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Karin Muller

Chief Executive: Sanlam Individual Life

Karin Muller was appointed Chief Executive of Sanlam Individual Life on 1 August 2016. Sanlam Individual Life offers Long-term Insurance solutions to clients in South Africa.

Karin, an actuary and CFA Charterholder, joined Sanlam in January, 1997. Before her appointment as CE of Sanlam Individual Life, she was Head of Growth Market Solutions where she was responsible for the development of a sound financial value proposition for middle market Sanlam clients, while also leading the Marketing function in Sanlam Individual Life and Segment Solutions (SILSS), as well as some across-business functions in SPF.

Karin has also held other positions in Sanlam, amongst which Valuations Consultant and Manager: Research and Development for Sanlam Employee Benefits; Actuarial Advisor; Specialist Product Designer and Business Owner for the SanlamConnect project.

Recognised for her professional contribution to the company, she was awarded the SPF Activator Award in 2007 and received the prestigious Sanlam Group Chief Executive Award in 2008. She is a fellow of both the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Actuarial Society of South Africa, and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA South Africa.

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Rosemary Lightbody

Senior Policy Advisor: ASISA

Rosemary holds a BA LLB (Wits) and ILPA (Life and Pensions), and has practised as an Attorney for the past 9 years. She has headed up various legal and compliance departments, both at The Southern Life and Old Mutual, and has sat on various industry committees over the past 25 years.

Rosemary joined ASISA in 2011, where she is responsible for coordinating the industry’s responses to various National Treasury and FSCA policy initiatives, as set out in their policy papers, including the Retail Distribution Review.

Rosemary focuses on regulatory developments in financial services in South Africa, the UK, Europe and Australia, with her particular interest being market conduct.

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Demetre la Grange

Swiss Re: Head of Life and Health Southern Africa

Demetre la Grange is the Head of Swiss Re's life and health team for Southern Africa. He has 11 years’ experience in the South African life insurance and reinsurance industry, and 14 years of benefit consulting experience in the UK. He is passionate about helping people and serving clients in the best possible way.

Demetre is a fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the United Kingdom, as well as the Actuarial Society of South Africa. He is due to complete the MBA programme at the University of Stellenbosch Business School at the end of 2018.

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Sipho Sibanda

Head of Sales: Sanlam Reality

Sipho Sibanda joined Sanlam in May 2015 and is the Head of Sales for Sanlam Reality. Sipho has been in the financial services sector for a number of years having worked for companies like Metropolitan Health, JP Morgan, Old Mutual and prior to joining Sanlam he worked for Liberty where he was Head of Customer Retentions focussing on persistency improvement strategies. In his spare time Sipho enjoys watching sport, theatre, travelling, reading and getting involved in community projects.

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David Thomson

Senior Advisor: Sanlam Trust

David Thomson is an attorney, having obtained the BA & LLB degrees from the University of KwaZulu Natal in 1984. He is currently employed by Sanlam Trust at head office in Cape Town as a senior Legal Adviser, having previously worked for Broker Distribution as a legal consultant in KZN. Prior to that, he practised as an attorney in Durban from 1992 to 1996.

He is a certified financial planner (holding the CFP® mark as a member of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa) and also qualified as a notary & conveyancer. He holds post-graduate qualifications in tax; compliance management & arbitration law.

In 2008, he graduated with the Advanced Higher Diploma in Financial Planning conferred by the University of the Free State, in Estate Planning & Advanced Investments.

David has been with Sanlam for 22 years & previously specialised in estate & retirement planning; trusts & business assurance. He advised clients on behalf of independent financial planners & selected banking intermediaries. Now at Sanlam Trust, he advises the four departments in the business on all legal matters including litigation concerning Wills; Deceased Estates; Trusts & Umbrella Funds. His role at Sanlam Trust also involves writing & editing articles for Sanlam publications and external media. These articles concern fiduciary and related matters. He has also developed an analysis tools for financial planners to calculate the liquidity of a deceased estate.

David is the chairman of the FPI competency committee regarding Estate Planning & Trusts and a member of the FPI Disciplinary committee- having previously served as chairman. He was previously a member of the FPI Advocacy committee and served on the KZN regional committee for some years. He was elected to the main board of the FPI in 2012 (as non- executive director), re-elected in May 2014 and served as a director until the expiry of his term in 2017.

