The Insurance Institute of Gauteng recently celebrated the inauguration of their new President, Darryl Grater. Darryl Grater has been an IIG councillor since 2017, was appointed as the IIG’s Deputy President for 2019, and is now stepping in as IIG’s President for 2020.
Stepping in as the new President, Grater tells us about himself, what his plans are for the IIG in 2020 and more specifically, the collaboration plans between the IIG and GWII.
A Q&A session
Tell us a little about your career and education highlights
With 13 years of work experience, I have built up a well-rounded understanding of the short term insurance industry through an array of roles including; forensics to Head of Claims, Procurement, Strategic Projects, Intermediary Services and Business Development.
I have put my best into all the roles I’ve been involved in. I have a bit of a cliché saying which is close to my heart, “luck favours the prepared” – and I’ve tried to live by it. The “luckier” one will be in life, is often determined by how prepared they are i.e. how diligent was their actual delivery in their role, how adequate was their studying for an exam, how extensive was their research into a problem before suggesting a solution? Statistically, you’re going to progress further if you put in the work – this not only goes for your job, but for other aspects like your education as well.
I was fortunate enough to secure a full-time job when I was 18 years old, and it just so happened that my first formal employment opportunity was in the insurance industry. Having started early, this gave me a head-start with work experience (so I have had some time on my side). I have only ever worked for two companies, and again I was fortunate in that both those brands have enjoyed considerable growth in their markets. Fortunately, these environments enabled opportunities for those who were willing to raise their hand and put in the effort.
I am currently the Executive Head (Coastal Regions) at Discovery Insure, where I am responsible for intermediated sales and distribution. I attended Wits Business School and received a top student and top syndicate awards for their executive education MAP Programme, thereafter, enrolling in their Masters programme where I attained the Dean’s List Award.
IIG and GWII are collaborating this year. Can you tell us about this and what members can look forward to?
The IIG and GWII will collaborate in August where we will celebrate our incredible ladies in the insurance industry at a combined event. The delegates can expect another top-class event where we will cater for a fun and creative activity, along with an inspirational element, accompanied with good food and bubbles!
Why did IIG choose to collaborate with GWII?
The GWII is a phenomenal organisation with similar objectives. Above all, both organisations serve the Gauteng insurance industry and the IIG has delivered a dedicated ladies’ event on the annual calendar for some time. Considering we celebrate women in August, collaboration between the IIG (supported by its rich, tenured history and scale) was a natural alignment with the GWII on a celebration of our Gauteng women in the insurance sector.
Can you tell us why you believe collaborations like this are important in/for the industry?
Collaboration on such events is important where bodies within the same industry don't only hold hands in unity for collective outcomes, but also provide more sponsorship value to our valued stakeholders.
Why do you believe continuous development, education and networking is critical in our industry?
South Africa sees an unfortunately high unemployment rate at 29%, and 58% in the youth sector specifically. It is important that we, as South Africans, work together collectively to combat this: societies with higher education levels generally see better health and longevity, lower levels of crime, increased entrepreneurship and economic success, and lower risk in general. To this point, a huge portion of the IIG ‘s annual budget is allocated towards educational outcomes which include our 6-8 CPD-accredited Insights sessions per year, the Insurance Leadership Development Programme facilitated by Africa’s top business school GIBS (25 students in 2020), the Class Of programme (34 students this year in 2020) and the Roots & Wings mentorship programme (27 mentor-mentee partnerships in 2020).
Professional networking is integral to the insurance industry, as this is the “industry of relationships”. The IIG’s Annual Dinner is just one example of the networking stage where up to 1 800 delegates dine, celebrate the successes of the insurance industry and engage - enabling business development and strengthening business networks.