You can’t say that Standard Bank isn’t putting its best resources into helping Liberty. The bank’s former CEO, Jacko Maree, barely had time for his first post-retirement golf game before he was strong-armed into taking the chairman’s role at the troubled life office. And David Munro gave up his job as head of Standard Bank’s massive and highly successful corporate and investment banking business to become the new CEO in June. Though he is going to a smaller business, it is clear that the hours won’t be shorter and the working day will be a lot less fun. Munro admits that both of Liberty’s large businesses, retail life and asset manager Stanlib, "need attention". Retail life, known internally as Individual Arrangements, is Liberty’s original business. A strong new product pipeline has helped sales: a more conservative client public was attracted to its guaranteed investment plan, as well as its Bold living annuity, which also includes guarantees. But a tough climate has also meant hi...

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