AVBOB AGM: Accelerate growth to create shared value

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[SPONSORED] The past financial year brought with it significant challenges and triumphs. As South Africa and the global community continued to adapt to socio-economic, environmental and political challenges, the Group has been able to successfully navigate the prevailing turbulence.

The 2022 financial year was characterised by our transition through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought forward years of change in the way we do business. This has led to a stronger focus on customer support. In order to stay in sync with the changing needs of our members it is pivotal to position the business for an era marked by growing customer enlightenment.

These were the opening words of Chairman, Mr Jannie Venter, at AVBOB’s 71st Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the Society’s financial results for the 2022 financial year were presented. The event took place on 16 November 2022 at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice in Pretoria.

“Our mutual status drives our ethos, our purpose, and our competitive differentiation. We offer our members the opportunity to participate in the value we create, whereas other insurers are mandated to create shareholder wealth. In pursuance of our shared value objectives, we have accelerated the digitisation of our customer and supply chain interactions in order to drive modernisation and growth,” said Venter.

Member support

During the past financial year, the Group set aside R2,3 billion for the improvement of policyholder benefits. Free funeral services and products to the value of R483 million were provided to members by AVBOB Funeral Service, and the Society paid out R2,7 billion to policyholders in the form of policy benefits.

AVBOB’s sustainability initiatives are a major differentiator in how we give back to society. We partner with communities to deliver tangible benefits and value over the long term, and

by doing so, we boost the economic engines of tomorrow by improving the lives of all our members and stakeholders today.

Social performance

Venter continued, “At AVBOB we know that we have both a direct and indirect impact on the environment, and that is why we are deeply committed to preserving our natural resources. In the running of our operations, we measure our impact on the environment constantly and go to great lengths to reduce any negative impact.

Globally, the depletion of natural resources continues to place a strain on the environment. Going green not only makes the entire planet sustainable and habitable but also helps everyone, as it enables humanity to preserve the environment by adopting new ways of living in harmony with nature.”

 

AVBOB CEO Carl van der Riet.

CEO’s overview

AVBOB CEO, Mr Carl van der Riet, explained that the core business strategy of the Group has remained consistent over time. The ability of the business to adapt to the rapidly changing environment, while retaining the Group’s strategic focus, has enabled it to accelerate growth, despite the current economic headwinds.

“Having successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus for the near future is to consolidate the gains we have made, build capacity for further growth, and transform our workforce to meet the agile demands of the workplace of the future.”

“In order to sustain the growth trajectory of the business and continue to create and share value with all our stakeholders, we recognise the need to invest in capacity – both financially and in terms of management focus. Accordingly, we have reconfigured a number of areas of the business to better align with our future growth initiatives,” said van der Riet.

The year 2022 is very special for AVBOB, as it marked the breaking of new ground for a new office building. The Group has committed to investing over R400 million in a state-of-the-art building at our future premises situated at the Irene Link precinct in Centurion. The new building will provide AVBOB with a modern, fit-for-purpose working environment suited to the future requirements of the business.

Highlights of the 2022 financial year

· Premium income increased by 10.5% to R5,74 billion.

· New business annual premium income increased by 5.9% to R2,02 billion.

· Total assets increased by 23.8% to R35,07 billion.

· R2,3 billion was set aside for policy and member benefits.

· Benefits paid to policyholders amounted to R2,7 billion.

· Statutory solvency cover ratio maintained at 2.6 times.

· The number of policyholders increased to 2,5 million and the number of lives assured to 8,2 million.

· R36 million was invested in training interventions.

· The 58th container library was donated to a primary school in Limpopo.

· R788 million invested in infrastructure and black business growth funding opportunities.

· Our national footprint increased by 15 new funeral, insurance and client service offices.

· The Group maintained its level 2 B-BBEE contributor status.

Awards and achievements

· City Press Platinum Award – Funeral Cover category, August 2021.

· PMR.africa Diamond Arrow Award – Northern Cape, September 2021.

· Rapport Readers’ Choice Platinum Award – Funeral Policy category, September 2021.

· Best of Bloemfontein Best Funeral Service Provider, October 2021.

· PMR.africa Diamond Arrow Award – Western Cape, November 2021.

· PMR.africa Diamond Arrow Award – KwaZulu-Natal, November 2021.

· Die Burger Jou Keuse award, November 2021.

· The Group was certified as a TOP EMPLOYER for the fifth consecutive year, November 2021

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