Elna van Wyk
National Head Disability Management and
Technical Underwriting Group Risk – Momentum Corporate
Elna van Wyk is an Occupational Therapist working as the National Head of Disability Claims and Technical Underwriting at Momentum Corporate. Elna looks after Momentum’s disability management space and she played an instrumental role in the launching of Smart Underwriting. Elna joined MMI in 2008 where she filled various roles in the Employee Benefits team
Elna hails from Potchefstroom where she completed her schooling. She obtained her Occupational Therapy degree (B.OT) from the University of Pretoria in 1998. She started her career at an Anglo mining hospital in Carletonville, she also owned a private practice prior to moving to Johannesburg and working for Alexander Forbes in the Health Management Solutions team from 2003-2008.
Global Claims Manager – Gen Re
Fionna Kossmann is an Occupational Therapist and Law Graduate. She joined Gen Re as a Claims Specialist based in Cape Town in 2011 before being promoted to Claims Manager for South Africa. Prior to joining Gen Re, Fionna worked in clinical practice in a hospital in rural South Africa as well as in a school for learners with special educational needs.
She completed the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment training as well as the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa Academy’s Life Insurance Claims Assessors’ Program. Fionna completed her Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Cape Town and completed her legal studies in 2019 at the University of South Africa. She presently serves on the South Africa Society of Life Underwriters and Claims Assessors committee and is fluent in German.
Dr John O’Brien
Specialist Physician and Pulmonologist
Dr O’Brien was in academic and private practice at the Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town where he also ran a clinical trial centre. He consulted part time for Gen Re for 5 years before taking up the full-time position as CMO for Life/Health Research and Development based in London and Cologne in June 2016. He is currently a segment chief medical officer and continues to support R&D. He was born in Zimbabwe did his undergraduate and specialist training at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital. Subspecialty training was at the University of Cape Town and Tufts University, Boston.
He is a past president of the South African Thoracic Society and established the South African Respiratory Journal in 1995 which he edited until 2013. He has been involved in South African guideline development for the treatment of asthma, COPD and community acquired pneumonia and has been a principal investigator in over 70 clinical trials.
Admitted Attorney Notary and Conveyancer
Recently completed an MA in Applied Ethics for Professionals at the University of Witwatersrand (thesis on the moral permissibility of using genetic information in the context of life insurance).
I have been in the financial services industry since 1995.
Head of Legal for Discovery Life and Discovery Invest (2002-2019)
Head of Legal for BrightRock Life Limited from 2019 to present.
Current Chairman of the Ombudsman Committee.
Dr Noluthando Nematswerani
MBChB (Natal), MPharmMed (Pretoria), MSc Clinical Epidemiology (Pretoria)
Dr Noluthando Nematswerani is the Head of the Centre for Clinical Excellence at Discovery Health, within the Strategic Risk Management Division.She is Medical Doctor with more than 20 years healthcare experience. She holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Pharmacology and an MSc in Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology.In her current role she oversees Health Technology Assessments (HTA), Health Economics, Surgical Risk Management, Clinical Policy Development, Medicines Unit including Drug Risk Management and the Clinical Research Unit. Her unit is also responsible for the overall clinical strategy for Discovery Health and related businesses.
SCOR Keynote Presenter
Roy Chappell, a British citizen, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Sussex. Roy started his career at Colonial Mutual as a Life Product and Marketing Manager. He joined SCOR in 2000 as Business Development Manager for the U.K. and Irish markets and became CEO of the SCOR Global Life U.K. branch in 2010, before becoming Head of Northern Europe and South Africa in 2014. In 2017, he became Deputy CEO of EMEA for SCOR Global Life before moving to his current role in 2019 as Chief Commercial Officer for Global Markets – North America, UK/Ireland, South Africa and ANZ.
Based in London, Roy is married with 3 children. He loves walking with his dog Buddy and spending time in the great outdoors. His other passions are travel and 1950’s Americana – he has an appropriately themed “Man Cave” where he keeps his old Chevies – a 1957 Bel air and a 1950 Pick Up truck.;
MPharm, MBA: Global Director of Sustainable Access Solutions MSD
Graduated as Pharmacologist at the University of Pretoria. Specialized in Herbal Medicine, Public Health, Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Epidemiology at the University of Western Cape. Member of the International Society for Economics and Outcomes research. Ex Chair of the Alternative Reimbursement (ARM) working group at IPASA.
