order for the industry to achieve perfection. However, a lot of key legislative pieces such as SAM, TCF and RDR are being implemented and will be passed into law with Twin Peaks later this year. This, along with the Financial Sector Regulation Bill and Policy Holder Protection Rules will create a good governance framework. 

A wider view

Much like other industry bodies around the world, the IAIS is a member run body. Dixon said that his main role would be to provide support to these members so that they can achieve the goals and objectives they hope to achieve. 

Secondly, the IAIS hopes to complete its Post Crisis Reform Agenda which was put in place after the 2008 global financial crisis. This involves refining the process to asses financial risk and establishing a Global Insurer Capacity Standard so that insurers maintain certain levels of operation and financial soundness so that they are not significantly affected by a further crisis. 

In addition, Dixon says that the IAIS works with its members to asses new risks – such as global warming and cyber liability – and the effects that these risks will have on the financial services industry. 

Editor’s Thoughts:
The FSB now begins the process of looking for Dixon’s replacement. This may turn out to be a hard task, but Dixon is confident that enough progress has been made for the new leadership of the FSB to follow a pattern in continuing the work of bettering the industry. Only time will tell. Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts jonathan@fanews.co.za.

Comments

Added by cynical simon, 20 Feb 2017
I trust that the Insurance Brokers of South Africa will make sure that our appreciation for this man is conveyed in a transparent and tangible fashion.
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