Almost no crown was left intact at the 2017 FIA Awards tonight, with many of the usual suspects receiving awards, but few consecutive wins from 2016 to now. Last year’s big winner Hollard, for example, walked away with nothing tonight after last year receiving both the Corporate and the Commercial Short Term Insurer of the Year awards. This year, the same honour went to Santam, who walked away with both the Short Term Insurer of the Year: Corporate and the Short Term Insurer of the Year: Personal Lines awards respectively.
Other winners including Underwriting Manager of the Year Leppard, replacing last year’s CIA, Renasa as this year’s Commercial Insurer of the Year PPS as the Long Term Insurer of the Year: Risk and, in a surprising move, Momentum Health scooped the Medical Schemes Provider of the Year title from last year’s winner Discovery.
Just about the only winners from last year still left standing were Allan Gray as Investment Product Savings Provider of the Year and Product Supplier of the Year: Health Insurance winner Stratum Benefits.
But, arguably, the award winners weren’t the biggest news of the night. It was announced that Jay
Ramsunder will be stepping down as president of the FIA, with Peter Olyott of Indwe named as the new FIA President, with newly elected board members announced too. Although it is some comfort to note that Ramsunder will still play an active role as past president, as the FIA announced on Twitter this evening, he will be missed.
The award winners weren’t the only thing that the FIA changed up this year. Although held at the standard Sandton Convention Centre venue, the awards ceremony had a decidedly different look and feel tonight, with the networking-friendly bar tables, buffet set up and couches replacing the more traditional ten-person tables and formal dining that the event has had in the past. With CN&CO behind the wheel on event set-up and Carel Nolte behind the podium announcing the winners, it all had more of a conference feel than ‘awards night’ and this was surprisingly successful. “We wanted people to mingle, to network more,” commented outgoing FIA president Jay Ramsunder on the new layout.
All in all? An eventful night, full of changes in an industry where things tend to stay the same year after year, especially on the events circuit. Well done, FIA, and congratulations to all tonight’s winners.