Sanlam Pan Africa: Nadia Fettah under pressure

Nadia Fettah, who ran Saham Finance (26 countries, 65 subsidiaries) from Casablanca (Morocco), will be in charge of Heinie Werth.

One year after  the integration of Saham Finances in the scope of Sanlam, the time is for major managerial changes. Thus, Nadia Fettah, who managed Saham Finance (26 countries, 65 subsidiaries) from Casablanca (Morocco), is now under the tutelage of Heinie Werth.


Heinie Werth, CEO of Sanlam Pan Africa.

Until then CFO of Sanlam (CFO), Heinie Werth, who has 15 years of experience within the group, is named CEO of Sanlam Pan Africa (SPA), new name (since February 28, 2019) of the now ex Sanlam Emerging Markets. Mr. Werth will report directly to Ian Maxwell Kirk, Sanlam Group CEO, and will be responsible for developing the group in the rest of Africa and other regions. According to our sources, this appointment reflects Sanlam’s desire to take effective control of Saham Finances.

In the wake of the new organization, Junior John Ngulube, previously CEO of Sanlam Emerging Markets, is named vice-president of Sanlam Pan Africa. In this position, he will accompany Heinie Werth over the next 18 months before claiming his pension rights. As for Nadia Fettah, she is divested of the life branch as CEO of the General Insurance branch (Non Life, P & C).
Sanlam Pan Africa Life will be driven by Robert Dommisse, a pure product of the group with more than 25 years of cumulative experience internally. This senior finance expert was previously Executive Director in charge of Mergers & Acquisitions and strategic alliances.

Reasons for changes

These changes are accompanied by clear directives on objectives to be achieved on the quality of customer service, the respect of commitments, the respect of operations and the integration of human capital according to the words repeated several times in the speeches of the top executive of the group. “It’s important for us to reach all people. That all the companies we bought feel that they are part of the group. That they feel proud to be part of Sanlam, “says Heinie Werth. And to continue: “I think we all may have underestimated the complexity of the introduction to Francophone Africa, I think we are on the right track but, again, we have to make sure that all these people, on the whole African continent, feel that they are part of Sanlam … “. At the very least, sub-Saharan Africa is poorly represented in current appointments.


These repeated remarks highlight a challenge identified within the Sanlam Group in the context of Saham Finances ‘integration process, which seems to be strongly linked to the stabilization of human capital within Saham Finances’ former business.
It is true that turnover is significant within Saham Finances and its subsidiaries. We also met several executives and former leaders of the group (see in this regard the interview that FA had made with Magloire Dochamou, the former director general of Saham Assurances Togo) reporting deep tensions within the group Saham Finance which, more than ever, has an image capital to recover but also immediate financial objectives to achieve.

As part of the Saham Finances acquisition, Henie Werth was one of the Sanlam Group’s resource persons who had appreciated the what we call  “valuation of the bride”, certainly on the basis of equity and growth forecasts. Also, the repositioning of this high figure as CEO of Sanlam Pan Africa will allow him to check more closely the correct application of the vision of the group in the sub-Saharan Africa zone.

Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Sanlam must demonstrate its ability to meet the challenge of integration in an area where many businessmen have failed. In recent interview with Reuter, Ian Kirk, the iconic CEO of the group, said that “the return on investment of Saham Finance will be longer than expected.” In the process, the South African group, continental leader of the insurance sector, admits that its subsidiary acquired in several phases to about $ 1.7 billion (is, according to the opinion of some financial experts of the place of Casablanca, about twice the value of Saham Finances’ equity), has a negative performance of 7%. This is to say if the pressure is at its height.


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