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Profiles of Employers

Employer Profiles:

Gordon Institute of Business Science

The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science is an internationally accredited business school based in Johannesburg. Known as the ‘business school for business’, GIBS purpose is to significantly improve the competitive performance of individuals and organisations through business education. Consistently rated as one of South Africa’s top business schools, GIBS has retained a top 50 ranking in the prestigious UK Financial Times global ranking for eighth year running, and is the only African business school in the top 50 business schools worldwide for open executive education programmes. GIBS provides company specific training to more than 70 large corporate, including  Anglo American, Sasol and MTN. It also provides:  Academic Programmes; Executive Education; Centre for Leadership and Dialogue; Centre for Dynamic Markets.

Liberty Group

Liberty Group was at the time of my tenure the third largest life insurance company in South Africa. With a market capitalisation in excess of R20 Billion it is a “top forty” blue chip on the JSE. Founded in 1958, Liberty has over 5500 employees and enjoys approximately 20% market share of the total Long Term Insurance market in South Africa. It has in excess of two million policyholders, manages over 380 000 pension funds and manages in excess of R330 billion in assets. The company acquired Capital Alliance (2005) and Stanlib (2007) during my tenure. While only ranking third in size, the Group lead new business market share for most years of my tenure. The most recent independent survey figure available prior to my departure (‘Swiss re individual business volume Survey Jan – Dec 2008’) confirmed that Liberty leads: New business sold – by sum assured (24% market share), business sold by tied distribution- i.e. agents (30% market share).Liberty continued to lead in the high income markets (policies exceeding R10 million sum assured), where Liberty held 35% market share.

“MyLife” / Electric Liberty (Pty) Ltd

Electric Liberty was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Liberty Life Group. Electric Liberty was the Group’s e-commerce initiative with a budget of R100 Million to create and launch an online transactive personal finance web site to sell insurance online. site was launched in conjunction with Standard Bank on the 25th January 2000. The initiative did not result in the volume of online business required to justify the continued running cost. Electric Liberty at its peak employed approximately 40 permanent staff.  

Chemical and General South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Chemical and General was incorporated in 1997 to represent Rio Tinto Minerals’ (part of the Rio Tinto Group, the world’s fourth largest mining company) borate interests in Southern Africa. It markets products in the Mining, Agricultural, Pharmaceutical, Industrial, Timber Treatment, Glass and Ceramic industries, both directly and through distributors. Chemical and General handles all regulatory customer relations and marketing requirements for Rio Tinto Minerals’ borate products in South Africa. I remain a Director and shareholder of this privately held company.

ICI South Africa (Pty) Limited

ICI South Africa was at the time of my employment a wholly owned subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries PLC. ICI PLC was at the time, one of the world’s largest Science based companies (head officed in London), with businesses in more than 130 countries worldwide. (It subsequently demerged its pharmaceutical interests into “Zeneca”, which has since merged to become “Astra Zeneca”.)

ICI South Africa (head officed in Woodmead, Sandton) had regional offices in Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth, with export offices in Zambia and Maputo It acted as ICI PLC’s National Marketing and Sales Company for Southern Africa. ICI South Africa’s budget turnover for 1996 was R400 Million (for which I was responsible for a third – namely R135 million) and at the time of my leaving the company, employed 102 staff. ICI South Africa marketed into almost all industries, with particular emphasis on paint, detergents, refractory manufacturers, automotive coolants and packaging industries. ICI PLC sold its chemical distribution interests (effectively ICI South Africa as described above) to the US trading company ‘JLM Industries’ in 1998.

AdVenture Advertising (Pty) Limited

Adventure Advertising was at the time of my employment a small independent full service advertising agency, which employed 12 staff. 

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