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October 2002
Courting disaster

When two planes crashed into the two towers of New York’s World Trade Centre on September 11th 2001, causing their collapse some 18 minutes apart, was that one event or two?
Does it matter? According to...

October 2002
Setting a trap

South Africa has set itself a threefold task: to increase the level of foreign direct investment; to attract an influx of hard currency; and, to address the skills shortage by encouraging expatriate workers to augment...

October 2002
No compromise in fast growth

OUTsurance, the direct short-term insurance operation in the RMB Holdings and FirstRand stable, posted strong results for the financial year ending 30th June 2002. Gross premium income increased by 40% to R574 million...

October 2002
Going for growth

The banking sector is in the midst of a wave of consolidation brought about by the recent failure of micro-lenders Saambou and Unifer, and liquidity problems at BOE. Furthermore, several of the smaller banks have...

October 2002
Higher taxes, lower lapses

Results for the long-term assurance industry for calendar 2001 showed a significant increase in the income tax bill.

According to figures from the Life Offices’ Association (LOA), total tax rose 41,3% to...

October 2002
Finding little value

Life assurers still perceive the South African life reinsurer as adding little value to their core business. Asked to describe their ideal reinsurer, most respondents said its primary role was to be a source of...

October 2002
Key Findings

Shrinking market:  Mergers and acquisitions continue to shrink the market.

Price increases:  While the international market was already showing signs of hardening and premiums were increasing,...

October 2002
Foreign pressure

With South Africa’s re-emergence into the world economy, local subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies are facing a new reality. In the past, South African reinsurers tended to be treated as a special case, but now...

October 2002
Beating the odds

At retirement you are compelled to use at least two-thirds of the proceeds of your pension or retirement fund to purchase an annuity for life. Selecting the right product for this is obviously crucial to your future...

October 2002
Strategy for scenarios

SP2 has launched three risk profiled multi-managed funds, which are ideal for investors who do not have the time, knowledge or experience to look after their own portfolios.
These are specialist unit...

October 2002
Low entry cost

Two new hedge funds have been added to Sanlam’s offshore investment range: the Stratus Offshore Hedge Fund, which can be accessed for as little as R150 a month; and, the Stratus International Hedge Fund, with a...

October 2002
Learning your A U T

Ever realised the power of saving from an early age? Or wondered how interest can compound your savings, or how to maintain the buying power of your money?

These and other investment and economic...

October 2002
Diversifying safely

If you are averse to the risk of losing your hard-earned capital and would like a return equal to inflation, consider the Sanlam Global Trust Capital Protection Plan or the Sanlam Index Trust Inflation Protection Plan...

October 2002
Making sense

The Old Mutual Group has announced the launch of Fairbairn Capital, which brings together two business units: Investment Frontiers and Galaxy Portfolio Services that will cater to ‘the mass affluent market’, as...

October 2002
Pretty meaningless

The Financial Service Board says it doesn’t have enough staff to update its Pension Fund Statistics, which is a pity in view of the large numbers of trustees that were in default of the annual reporting rules....

October 2002
Weird thinking

Here is another example of the weird thinking in US legal circles (they’re called legal circles because they go round and round until you get dizzy). Even the courts are called circuits (although I wonder if that is...

October 2002
Call for a panel

More rigorous criteria for appointing auditors and assessing their independence could have prevented the recent irregularities in companies such as Enron, WorldCom and Quest, says Lewis Gottschalk, executive partner,...

October 2002
Polishing good risks

The January 2002 treaty reinsurance renewal season for South African insurers was the “bloodiest yet” with reinsurers passing on substantial increases to direct underwriters particularly in the areas of property and...

October 2002
Council error

The Council for Medical Schemes is to refund brokers for VAT charged erroneously.

An administrative error on the part of the office of the Council for Medical Schemes has resulted in many brokers being...

October 2002
Over exposed

Action against perpetrators of fraud and corruption often relies on the courage of informants, who may fear reprisals. In the May 2002 edition of Alexander Forbes Guardrisk Update, it notes that the ‘paradox of...

October 2002
Keeping on track

SA Eagle continued its winning streak for the second six-month period, realising an underwriting profit of R4,98m for the 30th June 2002 interim. This compares to a R7,87m profit for the previous six months to 31st...

October 2002
Worth a splash

Water loss insurance seems a good deal for the consumer. A local policy for the Durban area, and underwritten by SA Eagle, is probably typical of terms, conditions and premiums countrywide. For just R1,84 a month,...

October 2002
Tabs on tablets

In analysing claims received from pharmacists during the two weeks after implementing its new medicine strategy, Medscheme reports a 15% growth in generic usage by volume. Before introduction of its controversial...

October 2002
Human resources support

Liberty Corporate Benefits, part of the Liberty Group, has launched an advisory service for human resource related queries. Called Corporate Connection Human Resources Services it offers: employment advice; how to...

October 2002
No sweet story

As with several other food additives Saccharines (E954) remain a highly controversial issue. Added in the form of calcium or sodium saccharin they are artificial sweeteners derived from toluene (a known carcinogen)....

October 2002
Bad practice

It is of concern how many claims head for litigation when there seems to be no need. One sometimes has the impression that the real intention is only to try to force the other party to give up due to inability to fund...

October 2002
Cost control

Old Mutual Healthcare, the Caremed Medical Scheme and CareCross Health have joined forces to provide ‘affordable private medical cover to the lower income market’, paving the way for employees earning less than R4000...

October 2002
Rational approach

According to Old Mutual Asset Managers you should consider the current worst performers as good investment bets for the future, at least if you are amongst the more sophisticated investors. The accompanying graph...

October 2002
Enhancements covered

Some great enhancements have recently been added to Old Mutual’s Greenlight product. The modular life assurance concept has been expanded to include a savings option, while the minimum entry level has been reduced to...

October 2002
Optimistic combination

South Africa’s combination of a healthy fiscal position, a competitive currency, low external debt and a sound financial system, bodes well for the future, especially when compared to many countries in Latin America...

October 2002
Taking strain

Sanlam reported a 4% increase in operating profit to R1 085 million for its first six months to 30th June 2002, compared with the same period last year. There was a 15% growth in the operating profit of Sanlam Life,...

October 2002
Unhealthy

The Registrar of Medical Schemes says he is cracking down on ‘unacceptable and unlawful behaviour among brokers selling medical scheme memberships.’

An inspection has been ordered into a group of brokers...

October 2002
Surviving the storms

Santam reports a 52% increase in underwriting profit to R79 million for its first six months to 30th June 2002, compared to R52m for the same period the previous year.

There was also an 18% increase in...

October 2002
Big assurers also join in

Mutual & Federal continues to develop its niche market products. With the integration of Sentrasure into its business proceeding well, the company has introduced: a Horse & Rider policy; a new policy for ‘pet...

October 2002
Flight to poor quality?

Some of the new underwriting players entering the market in the wake of the recent hardening of insurance and reinsurance rates had to be viewed as a “mixed bag,” comments Richard Titley, Chairman of Glenrand Risk...

October 2002
Specialist studies

The Association of Unit Trusts (AUT) has launched an advanced diploma in unit trust investment to improve the knowledge of industry specialists.

The course was introduced in response both to the growing...

October 2002
Over the counter

Mutual & Federal says it has relaunched its comprehensive policy for the pharmacist. Called The Pharmacy Scheme, all the covers needed by the professional pharmacist are packaged into one product.

The...

October 2002
Higher claims and reinsurance costs

Mutual & Federal boosted its underwriting profit to R51m for the six months to 30th June 2002. This compares to R28m for the same period last year, and an overall R89m profit for calendar 2001.
...