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2nd Edition – April 2021

We pride ourselves with our relationships with both Clients and Reinsurers.
30 April 2021

Hi and I hope you all had a great Easter!

In this, our 2nd edition of our newsletter, I want to discuss the state of the Fac Reinsurance Market, and give you some internal resource updates.

With April renewals (mostly) out of the way, we experienced yet another tough renewal season. Most of our April’s are on the Facultative side of things, and we experienced tough conditions and certainly saw a continued hardening of the RI market and contraction of proportional capacity. It is always tough for us trying to place Fac risks at the last minute, especially on the bigger property portfolios, as Reinsurers have normally seen the risk already from another source. This makes for a tough discussion on asking Reinsurers to expand their offer to us, as they are often committed to full capacity elsewhere. I’d like to ask where possible, that we get information timeously, to allow us the opportunity to try and get it home, or give us time at least to come up with an alternative solution.

Internally, we are interviewing for a couple of positions; Stacey Stadler has just left, and we have made an offer to a new candidate who will be joining the Finance Team under Nadine Smit, working alongside Simone Masters as a Financial & Technical Accounts Administrator. Additionally, we are in the process of employing a Bcom graduate to provide additional support to us in the broking team. I am aiming to take this individual under my wing (and Colin’s) and create more depth in the broking department. We are also possibly looking at bringing on a business development manager, who will assist us to continue looking after our existing client base, and at the same time – help us seek new business opportunites. We also have a new recruit in the Analytics team – Jenna Prinsloo who joined us a few weeks back – who shall work alongside Tanus Bot as an Actuarial Analyst. Jenna completed her BSc Actuarial and Financial Mathematics with a distinction through the University of Pretoria in January 2021, and will begin to write the remainder of her board exams through the Actuarial Society of South Africa later this year in order to qualify as a Fellow in the near future. She brings more depth to the Analytics team under Tanus, and will alleviate some of the pressure on the division, so we can do more for our clients.

In addition to the new recruits, it gives me great pleasure to announce the internal promotion of Andrew Mukosi from Broker Support to Broker – effective 1st April 2021. Andrew was inducted into the insurance fraternity back in 2004 as a Property and Engineering Assistant Underwriter for AIG Zimbabwe. He also then got a broader exposure to numerous other short-term insurance lines of business in other career moves, to two other general Insurance companies as an Underwriter across all lines of business (over a period of seven years).

This included handling Facultative placements on key accounts as well an involvement in drafting of the company’s Treaty programmes in assisting the Underwriting Manager. This in particular, coupled by various training on the technical aspects of Reinsurance, enhanced Andrew’s appreciation of Reinsurance. He joined Oak Tree in 2018 as broker support after a short stint with an engineering UMA and has proved himself to be a valuable team member. He is hardworking and wants to go the extra mile for our clients, so it is a derserved promotion.

We recently had our Annual Strategy breakaway, where we try and have a theme for the coming year. We decided that this year was going to be 2021 – The Year of Urgency! What this means, is that we are aiming to provide an even better service to each and everyone of our clients, and we intend going the extra mile. Some of the things we will be focusing on over the next 12 months are:

Lightning Quick Turnaround Times and client service excellence
Improved Teamwork
Value adding to all our clients with much more emphasis on Service & Professionalism

We anticipate 2021 being an interesting year. I am sure we are all hoping for a rapid roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine, and for our lives to return to some form of normal, so we can travel with more ease. I will try and give you another update in terms of the company in the not too distant future, but I hope you at least all found this informative.

Until next time – stay safe!

Best Regards

Gordon McKKean
Managing Director