Liberty CE David Munro launched straight into a turnaround-strategy speech at Friday’s results, assuring investors the insurer had "all the ingredients for success" as it reported its second consecutive double-digit drop in full-year earnings. Munro, parachuted in as Mr Fix It from Liberty’s majority shareholder, Standard Bank, nine months ago, said he expected to deliver "real performance" by 2019/20. The plan involves a simplification of Liberty’s product set, cost cuts, a new hire at asset manager Stanlib, and increased automation. The interventions are long overdue considering Liberty’s operating earnings have halved over the past two years to R1.4bn. "Liberty has tried to do too many new things, which has layered in complexity and distracted us from serving customers," said Munro, who replaced Thabo Dloti in June. Product launches over the past 60 years in the name of innovation were not coupled with upgrades of existing products, leading to too many versions of the same produc...

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