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Clear strategy drives Old Mutual Insure

12 June 2017Jonathan Faurie

After a long and illustrious timeframe in the industry, Mutual & Federal has rebranded and will from now on be known as Old Mutual Insure. FAnews spoke with a few key individuals from Old Mutual Insure to get exclusive insight on the journey.

Clear vision

Some companies travel a convoluted journey towards achieving brand centricity. However, for Old Mutual Insure, there was a clear vision in mind.

“The rebranding is important for us to support Old Mutual Emerging Markets’ core strategy of becoming the financial services champion of Africa. They have articulated this vision and we have realised that the short term arm of our business would form a key component in this,” says Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Marketing and Communications at Old Mutual Insure.

That was not the only reason for the rebranding. Tshabalala adds that the rebranding will improve the client experience. “We will be able to, over time, have access to the shared services that Old Mutual has. Further, we will have access to technologies that will allow clients to do business with us a lot easier,” says Tshabalala.

Brian Johnson, Head of Distribution, adds to this saying that rebranding was not a decision that the company took lightly as Mutual & Federal has been a proud name in the South African insurance industry for many decades.

“Our decision was informed by research over the past two years among employees, customers, intermediaries and key personnel in Old Mutual. A unified brand will have more impact and a stronger identity, while lowering the cost of building brands,” says Johnson.

A one stop solution

He extrapolated on the value of shared systems by providing some exact insight into how clients will benefit from this.

“Old Mutual Insure will work with Old Mutual to look for opportunities to provide customer and intermediary value propositions to customers, businesses and advisers that require a one-stop solution. Old Mutual advisers will also be able to source potential new customers for short term insurance from the Old Mutual database. Shared services will lead to lower costs and more competitive financial services and products, which will ultimately make it easier for our intermediaries and customers to do business with us,” says Johnson.

He adds that shared services will also make funds available for expansion, higher risk product offerings, top-talent retention, innovation, marketing and for assisting brokers and advisers in managing their practices profitably.

Strategic timing

With the downgrade to junk status in July, many people may be asking whether this is the right time for Old Mutual Insure to embark on such an undertaking.

“The timing of the rebrand is strategic presenting an opportunity to be a part of a formidable brand. This holds specific benefits that we will leverage to become Africa's top short term insurer. These benefits include growing our share of the retail market, improving the customer experience, new opportunities for our company, our customers, our intermediaries and our employees, and extending our short term expertise,” says Johnson.

The same song sheet

We have already established that the rebrand will be important from a customer point of view; but how will it affect brokers and advisers?

Tshabalala says that it is important for the broker market to understand that there are a lot of things that will stay the same after the rebrand; for example, the company’s financial services licence does not change.

“Secondly, the way that we interact with our brokers and advisers will not change. The essence of our business remains the same and our lines of business remain central to our core strategy. The only thing that will really change is the name. Our relationship with the market does not,” says Tshabalala.

Editor’s Thoughts:
Many global companies have benefited from consolidating the different brands in their group under one banner. In a market where clients are looking for stability and a company that will offer significant value, the future looks bright for Old Mutual Insure. To see the full interview with Thobile Tshabalala, please follow this link. Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts jonathan@fanews.co.za.

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