• Sanlam Group Office Media Release

Sanlam’s executive appointments to strengthen leadership talent and transformation

Sanlam has confirmed the following key appointments, aimed at growing and strengthening the executive team’s capacity and talent as well as supporting the ongoing execution of the Group’s strategy. These appointments also reaffirm the Group’s commitment to transformation.

  • In January, the Group announced the appointment of Mr Sydney Mbhele, who will join Sanlam on 01 April 2019 in the position of Chief Executive: Brand and will be a member of the Group Executive Committee (Exco).

  • With effect from 01 July 2019, Ms Jeanett Modise, will take up the position of Chief Executive: Human Resources (HR) and will be a member of the Group’s Exco. She is currently Sanlam Investment Group’s (SIG) Chief Human Resources Officer.

  • With effect from 01 April 2019, Mr Thinus Alsworth-Elvey will join the Sanlam Group as the Chief Executive: Special Projects and as part of the Group Exco. Mr Alsworth-Elvey will join Sanlam from MMI where he was the CEO: Momentum Corporate.

Ms Modise, an accomplished HR executive, joined the Sanlam Group in 2014 as Executive: HR and Transformation at Santam where she spent three years before taking up her current position at SIG. She has an established record in other blue chip and multinational companies such as SAP, Hewlett Packard, Nedbank and AngloGold Ashanti.

Among other qualifications, she holds a Master’s degree in Business Leadership and a B.Com (Business Management) from the University of South Africa. She has also attended Senior Executive and Advanced Management Development for Senior Executives programmes at Harvard Business School and Insead Business School respectively. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Chief HR Officer South Africa organisation, mentors young professionals and sits on the boards of Indwe Broker Holdings and MiWay Insurance.

Mr Alsworth-Elvey holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Stellenbosch and various other qualifications, including a Postgraduate Tax Diploma from the University of Cape Town.

He has built a record of accomplishment in financial services over the years, having led and had accountability for various businesses including Momentum Corporate, Momentum and Metropolitan Health, Momentum Investments (including the UK business) and MMI Life Insurance, among others. He has also worked with business partners in various other African countries and in India.

Commenting on the appointments, Sanlam Group CEO, Mr Ian Kirk, said: “These appointments will bring increased diversity to the Group and they affirm that our commitment to transformation is both at business and at executive levels.

“We are also continuing to grow and attract top talent that is required for us to execute our strategy and meet the demands of the market opportunities and new initiatives for which we are gearing up. We believe Sanlam is an attractive destination for top talent in our Industry. On behalf of the Sanlam Group, I welcome the executives who will soon join us and we look forward to their contributions.”

The executive appointments follow the shareholder approval in December of a package of transactions aimed at significantly strengthening the Group’s South African operations and positioning Sanlam for future growth through enhanced economic empowerment credentials. On completion of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) transaction, Sanlam will retain a Level 1 Contributor on a sustainable basis with a black economic ownership level (combined direct and indirect), as measured in terms of the FSC, in excess of 35%. Direct black economic ownership level, also as measured in terms of the FSC, will be over 18%. This will place Sanlam in a strong, market leading position in terms of empowerment.

“We believe the executives we are bringing on board at Group level will boost the capacity in our leadership team. This will ensure that we sustain the execution of our strategy and the value creation for all our stakeholders as we now focus on implementing the B-BBEE initiatives as well as other initiatives in the rest of Africa,” said Mr Kirk.

Sanlam also announced that Mr Ahmed Banderker, the Chief Executive: Strategic Business Development at Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF), will join AfroCentric Investment Corporation Limited (AfroCentric), Sanlam’s business partner in the health sector, as the Group CEO. Mr Banderker has been a non-executive director at AfroCentric since 2015. Mr Banderker has been with Sanlam for 12 years. Over this period, he has played key roles across various areas – most notably in the acquisitions of the Group’s stake in AfroCentric and BrightRock, the formation of Sanlam’s health strategy and the Plug and Play initiative. He also served as a member of the SPF and Sanlam Corporate Exco teams.

“Ahmed has made an exceptional contribution to Sanlam, especially our health business, over the years. We are confident that his expertise and experience will stand him in good stead in his new role. We congratulate and wish him well in his new endeavours,” Mr Kirk said.



Sanlam is a pan-African financial services group listed on the Johannesburg, Namibian and A2X stock exchanges. Through its five business clusters – Sanlam Personal Finance, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments, Sanlam Corporate and Santam - the Group provides comprehensive and bespoke financial solutions to institutional clients and consumers across all market segments. Sanlam’s areas of expertise include insurance (life and general), financial planning, retirement, investments and wealth.

Established in 1918 as a life insurance company, Sanlam has become the largest non-banking financial services group in Africa, through its global diversification strategy.

Headquartered in South Africa, Sanlam has a direct stake in financial services entities in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Mauritius, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria. It also owns SAHAM Finances Group, thereby having a footprint of insurance operations in Morocco, Angola, Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Burundi, and Lesotho, making it the largest non-banking financial services group in Africa.

Sanlam also has exposure to insurance businesses in India, Malaysia and the United Kingdom and has business interests in the USA, Australia, the Philippines, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

For further information, visit www.sanlam.com or follow us @sanlam.

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