David is married to Karen & they have 3 children. He enjoys spending time relaxing at home or hiking in a game reserve and the Drakensberg; reading; walking; very short trail runs & watching cricket; rugby; football; tennis & golf. He is interested in history & politics. As a younger man he was a member of the charity Round Table Port of Natal No. 76 serving as Chairman for a year.

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Melanie Louw

Senior Manager: Legal Services South

Melanie started out as a practicing Attorney at the same law firm where she completed her articles. She first entered the financial services industry in 1992 as a Legal Adviser for Old Mutual, and later took up the position of Marketing Manager at Old Mutual Broker Distribution Western Cape. In 2004 Melanie moved to Momentum as the Business Development Manager for Investments, and in 2008 she joined Absa Wealth as a Fiduciary Consultant, providing fiduciary advice on wills, trusts and estate planning.

In 2016, Melanie joined Sanlam as the Head of Sales at Sanlam Trust. She subsequently moved to Legal Services as Manager of Legal Services in 2017, when this new department was first formed. The department provides legal service solutions to intermediaries on financial planning aspects which include, wills, trusts, estate planning, business planning and retirement planning, to name but a few.

Melanie serves on the Appeal Tribunal of the FPI and is also an External Examiner for the Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning at the University of the Free State.

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Andrew Merryweather

Guest speaker

After a tragic assault left Andrew Merryweather quadriplegic paralysed from the chest down, he spent 6 months in hospital followed by extensive rehabilitation therapy. Once the dust settled, Andrew was left with debilitating medical and house adaption bills. Due to mediocre financial advice from a then loosely regulated industry, he realised how financially ill equipped he was to handle the ‘curve balls of life’.

Following this, Andrew entered the financial services industry and is currently an Adviser and Marketing Manager at Autus Wealth Care Specialists. He is passionate about equipping people with financial literacy especially in the field of risk management.

Andrew has been a keynote speaker for The Cape Chamber of Commerce and The Young Advisers Forum, as well as numerous other financial institutions across the country. Last year he was invited to be a speaker at the Annual FPI Professionals Convention. He has been profiled and his story published in newspapers and industry related magazines, and shared on numerous radio and television programmes.

Recently Andrew was honoured by the gesture of his story being included as part of set work in a National Curriculum text book for high school students. When he’s not helping people change their financial futures or training in his robotic walking suit, he enjoys giving motivational talks at schools, community organisations and companies.

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Jean Lombard

Chief Executive: Sanlam Savings

Jean is a Chief Executive at Sanlam Savings and has been in the financial services industry for the past 20 years. He started working at Sanlam Savings in March 2018, and became qualified as an Actuary in 2003.

Prior to joining Sanlam Savings, he spent 9 years at Glacier by Sanlam where he worked on various strategic projects within Sanlam Personal Finance. He formed part of the Glacier executive team, taking specific responsibility for the well-known Glacier research team, marketing team and investment consulting function. He previously held senior positions at Sanlam Multi Manager International and Sanlam Personal Portfolios.

Jean is passionate about clients and their financial well-being, as well as the financial services industry in general. Jean is a member of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and a fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK. In addition, he has been representing Sanlam on various committees of The Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) since 2012.

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Petrie Marx

Product Actuary: Sanlam Individual Life

As a product actuary for Sanlam Individual Life, Petrie Marx is responsible for the development of risk products for SPF.

After joining Sanlam in 1995, he occupied various roles in the actuarial and systems development department until he was appointed into his current position in 2001. Petrie holds a B.Com (Hons) from the University of Stellenbosch and qualified as an actuary in 2000.

In his spare time Marx enjoys reading about travel, sports and financial markets, or mountain biking and travelling with his wife and daughter.

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Karen Bongers

Product Actuary: Sanlam Individual Life

Karen Bongers is a Product Development Actuary for Sanlam Individual Life, and her role involves the design and implementation of new risk products.