15 years’ experience in various pharmaceutical companies across Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pac, supporting novel access solutions and health eco system development for LMIC market.
Jennifer Preiss was the Deputy Ombudsman of the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance from 2001 to August 2021 when she retired as Deputy. She still works as an adjudicator/consultant for the office.
She worked in the insurance industry from 1984 to 1998. During this period she worked in insurance legal departments, dealing with employee benefits, individual life insurance and corporate legal matters.
In 1998 she joined the Ombudsman for Life Assurance.
Jennifer was the Chair of INFO (the International Network of Financial Ombudsman Schemes) in 2013. Jennifer has a B.A. LLB. Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Tax Law.
Head of Claims at Swiss Re Africa
She joined Swiss Re in March 2021, leading a team based in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
She has over 18 years of experience in the insurance industry. Her experience includes Bancassurance, Funeral, Group risk and Retail products.
She holds a Bachelor of Administration degree, a 4-year Diploma in Nursing Science, and has completed several post graduate management programmes at WITS and GIBS business schools.
She is currently a member of the Swiss Re EMEA Business Management Training Champion group. Together with other members of the group, their responsibilities are to arrange for cross-team training.
Wendy is a member of the claim’s
capability project globally. The purpose of this project is to focus on future skills and development tools for the Swiss Re claims community.
Outside of work Wendy is a mom to 2 tees. She keeps herself busy with her internal home deco and enjoys watching documentaries.
Dr Andreas Armuss
Dr Andreas Armuss is a medical doctor, specialized in internal medicine. He has been working as a full time Medical Consultant at the Munich Re headquarter in Munich since October 2003. In addition to his work in assessing individual risks in all types of international life insurance, he has been involved in developing criteria for medical risk evaluation for the Munich RE manual “MIRA”.
Moreover he has been presenting and publishing the results of Munich Re’s medical research in Australasia, Europe and South Africa over the last years. Since 2017, Andreas has adopted the role as the Chief Medical Officer (Life and Health – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa) for MunichRE, based in Singapore.
Chief Medical Officer, Hannover Re Australia
After some years in clinical practice, Monique got a taste of the life insurance sector and was intrigued by the great synergy that medical doctors could have with actuaries, underwriters and claims staff alike. She soon transferred full time to work in life insurance 12 years ago and after joining Hannover Re in South Africa, was appointed as Chief Medical Officer for the Sydney operations in 2017 where she has been ever since.
She works very closely across the organisation with underwriters, claims assessors product teams and actuaries. Over the years she has been involved with developing various risk assessment tools and calculators and helped shape Hannover Re’s new Mental Health Calculator which was successfully launched for use by clients in the Australian market in 2019. Amongst other things, she is interested in the digitisation process that the industry is currently embarking on and is investigating how various risks (including mental health) can be seamlessly assessed using third party data from health records, wearables and engagement apps, at all stages of the insurance value chain.
Monique has post graduate Diplomas in both Primary Emergency Care and Anaesthetics, a Certificate In Medical Statistics, and is an Associate Fellow of The Australasian Life Underwriting Claims Association.
Etienne van Wyk
Etienne is a dental surgeon by profession with over 20 years experience in the health and wellness industries. He has worked both as clinician and consultant in the public and private health sectors of Africa. During his time as Consulting Manager of Healthcare for Africa at growth and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, Etienne developed an interest in the scalable potential of technology, mHealth and wearables as an unyet untapped opportunity in healthcare.
In 2016 he joined LifeQ as the Commercial Director and has been responsible for developing new commercial opportunities in health, wellness and life insurance using LifeQ’s world leading technology platform and science expertise.
David is a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and as well as a Certified Enterprise Risk Actuary. His career started in the banking industry where he was responsible for residential mortgage expected loss modelling. He joined Gen Re in 2019 and has focused on research and analytics across multiple regions as part of Gen Re’s Research and Analytics team.
