Partner news, activity and updates — December 2020

The past 12 months have seen a huge amount of change and activity in our network of clients, partners and friends. We put together a few of the highlights and a recap of some of the things that have taken place. While we may have been physically distanced, there is certainly a lot that has happened!

AIE 2021, by Llewellyn du Plessis

The African Insurance Exchange (AIE) has always been the insurance industry’s annual go-to event for networking, education and entertainment. The 2020 conference was, unfortunately, cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are, however, delighted to announce that the 2021 conference is scheduled to go ahead… with a twist. Next year’s conference will be held in three venues: a live event at Sun City, with hybrid events in Durban and Cape Town. 

Reserve two full days, 2 and 3 August 2021, in your diary for the conference of the year for AIE, brought to you by the Insurance Institute of South Africa and the South African Insurance Association.

Bearings 2000, by Gianluca Tucci

2020 has been a year we are not going to forget anytime soon! The disruption caused by the hard lockdowns in April and May had a hugely negative impact on Bearings 2000’s business as sales dropped to near zero. The goal that guided the team’s decision-making throughout was the long-term survival of the business and the overall wellness of their employees, as opposed to focusing on 2020 financial results. It was a fine balancing act with many difficult and unique decisions being made and the team is proud that no staff suffered loss of income through this unprecedented period and any subsequent retrenchments were avoided.  

Michael and Alex Stamatiadis of Bearings 2000

“We are relieved to say that the business has returned to near-normal levels and the ‘wounds’ caused by lockdown are healing slowly,” says sales director, Michael Stamatiadis. “We are forever grateful to all stakeholders, including our staff, customers, and suppliers, for their contributions and the manner in which they navigated this pandemic with us. We truly believe we have come out of this #StrongerTogether and hope that 2021 will be a much better year for all of us; here’s to 2021!”

Blue Recruiting, by Josie Dougall

We are thrilled to announce a new CN&CO partnership with Blue Recruiting. These guys are so our kind of people. They are passionate about what they do. They have innovated the hell out of their industry. They take what they do very seriously, but they are always ready for a laugh. They have built a solid and honest business and we are excited to assist them to take their brand to market with some fresh energy and solid strategy.

Blue Recruiting leadership
James Hobson and Graeme Marais of Blue Recruiting

In a nutshell Blue Recruiting places chartered accountants into jobs, and they do it in a way that takes a lot of the schlep work out for CFOs and CEOs needing to fill positions with top quality talent.

Brolink, by Josie Dougall

Brolink is counting its lucky stars – or is it strategic foresight? – during this unprecedented time of Covid-19.

Brolink has spent the past three years investing heavily in advancing its tech capabilities. All along it has had one goal in mind: to make doing business easier, better and more efficient for its large network of intermediaries.

Centriq, by Colin Ford

One of our newest clients, Centriq Insurance, came aboard in November. CN&CO is handling Centriq’s advertising and PR. Centriq is a highly specialised insurance company that operates in the cell-captive arena, with divisions in the UMA, alternative risk transfer, alternative distribution and affinity solutions spaces.

CIB, by Colin Ford

We’ve always had good relationships with the CIB team and started working full-time with them towards the end of 2020, gearing up for a phenomenal 2021. We have assisted the team with a load of content creation and thought leadership pieces as well as some thinking around a number of exciting events and launches happening in the new year. 

Look out for the new CIB Assist app, which will be launched in early 2021. The app makes it easy to get emergency roadside and household assistance at the push of a button. 

CIB is also planning various launches and exciting developments for 2021 and will be sponsoring CN&CO’s InsureTalk webinars in the first half of the year – a great way for brokers to earn CPD! 

Watch out for CIB in 2021 for even bigger and better things to come!

EasyEquities, by Carel Nolte

EasyEquities has had a great 2020. In fact, EasyEquities always has a great time because its mission is to make investing accessible to all. What a privilege it is to walk alongside hundreds of thousands of investors as they progress on their journey towards financial dignity and freedom.

EasyEquities gets most of its clients from referrals — and I have always believed word of mouth is the best way to build a brand — not spending loads of money on adverts and sponsorships. Coupled with our partnerships with amazing brands such as Satrix and Capitec, we get around 2 000 new clients a day.

EasyEquities wins best app at MTN app awards
EasyEquities was named best app of the year at the MTN app awards in 2020

Having launched in Australia, Easy will continue geographic expansion in the years ahead. We are also launching unit trusts and crypto and more and more. So investors can choose what and how they want to invest. All with no minimums, fun and easily!

My main excitement at Purple Group (the EasyEquities holding company) is the team — both the 100 or so teammates and our community of 600 000 plus. A brand, at the end of the day, is just about the people who form a part of it. And I LOVE the Easy people. Grateful that CN&CO has been a part of the story since day one. Here’s to many more!

Evalex, by Colin Ford

Evalex, one of South Africa’s leading providers of talent assessment and management systems, had a tough but successful year. The company’s work is mainly done online. A lot of its 2020 efforts went into promoting its online offerings and helping clients to continue assessing employees and potential employees — online — in a professional and seamless manner. 

Evalex and its sister company, Odyssey Talent Management, continued their tradition of sharing their collective knowledge with the broader talent assessment industry by participating in a number of industry events throughout the year, notably the Assessment Centre Study Group (ACSG) and Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychologists of South Africa (SIOPSA) conferences. 