After obtaining her BSc (Hons) Degree in Actuarial Mathematics at the University of Pretoria, Karen started her career as an Actuarial Analyst at Discovery Life. Upon qualifying as an Actuary through the UK Institute of Actuaries in 2007, she accepted a position as a Product Actuary at Momentum Myriad. In 2009, Karen lived and worked abroad as a Pricing Actuary for London-based PruProtect, Discovery’s joint venture with UK insurer Prudential.

Upon returning to South Africa in 2010, she joined Sanlam as a Pricing Actuary, and later moved into her current role as Product Development Actuary.

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Ludi Venter

Head Intermediary Support: Sanlam Savings

Ludi is qualified as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa with a B.Juris, LLB, CFP and Diploma in Investment Instruments, and he joined Sanlam in 1986 as a Legal Consultant in the Eastern Cape. In 1990 he became Manager of Legal Services in KwaZulu-Natal, after which he was promoted to Regional Manager and later Provincial Manager of Broker Services.

In 1997 he moved to Sanlam Head Office to take up the position of Senior Manager of Broker Services Corporate. His responsibilities included corporate liaison and key account management of corporate and bank brokerages, as well as liaison with PPS, Independent Broker Groups and broker recognition seminars.

In 1999 he moved into the role of Senior Manager of Sales Support at Sanlam Life, where he was responsible for providing technical training and workshops to the sales force. In addition, he also provided advice on new and existing products, and answers to technical questions.

In 2006 he became the Head of Intermediary Support, providing product support to intermediaries, overseeing micro marketing, providing support to the SMME and Professional markets, and compiling and driving specific campaigns, investment support and product and advice tools.

In August 2016 he was appointed Head of Intermediary at SPF Recurring Savings.

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Diane Seccombe

Head of Tax Training: Mazars

Di Seccombe is an admitted Attorney with a Master’s Degree in Taxation and has been working in the tax industry for over 10 years. Di is currently the Head of Taxation at the Mazars Academy, providing tax training to Mazars partners, staff and clients. Di also consults on income tax matters including corporate, individual and international tax, as well as VAT.

Di presents tax seminars on a national basis for, amongst others, the SA Institute of Tax Practitioners, the SA Institute of Professional Accountants and the UCT Graduate School of Business, focusing on general as well as specialised tax topics. She still lectures part time at Varsity College in Cape Town and at the National School of Accounting, where she assists up and coming CA's in passing the UNISA CTA (Hons) programme.

Before moving into practice, Di started her career as a full time academic at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has presented numerous tax seminars to attendees, ranging from JSE corporate advisers to smaller tax practitioners, and is a popular lecturer among her students. When presenting, Di’s primary focus is to ensure that attendees find the material relevant, and that it’s presented in an understandable and accessible manner.

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Jacques Coetzer

General Manager: Broker Distribution

Jacques joined Sanlam in June 2013, after being employed as the CEO of UBA Metropolitan, Nigeria for a number of years. He holds both MCom and CA qualifications, and has a great appreciation for travelling, music and the great outdoors – especially mountain biking and yachting. With his prominent strategic background, Jacques is fully equipped to lead the SBD team to new heights.

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Ryan Stramrood

Inspirational speaker and extreme swimmer

Ryan Stramrood: a South African, a Small Business Owner, Family Man and an Average Joe. However, his hobby is Ultra-Extreme Open Water and Ice Swimming and for deeply personal reasons he has undertaken some of the world’s most extreme challenges. Pushing his limits and human boundaries in our planet’s most inhospitable places.

Following painful, pioneering training techniques and using what limited resources he has available and to put basic safety procedures in place, he challenges himself by pushing personal limits for swimming in ice water, and often sets new benchmarks for human endurance.

He wears no wetsuit or protectin from the cold water – only a Speedo. His adventures, world first achievements and often death defying circumstances make for brilliant tales of human spirit and victory.

He takes the audience on a journey with him. Through story telling and strong visuals, he illustrates just how limited and governed we all are, in every aspect of our lives, by believing in our own limitatins. How we under achieve in our comfort zones and how each and every one of us can push past the impossible.

“I’m not a professional athlete by any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I uperhuman. My body doesn’t have any special abilities. My story isn’t about winning or losing or success or failure. It’s a story about pushing beyond my own perceived limitations, and about learning. And it’s really not easy to do! But you can do it too, if you really want to.”

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