Mutual & Federal, a member of the Old Mutual Group, announced today that it has appointed Raimund Snyders as chief executive, following Peter Todd’s decision to resign in order to pursue other business interests.
In an interview with RISKSA, Mike Harper, chairman of Mutual & Federal, acknowledged that this kind of transition can be very disruptive and difficult to deal with, but emphasised that this is not a change in direction for Mutual & Federal and continuity will be maintained.
“In light of this, we did not want to go to market in search of a new CEO, rather, we wanted to bring somebody in who would continue to do the work that Peter has been doing. Raimund brings knowledge of our Africa operations, the South African advisory market and Old Mutual’s approach to distribution. In having to move quickly, we can rely on Raimund to continue Peter’s work,” he explains.
Snyders is currently the chief operating officer and head of distribution for Old Mutual’s African operations. He joined Old Mutual in 1990 and has operated in a variety of roles within Old Mutual South Africa (OMSA), including CEO of the life company in Namibia before heading the personal financial advice distribution business.
He is a qualified advocate by profession and brings a wealth of knowledge of the industry and the Old Mutual Group to the role.
During his tenure as CEO, Todd brought about significant strategic change, by strengthening the executive team, simplifying the organisational structure and building a customer-centric culture, supported by vastly improved information technology and a closer alignment with Old Mutual on the iWYZE and Africa initiatives.
“With the expanding cooperation between OMSA and Mutual & Federal in the creation of iWYZE and stated strategy to expand further into Africa, Raimund’s background is ideal to lead the Mutual & Federal business into its next phase of growth,” says Harper.
“We wish Peter all the best in his future endeavors and thank him for his leadership of Mutual & Federal during his tenure as CEO. The staff members will be sorry to see him go and will be disappointed. But we would like to assure them staff that Mutual & Federal remains an important business and a key part of the Old Mutual group. The fact that we are using group resources, in appointing Raimund, sends a positive message”
Todd will remain with Mutual & Federal until the end of September, ensuring a smooth transition through that period.
Change in M&F structure
Harper told us that the major piece of work currently underway is Mutual & Federal’s move into a divisional structure, which Todd has been driving. The short-term insurer plans to focus on three pillars, namely, corporate, commercial and personal lines, and will appoint executives to run each pillar. The change in structure is being announced later today, but the relevant appointments are still being made.
On brokers, Harper assured us that the broker market will remain incredibly important to Mutual & Federal, which will continue supporting its brokers in a tough operating and regulatory environment.
On Mutual & Federal’s recent partnership with FNB Insurance Direct, Harper notes, “We have had longstanding relationships with all the major banks over a period of time and will be providing Nedbank with the same support. Bancassurance is an important channel to customers. Banks offer distribution expertise and we have the insurance expertise, so it is a good fit.”
Hanna Berry – Risk SA