Head of Business Development, RGA South Africa
Neil hails from the sunny shores of Durban and made the move to Cape Town to study actuarial science at UCT. Once he completed his degree, he joined an insurer as part of their healthcare division. Neil was fortunate to be able to work in a wide variety of roles in this industry. While the technical aspects were naturally key in the actuarial function, the exposure to the commercial, client and marketing aspects of the business were formative.
This served to provide a strong grounding for his next career in group risk benefits, where he was involved for over a decade across both the direct and reinsurance markets. This again touched on many actuarial roles in the business, from valuations and pricing through to client and intermediary engagements.
In 2018 Neil was appointed as the Chief Pricing Actuary for RGA South Africa, where he was responsible for the pricing function across retail and group life insurance, as well as pricing research. In 2021 Neil moved into his current role, Head of Business Development at RGA South Africa.
Neil is a qualified actuary and a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in London and the Actuarial Society of South Africa.
During a radio interview Neil was once described as “an actuary… who almost has a personality”. Others joke that an actuary’s best contraceptive is their personality. So despite all this, he is proud to say that he beat these odds, ending up the “most amazing wife and two wonderful daughters”.
Vice President, Head of Global Claims, Reinsurance Group of America “RGA”
Marilda is the Head of Global Claims since October 2017, having started her career with RGA as the Head of Claims for RGA South Africa in February 2012. The global claims team is responsible for supporting RGA’s offices globally in delivering high quality claims services to local clients. Marilda has worked in various sectors of the insurance industry including disability management consulting and health management services since 1999. She has more than 16 years local and international reinsurance experience.
Marilda has a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and represented RGA on various industry committees including being the convener of the ASISA Claims Standing Committee, as well as being part of the Scientific Sub Committee and Main Organising Committee for the AUCC since its inception in 2013.
I lead courageously. With over 25 years of workplace experience 15 years of which are in executive positions, I believe in the vulnerability of courageous leadership to develop people and enhance excellence and performance.
Furthermore, I am dedicated to getting things done, and with strong communication skills, I inspire as I work with teams. My exemplary skills in observation make me a visionary strategist and change implementor, looking into the future of work. Additionally, I am passionate about the youth and have dedicated my life to their upliftment.
Speaking is a skill of mine I use to inspire better choices to build tomorrow.
Joint Managing Director
Cindy was appointed Joint Managing Director of General Reinsurance Africa limited in January 2022. She previously held the position of Gen Re Africa’s Operations Director, appointed on 1 January 2019, following her role as Chief Risk Officer. A qualified Chartered Accountant, she joined Gen Re South Africa in July 2011 as a Financial Accountant where she became involved in the financial assessment of large and complicated underwriting and claims cases. Prior to joining Gen Re, she worked as an audit manager at Mazars.
Cindy is integrally involved in the direction and management of the operations of the company at a local and segment level. She has significant professional experience in the financial underwriting portfolio, large case risk decision making and reporting.
With prior experience as an EMT, Duane joined the insurance industry in 1993.
He trained as an underwriter with a leading reinsurer where he worked for 11 years before venturing into the direct insurance space. He worked in direct insurance with various SA and UK insurers for the following 12 years whereafter he returned to the reinsurance market in 2015.
Duane currently holds the position of Chief Underwriter at Munich Re of Africa since 2019.
Global Chief Medical Officer
Dr John Schoonbee is a medical doctor who qualified from the University of Cape Town in 1995. He has been working in the insurance field for over 20 years, and directly for reinsurers since 2005. John began working at Swiss Re in 2011 and is based in Zurich. He is involved in many aspects of life insurance, including product development, risk and claims assessment, as well as helping with pricing some of the more complex medical life and health products. John became Swiss Re’s Global Chief Medical Officer in 2017 and works with a team of over 15 permanent and consultant medical doctors, in addition to focusing on underwriting R&D and key global health topics.
He recently initiated a collaboration between Swiss Re and The BMJ to host a seminal event on reassessing Nutritional Science due to the clear link between diet and the catastrophic effect on non-communicable diseases.
