The search is on for the future rockstars in insurance!

44 enthusiastic participants, but only 20 life-changing spots! The 2020/2021 IIG Academic Programme is here with its adrenaline-fuelled journey of tears and cheers, aspirations and inspirations, learning and sharing as we identify and nurture the insurance industry’s future trailblazers!


“Everything we do here at The Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS) is geared towards empowering individuals through quality education to help catalyse positive socio-economic change,” explains Dr Kershen Pillay, CEO of GIFS. “Never has this been so critical as now, during these current trying times for corporate South Africa to collaborate to help create better lives for everyone who calls Africa home. The IIG Academic Programme plugs into sentiment perfectly, and we are excited about the young lives that are about to transform with the 2020/2021 programme!”

Spanning a year, the IIG Academic Programme in partnership with GIFS, will see 20 bright young minds being selected for an intensive, 12-month Short-Term Insurance (NQF 5) course designed by GIFS and a simultaneous mentorship and industry experience-driven programme. The Top 20 will also be in an enviable position of tapping into the wisdom and experience of 10 seasoned industry specialists who have stepped in to mentor the learners for the year.


“The industry’s need for education is evident now more than ever, as the COVID-19 crisis takes its toll on South Africa,” says Darryl Grater, President of the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IIG). “With an older average age in the industry and a concern that knowledge transfer is not being optimised, institutes like the IIG play a pivotal role in the enablement of insurance talent. We can achieve this by facilitating various education and enablement platforms with a strong transformation-focused standard. The IIG Academic Programme is such an example.” 


This year, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the programme will roll out virtually from August, with interactive online knowledge-exchange and mentorship sessions, and workplace practicals where participants will get a first-hand digitally-immersive experience of what it’s like working for some of SA’s top  companies within the Financial Services space.


To ramp up the excitement, one participant will receive a Golden Ticket during the judging process next week, guaranteeing him/her a place in the Top 20! The other 19 learners will be put through their paces by the following eight industry experts who have dusted off their judge’s robes and stepped up to the extraordinary task:


  • Dr Kershen Pillay, CEO of The Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences
  • Darryl Grater, Executive Head: Distribution Services at Discovery Insure and President of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng (IIG)
  • Bukhosi Khumalo, Client Executive at Marsh Pty Ltd
  • Charlene Lawrence Senior Manager: Learning & Development
  • Melanie du Plessis, Human Resources Generalist
  • Natasha Maroun, National Head of the Jewellery, Fine Art and Specie division of Bryte SA
  • Thobani Dlodlo – General Manager Mobile Financial Services: Sales and Distribution
  • Tshepiso Choncho, Executive Manager for People Management at Sasria SOC Ltd. And Deputy President of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng


We’ll keep you updated along every step of this exhilarating year-long journey, so grab a virtual seat – the excitement’s about to get real!