CN&CO would like to congratulate Evalex CEO, Adjunct Professor Pieter Bronkhorst, who was recently awarded an Honorary Life Membership by SIOPSA. The award acknowledges Pieter for distinguishing himself with meritorious achievements and service in the sphere of industrial and organisational psychology as a science and profession.

Imagined Earth by Joshua Nuttall

It’s been an interesting year for the team at Imagined Earth — dealing with the curve ball of Covid-19 which brought all their operations to a halt and had the team pivoting to work strategically on their digital infrastructure and proprietary technology stack.

There is a lot on the horizon for Imagined Earth, with new recycling locations launching in early 2021 and their first reverse vending container launching soon. The new legislation around the Extended Producer Responsibility Act is something that we are eager to see implemented, and can’t want to see how the transparency reverse vending machines provide with regards to the data management of the waste stream can support both brands and businesses in achieving their responsibilities.

Imagined Earth National Recycling Day
Getting rewarded for recycling with Imagined Earth

Imagined Earth has a vision to change the value that we associate with packaging waste and took a big step towards showcasing this in its partnership with EasyEquities, turning waste into money and using this money to own your first shares in a company that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. 

We are proud to have helped facilitate this world-first initiative. 

You can join the recycling revolution here — learning money for your waste and turning it into long term value through EasyEquities.

This is one startup you want to watch in 2021.

InsureTalk, by Llewellyn du Plessis and Kurt Solomon

More than 800 insurance professionals attended the final InsureTalk webinar for 2020, headline sponsored by Santam. The InsureTalk series was conceived by CN&CO at the start of lockdown in March to provide information, education and entertainment to insurance industry professionals to help them grow their knowledge and their businesses.

Thank you to the entire insurance industry, you all played a role in co-creating InsureTalk. It’s developed into a unique space that has allowed the industry to remain connected while being physically distant over the last couple of months. We have some exciting and innovative plans for 2021… we have to see you there after a well-earned festive season break.

Lombard Partnerships, by Kurt Solomon 

It has truly been incredible working with the Lombard team this year and I have personally learned so much about people, leadership, and culture. A year we all thought would be THE year, was not as expected. While there were a few challenges due to Covid-19,  Doug Laburn and his team have embraced 2020 in its entirety and adapted phenomenally well, they have remained focused, they have kept their promise to keep their service of excellence consistent, and have kept their staff and partners top of mind.

As founding partners of CN&CO, it has been wonderful to see how far we have come and how we have grown together over the years. A lot has happened this year — Lombard turned 30, a new online broker platform was launched to make doing business even easier, new offices were set up in Durban and Cape Town, new product offerings and partnerships were launched, premium growth continued, new team members were welcomed, milestone anniversaries were celebrated and new family members were brought into the world. 

The tenacity and teamwork have been refreshing, and it has been a privilege to be a part of it all this year. I look forward to working with the Lombard team in 2021; I have no doubt it is going to be a humdinger year, with the strategy and plan we have in place. 

Mitig8, by Josie Dougall

If 2020 has taught us one thing… it’s that technology can enable us to be more efficient and effective in how we operate our businesses and our lives.

Mitig8 launched in 2020. An insuretech app that very simply connects a whole lot of previously disjointed parts in the risk survey report process. 

RMB National Squad, by Blake Dyason

2020 certainly pulled the carpet out from under us. While the RMB National Squad was at a training camp in Lesotho doing final preparations to qualify more boats for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they got the news: Lockdown, borders are closing and the Olympics are postponed. While it was heartbreaking to watch these athletes come to terms with the news it was inspiring to witness the courage and resilience they showed. They didn’t give up. Their plans had changed but the goal was the same. 

Head coach Roger Barrow (pictured above) innovated, set each athlete up with a home gym and made use of technology to train as a team while in isolation at home. Roger used this opportunity to build strength and focus on technique and skills. The postponement of the Olympics has given the younger athletes more time to build confidence and experience. 

RMB had invested in making a documentary about South African rowing on the road to the Olympics but after witnessing the courage of the RMB National Squad and South Africans in general RMB decided to change the documentary slightly to “A Story of Courage“. The documentary is inspiring and will leave you feeling proudly South African.

RMB also used this opportunity to refresh its brand. Watch RMB CEO James Formby and CMO Alison Badenhorst tell the story behind the brand refresh.

The RMB National Squad set off on a training camp on 17 November as they start preparing to qualify more boats for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics early next year. 

The XYZ Playground, by Josh Nuttall

Earlier in the year I was introduced to Jens Heitland. Jens, among many other achievements has been the Global Head of Innovation at IKEA. Currently he is working to connect one million entrepreneurs around the world in 2021 through Heitland Innovation. Through his work he is also exploring a few interesting business models and connecting with people around the globe.

Together, alongside ten other people from around the globe we started the XYZ Playground. Our ambition is to create a platform where leaders of today can learn from the leaders of tomorrow. It’s an evolving and maturing as we continue to explore the value that we can add.

Check out the website here, as well as a short podcast interview on the topic of reverse mentorship here.

Jobs4Sure, by Colin Ford

Wading through hundreds of CVs in search of that perfect new hire is costly and time-consuming.

Let Jobs4Sure recruitment portal do the pre-screening for you.

Jobs4Sure is a specialist candidate matching platform that provides employers with a list of qualified insurance professionals who gross less than R300 000 per annum and are looking to make a career move.

Our candidates are all qualified and relevant, unlike the scores who reply to job ads.

Candidates have each uploaded a one-minute introductory video to help you with your prescreening selections. Once you have decided who you would like to hear more from, simply contact the candidate directly and take the process further from there.

Check it our here.

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