He was instrumental in creating the new granular cardiometabolic calculator in Swiss Re’s LifeGuide, adding lifestyle factors, in addition to guidance for diabetes remission.
I joined the insurance industry in 1997 and started underwriting in 1998 and has never looked back. I worked for several companies within the life industry and in various roles including underwriter and rules developer.
I am currently with Absa Life and has been with the company for 4 years.
Managing Director of L&H for Hannover Re South Africa
Wesley has been with the Hannover Re group just over 20 years, currently serving as Managing Director of L&H for Hannover Re South Africa with responsibility for all Anglophone sub-Saharan markets.
He was also the founding MD of the Hannover Re office in Mumbai, India over 2008-2010.
Wesley is an actuary by training and qualification with a keen interest in how digital technologies can aid the insurance propositions and solutions presented to end consumers. He is married with three young boys.
He also strongly believes that the South African (life) insurance market has a wealth and diversity of product and service solutions that need to be shared with the world.
Pedrie Le Roux
Pedrie is a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa. He has worked in the life insurance industry for 15 years, 9 of which have been with SCOR in the reinsurance industry.
Before his current role as Deputy Managing Director of the life business, he headed up the Business Development team. His keen interest in improving the customer experience at every possible step in the life insurance journey and increasing trust in the life insurance industry.
He is married to Mareta and has 2 daughters Emma and Lea. In his spare time, he likes watching test cricket and is an avid birdwatcher.
Head of Actuarial and Chief Pricing Actuary at SCOR SE
Brice Salence is the Head of Actuarial and Chief Pricing Actuary at SCOR SE – Africa Branch, where she is responsible for leading the reinsurance pricing and reserving activities for all lines of life insurance business.
She hails from Durban, where she completed a BSc from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. After completing a BCom Hons at the University of Cape Town, she started her actuarial career in the group risk insurance environment at Momentum in 2007. There she held a variety of roles and qualified as an Actuary through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in 2013.
In 2016, she moved to Johannesburg to join SCOR. She has a passion for purpose-driven leadership and challenging the status quo. Brice is always looking for innovative ways to automate business processes and develop structured data sets for meaningful insightful analyses.
Chief Executive of Sanlam Group Risk
Michele Jennings is the Chief Executive of Sanlam Group Risk, which is one of the largest group insurers in South Africa. She has over 20 years of financial services experience, including six years as the Chief Financial Officer of the Sanlam Employee Benefits Cluster, and now seven years as the head of Sanlam Group Risk.
Michele is a Chartered Accountant, who in addition to her financial experience, has worked in various roles, including Information technology, internal audit, credit, and general management. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting Honours, and a diploma in Management Accounting (all from the University of Natal).
Her role as the Chief Executive of Sanlam Group Risk has certainly provided many challenges- not the least of which is the Covid Pandemic, however, it has also provided an opportunity to learn and grow, and most importantly to help clients in this trying time.
Founder of underwriting.life
Kurt is the founder of underwriting.life, a startup data business providing medical data to life insurance underwriters and automated underwriting platforms. In addition to developing the underwriting.life business, he currently fulfils the role of fractional Chief Operating Officer at Different Life and assists with the practical implementation of various direct life insurance operations. Since 1999, he has designed and implemented processes for the launch of a direct travel insurance business and two direct life insurance businesses in South Africa as well as the first direct motor vehicle insurance business in Kenya.
His ultimate goal is to leverage third-party data to improve the efficiency of underwriting processes, reduce non-disclosures and provide a better experience for both the life insurance applicant and insurer.
He is married with two girls and when not spending time with them, enjoys depleting his medical savings by falling off his mountain bike.
Managing Executive: Client and Adviser Service Centre at Liberty Group, South Africa
Sunil Nagar is Managing Executive: Client and Adviser Service Centre at Liberty Group, South Africa. Holding a BCom in Insurance Science and Honours in Econometrics, Sunil has gained extensive knowledge in strategic implementation and driving operational excellence through various roles in the Financial Services Industry.
Sunil is a family man and has 2 beautiful daughters with his lovely wife Kayoori. Sunil is a keen sports enthusiast and passionately supports Liverpool FC. He enjoys running, and cooking and is a keen consumer of good red wine.