Former CEO Johan van Zyl is new Sanlam chair after Patrice Motsepe declines
Dr Johan van Zyl will take over the reins from Desmond Smith as chairperson of financial services group Sanlam when Smith retires in June 2017, the group announced on Monday.
The board had nominated business mogul and current deputy chairperson Patrice Motsepe to succeed Smith. However, he proposed Van Zyl, a former CEO of the group, for the position.
Smith has been chairperson of the group since 2010 after serving as its MD from 1993. He is also the chairperson of Reinsurance Group of America and holds several other company directorships.
Van Zyl is the current CEO of Ubuntu-Botho as well as the joint CEO of African Rainbow Capital. During his tenure as CEO of Sanlam he was credited for transforming the group from a primarily South African life insurer to a multinational diversified financial services group. He currently sits on the supervisory board of Steinhoff International Holdings and is a director on several other boards.
Commenting on Van Zyl’s appointment, Smith said: "Patrice was the board’s choice but the board respects his decision and recommendation that Johan, a consummate leader, is well positioned to take over as chairman. His association with Sanlam and industry experience will add value to the future direction and growth of the company for the benefit of all stakeholders."