Zurich Insurance Company - New Appointments

23 February 2012 Zurich Insurance Company South Africa
Cloud Saungweme

Cloud Saungweme

Venessa Buitendag

Venessa Buitendag

Zurich appoints new Head of Claims Operations

Zurich Insurance Company South Africa, a leading local global short-term insurance provider, is pleased to announce the appointment of Cloud Saungweme to the position of Head of Claims Operations with effect February 2012.

Cloud joins Zurich with over 20 years experience in the short-term insurance industry including roles at Royal Mutual Insurance, Price Forbes, Protea Insurance, Rand Mutual Assurance and AIG. Prior to joining Zurich, Cloud was the General Manager of Operations at Hollard Insurance. He brings a broad range of expertise in claims operations combined with a proven track record for delivery.

Born and educated in Zimbabwe, he holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Demontfort, Legal Diploma in Insurance from AIISA, Advanced Diploma in Insurance from FIISA and an executive leadership course from the University of Stellenbosch.

In his new position, Cloud will be responsible for developing and implementing Zurich’s internal and external claims operations processes in addition to building an integrated communications platform to ensure effective procedures around claims processes.

Welcoming Cloud to the role, Chief Claims Officer, Dylan Garnett said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Cloud to the team. I am sure he will continue to build on the foundations that have been put into place. Cloud brings a blend of skills, market knowledge and experience that will help us continue to shape and deliver our claims transformation work as a key strategic initiative.”

Zurich appoints industry specialist as Head of Technical Claims

Zurich Insurance Company South Africa, a leading local global short-term insurance provider, is pleased to announce the appointment of Venessa Buitendag to the position of Head of Technical Claims with effect from 1 February 2012.

Venessa graduated from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (previously known as the University of Port Elizabeth) with a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and LLB and was awarded Law Student of the Year in 1986. She subsequently graduated with qualifications in various disciplines namely Insurance, Environmental Law and Business Management.

On completion of her studies Venessa spent a brief period in the legal field before joining Specialised Risk Underwriters (part of the Stallar Hutchison Group) as a Claims Technician. During her eight years tenure with the organisation she progressed to a claims management level. Venessa was then approached by Winterthur International to join them as Claims Manager where she quickly became one of the most sought after claims specialists in the country.

In 2001, she joined AIG South Africa (now Chartis Ltd) as Deputy and then Regional Claims Manager; a role in which she turned the productivity of the claims department around in a relatively short time. Her contribution and dedication was rewarded when Venessa was appointed to the Board less than a year later. Her most recent role was Claims Director and Board member at Chartis South Africa Ltd.

Venessa’s role at Zurich entails overseeing the technical claims environment across South Africa, streamlining processes and ensuring effective communication between brokers and the claims department. Her vast knowledge in both the legal and insurance fields will contribute enormously to Zurich’s aspiration to deliver market leading claims service.

As Technical Claims Head, Venessa reports directly to Dylan Garnett, Chief Claims Officer, who commented “Venessa is an accomplished and articulate career professional with an impressive track record. We are delighted to have her on our team and I believe her vast knowledge and experience will complement the existing skills set. We are looking forward to her contribution towards the achievement of our strategic and operational objectives.”


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