STEPHEN CRANSTON: Momentum past the stage of copying Discovery
There is nothing quite like the love-in between life insurers and their brokers. There has been only limited penetration of life insurance by direct sales businesses such as Telesure, and even Outsurance has had only muted success in the life market. Momentum built itself up from a small Pretoria-based underwriter into a national player on the back of its management of the broker base, both through service and — let’s be honest — the incentives it provided. It had a wilderness decade when it was led by a merchant banker and then a back room actuary, neither of whom understood the importance of this showbiz approach.
Now, with the return of the leading drivers of Momentum’s growth in the 1990s, Hillie Meyer and Jeanette Marais, some of that magic has returned. It is good to see that in spite of pressures to be considered a “profession”, brokers are still squarely in the sales business, and there’s no reason for them to be ashamed of that.