Hilton Tarrant
4 minute read
23 May 2018
8:04 am

Best-paid listed insurance execs

Hilton Tarrant

Sanlam Group’s chief executive is the best-paid of South Africa’s largest insurers.

The best-paid chief executive of the country’s largest insurers is Sanlam Group’s Ian Kirk, who earned a total of R23.014 million in 2017. Discovery CEO Adrian Gore was paid R17.65 million in the year to June 30, former MMI Holdings’ CEO was paid a total of R17.494 million, while Old Mutual Limited (/Old Mutual Emerging Markets) chief executive Peter Moyo was paid R15.059 million.

New Liberty Holdings CEO David Munro was paid R8.519 million for the seven months to end-December, since joining from Standard Bank Group. This figure excludes various sign-on bonuses paid to him as these are deferred and require him to stay in the job for at least three years.

This direct – and fair – comparison is possible for the first time following the publication of Old Mutual Limited’s pre-listing statement, in which director remuneration is disclosed. Some previous comparisons of the sector have included the pay for Old Mutual Plc boss Bruce Hemphill which, given that it is in pounds, is not like-for-like. Old Mutual has not previously disclosed the remuneration of the heads of its various units (with the exception of Nedbank), including previous CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM) Ralph Mupita.

In terms of guaranteed packages only (basic pay plus any benefits), Kirk is the best-paid CEO of the five insurers (or six, if one includes Santam CEO Lizé Lamprechts) with R8.6 million in 2017. Gore received a guaranteed package of R7.455 million, while Kruger was paid R6.875 million. Moyo was paid R4.486 million in the year to end December. Munro would’ve been paid over R7.5 million in fixed pay had he been in the position for the full year.

There were better paid executives in 2017 than Kirk, however. Herschel Mayers, CEO of Discovery’s UK business VitalityLife, received a total package of R44.326 million but this includes remuneration in primarily pounds. Another of Discovery’s top brass is the third highest-paid: Neville Koopowitz, the CEO of the insurer’s other UK unit VitalityHealth.

His remuneration was paid only in pounds. Lamprechts, CEO of Sanlam subsidiary Santam, is the second highest-paid at R36.077 million, due to a R19 million payment as part of the assurer’s Out-Performance Plan (OPP). Former Liberty Holdings CEO Thabo Dloti was paid the fourth-highest (R24.975 million), but the bulk of this comprises a R19 million “separation payment” following his resignation in May.

It is worth noting that a number of Discovery executives are better-remunerated than Gore, including Mayers, Koopowitz as well as Discovery Life chief Hylton Kallner who received a total of R17.8 million last year.

* Sanlam remuneration differs from that disclosed in its annual report, as long-term incentives which vested in 2017 are used (vs those awarded in 2017, included in its disclosure). This is consistent with the disclosure by other insurers.

** This is a combined figure for both short-term and long-term incentives. 

1 Remuneration consists of GBP and rand components

2 Includes Out-Performance Plan (OPP) payment of R19m

3 Salary and incentive are paid in GBP

4 Resigned May 30 2017. Includes separation payment of R19.096 million

5 Salary and incentive are paid in USD

6 Resigned as FD on April 30 017

7 Appointed May 1 2017

8 Appointed May 30 2017. Excludes long-term sign-on award, which vests in future

9 Resigned January 5 2018. Includes R1.186 million lump sum in lieu of notice period plus accrued leave

10 Appointed June 1 2017. An OPP was granted with effect from January 1 2016 in respect of his role as deputy CE of Sanlam Personal Finance. A proportional amount of this is included to reflect the period from June 1 2017 when he became a prescribed officer.

11 Resigned December 31 2017

12 Retired May 31 2017

The top-paid finance director among the five was Sanlam FD Heinie Werth, who was paid a total of R14.927 million in 2017. Discovery had a change of FD in its 2017 financial year, with Richard Faber stepping down and Deon Viljoen taking the position from May 1. Viljoen was paid a sign-on bonus of R10 million (with a two-year retention). Mary Vilakazi, then FD and deputy CEO of MMI Holdings, was paid R9.473 million in the year to June 30. Vilakazi was tapped by FirstRand to be COO from July 1 2018. She was replaced as FD by Ritso Ketola in January 2018.

Given its separation from Plc, Old Mutual Limited (/OMEM) did not disclose remuneration of an FD for 2017 (Ingrid Johnson fills this role at Plc level, and is on Old Mutual Limited’s board). Casper Troskie, who resigned as Liberty Holdings FD on December 31 to join Old Mutual Limited from March 27 2018, will be paid R7.8 million this year.

* This includes the value of Old Mutual Limited (OMEM and Nedbank) as well as Quilter (previously Old Mutual Wealth).

It is worth noting that MMI, Liberty Holdings and Old Mutual Limited do not disclose remuneration for any executives other than the CEO and FD. Sanlam and Discovery publish remuneration data for practically all top executives in their respective businesses.

Hilton Tarrant can still be contacted at

He holds shares in Discovery, acquired in September 2013.

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