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Thursday, February 1, 2007
Hopes for a roaring trade

Lion of Africa Life Assurance Company just before Christmas became a member of the Life Offices Association.

Gerhard Joubert, CEO of the LOA, says that, as a black owned life company, it will be an important new member “that will help us steer change.”
It is also good news for consumers in the low-income earnings group, as LOA membership backs a range of ethical codes of conduct.
Fred Robertson, chairman of Lion of Africa Life, and also co-founder of Brimstone, African Harvest and Lion of Africa Insurance Company (the Short-Term arm), observes, “It shows our commitment to building our business further. We already have a good relationship with the Financial Services Board and this is another big step for us.
“We hope to participate in the LOA and play a meaningful role in some of its committees. There is a huge desire on the part of the LOA to get member companies to communicate more clearly with their clients, and we believe we can play a role there.”

Prior to its acquisition as a wholly-owned subsidiary by Commlife Holdings in 2002, it was called APO and had been in existence since 1902. Later it was incorporated as a burial society in 1943. After acquisition it was renamed Lion of Africa Life.
“Up until now, we have focused on providing assistance benefits such as funeral products to individuals and small and medium size businesses,” says Nathan Adriaanse, marketing and sales executive for the company.
“Now, with our life licence in place, and as a member of the LOA, we will be expanding our offering. By the second half of this year, we hope to be in a position to provide appropriate life products aimed at small businesses and individuals in the low income market.”
Mr Robertson says Lion of Africa Life will focus on basic offerings like retirement annuities, improved funeral cover and low cost savings products in an attempt to address the poor savings culture in South Africa.
“Besides the wealth of experience amongst our staff, we also have existing relationships with funeral administrators that have been in the market for forty years. This gives us huge insight into the needs of our clients,” he adds.
“We want to deliver appropriate products, which are cost effective and create wealth and dignity to our community and our clients.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.1 1st February, 2007
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