Better Business Breakfast: Commercial property and the changing nature of risks | Durban



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The value of proper risk management

When you’re in the business of risk management, you know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The South African commercial property industry faces a number of unique challenges, often resulting in a lack of maintenance and compliance. Short-term insurers must thus maintain sound underwriting principles to ensure the sustainability of this thriving sector.

The RISKAFRICA Better Business Breakfast, sponsored by Santam, will provide you with valuable insights into this essential industry. Our experienced speaker panel will address these unique risks to commercial property owners to ensure its resilience and sustainability.


Ken Maclean
CEO and executive adjuster of major & complex loss global at Cunningham Lindsey

Maclean has 32 years’ experience in the insurance industry. His focus areas are property, fire and allied perils, fidelity, machinery breakdown, contractors all risks, crime losses, business interruption, liability, burglary, computer/electrical equipment, bankers blanket bonds, goods in transit, money and Sasria. Maclean has several qualifications, such as AILA, MILA from Portugal and MNFPSA.


Andrew Coutts
head of intermediated distribution for commercial and personal at Santam

Coutts is responsible for all Santam’s personal lines and commercial lines insurance business distributed through brokers or agents within South Africa. This represents an insurance portfolio in excess of R14 billion, an extensive branch network across all provinces and a staff complement in excess of 300 people. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with articles completed at Ernst & Young. Coutts joined Santam from FNB Insurance Brokers (FNBIB) in August 2009 where he was managing director of FNBIB’s commercial division. Before joining FNBIB, he worked for JP Morgan in debt capital markets where he gained broad international exposure. Coutts has extensive financial services experience and experience as both a broker and an insurer.

Johan van den Heever
general manager of the FPASA

Van den Heever is general manager at the Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa (FPASA) responsible for the technical department, fire college and the associated function to his role. He held the position of chief fire officer for a municipal fire and emergency service and has more than  30 years’ experience in firefighting, fire safety and risk management. Van den Heever has a broad knowledge and experience in conducting fire risk assessments, risk surveying for insurance companies and responding to fire protection consultants. He utilises an innovative and holistic approach to evaluate risks and loss potential to ensure effective risk management that can be applied by all players. Dedicated and motivated, Van den Heever often lectures as a fire protection consultant.     

Nico Conradie
CEO of Munich Reinsurance Company of Africa Limited

Conradie, who joined Munich Re of Africa in 2003, holds an MSc in physics. His reinsurance career started in 1990 in the short-term (property and casualty) market. Conradie has been involved with health reinsurance since 1992 and with life business in executive managerial roles since 1999 in South Africa as well as in Australia. He was appointed CEO of Munich Re of Africa in 2016.

Shehnaz Somers
head of commercial underwriting at Santam

Somers was born and bred in the Seychelles where she did her O-levels after which she went to India to complete her A-levels and from there to University College London (UCL). She married a South African and moved to Cape Town in January 1987 where Somers completed her studies at UCT, finishing off with a masters in French literature in 1994.  

She has worked as a teacher and came to insurance, like most people, quite by accident.  Somers joined Munich Re of Africa in 1996 because she wanted a job that used her French. Munich Re, being a learning organisation, made it easy for Somers to acquire short-term reinsurance skills and work her way up the corporate ladder. 

During that time, she decided to obtain formal financial credentials by studying to become a chartered secretary and obtained her qualification in 2002. Somers left Munich Re to join Santam in 2007, first in the broker distribution division moving to risk services as head of personal lines underwriting in July 2009 and finally to head commercial underwriting.