Here is a recap of some vital points:
Using current indicators to influence future outcomes: ASI’s Power of Knowing event sets the tone for the rest of the year
On 19 August 2021, we hosted the highly anticipated Power of Knowing virtual event, bringing together the industry’s most influential minds to share perspectives on retirement, health and wellness in the workplace and futureproofing businesses against future risk.
Chaired by Lesego Kgamphe, our event panel included Vusi Maswili, Director of Consulting Services and Retirement expert, ASI Director of Client Value and Risk and Healthcare Expert Naseema Ephraim, and Brett Zinn, Personal and Commercial Short-term Insurance partner and Insurance Expert at ASI Insure. Shaping the panel’s insights into praxis was renowned speaker, author and mentalist Gilan Gork.
As we approach the second-year mark of the globe’s collective experience of COVID-19, businesses, employees and households have had to weather the most difficult of challenges.
As an independent financial services advisory, at the heart of ASI’s business is ensuring that our advisory offerings are comprehensively designed and balanced with insights from the current global and local landscape.
It’s this very insight that fueled our Power of Knowing event, with the aim of frankly and holistically discussing future risk in business, human capital, technology and insurance. So how do we prepare these crucial industries with this in mind?
As Vusi explained, the future lies within the wellbeing of people, especially in light of the personal and professional challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Our focus, he shared, should be on the wellbeing of employees. At present, employees are faced with harrowing uncertainties surrounding their health and job security, and in the face of a national unemployment rate of 32,6% in the first quarter of 2021.
Another sobering fact Vusi highlighted during his discussion was that with a population of just over 58 million people, only an estimated 6% of South Africans would be able to retire comfortably. The pandemic has pushed many towards accessing retirement funds earlier than planned, putting pressure on government’s safeguards against pre‐retirement withdrawals. Education and employment continue to be crucial driving factors when it comes to improving South Africa’s savings culture.
Vusi added that ASI’s research and data insights in the past year and a half indicated an unexpectedly high utilisation of the employee wellness programme, proving that access to mental health and wellness benefits is, now more than ever, instrumental to include in private and public healthcare benefit structures.
Our health and wellness expert Naseema backed Vusi’s views on prioritising mental health, highlighting that the unprecedented demands within the healthcare industry between the last and current year hold key learnings that our country’s legislature should consider when implementing the National Health Insurance system.
Naseema added that the current collaboration between public and private sectors in the nation’s fight against COVID-19 should nevertheless be heralded. As both sectors continue to educate and keep South Africans safe, the move to vaccinate the nation can be used as a litmus test for building a more responsive and capable healthcare system.
A healthy workforce is the future of any business. So vaccination is vital to the future of the country and its growth. As a trusted and independent partner, this speaks to ASI’s core values: We cannot exist without our clients, their employees and our own people.
This future growth feeds directly into the insurance services sector, which has had to weather one of the larger storms fueled by the COVID-19 crisis. Our insurance expert Brett Zinn explained that it’s been a tough learning curve for the insurance services sector, but as businesses, employees and households evolve, so will insurance offerings.
Brett put it aptly: That it’s about finding future solutions that can talk directly to future risk, and that South Africa is in the fortunate position to do just that, based on its existing use of digital assets such as electronic data identification and digital claims processing systems against fraud and losses associated with cybercrime.
The pandemic forced clients to reexamine the kind of risk cover they needed, and insurance businesses in turn have had to interrogate how flexible and holistic their product offerings are, and how to better price risk.
The combined knowledge of our expert panelists made things clear: To navigate future risk, we need to learn from our current risks. Mentalist Gilan Gork solidified this approach as he closed off the session, expressing the need to take ownership of our future by planning it. He also reiterated our expert panel’s view of using current indicators to influence future outcomes.
Despite the new terrain forced upon us by the pandemic, what has so far played out helps us paint a picture of what health, wealth and wellness could look like in future. Coupled with the buy-in of our many partners in industry, ASI remains in a prime position to steer its clients through the complexities of securing their future in health, wealth and the workplace.
Executive – Business Development
As the Head of Business Development at ASI, I have learnt that the market is guided by it’s people. I am often having conversations with our fellow South Africans and granted, while all our fears are real, I have no doubt that together there is a way forward. Therefore, I would like to hear what your views and concerns are as I believe this is crucial to us finding the solutions that will ultimately empower us on the road to successful collaboration.
If you would like to take the conversation forward and engage with us on the topics discussed or, how we can assist you with futureproofing your organisation, you can contact me directly via email at email@example.com
Stay safe, stay in your Power