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November 2018

Dear stakeholder

In this, our last edition of Dispatches for 2018, we would like to highlight some of the achievements of the ASISA Foster the Future initiative, which often go unnoticed as other items dominate the news headlines.

Foster the Future brings together three independent entities: the ASISA Foundation, the ASISA Academy and the ASISA Enterprise and Supplier Development initiative.

With funding from ASISA members and ongoing support from key stakeholders, Foster the Future aims to empower vulnerable communities through financial literacy, facilitate employment for graduates and create jobs by building businesses.

The ASISA Board, through its Transformation Committee, exercises strategic oversight over the Foster the Future entities.

The good news stories shared below provide only a snapshot of what has been achieved by each entity. We would therefore like to encourage you to visit the Foster the Future section of our website for a more detailed overview.

ASISA Foundation

More than 16 000 economically vulnerable workers from around the country have gained critically important financial literacy skills over the past three-and-a-half years, because their employers deployed the Saver Waya Waya WageWise programme offered by the ASISA Foundation. Economically vulnerable workers are defined as employees who earn less than R20 000 a month.

Made possible through ongoing generous funding from Sanlam, the programme has grown to such an extent that an average of 1 200 workers a month across a variety of sectors are now benefitting from this programme.

The Saver Waya Waya (save all the time) WageWise programme takes a holistic approach by teaching workers how to better manage their personal finances, understand their payslips and engage with their retirement fund benefit statements. Innovative teaching methods such as educational videos are used to teach financial literacy. Post workshop support includes handouts such as budgeting templates and SMS reminders of key learnings. 

Every project delivered by the Foundation is monitored and evaluated by an independent service provider to ensure that programmes achieve their objectives.

Employees who participate in the Saver Waya Waya WageWise programmes tell us that they really enjoy learning about budgeting and debt management. They also find the retirement fund member education to be very useful.

The real power of financial education lies in participants sharing their newly acquired financial literacy skills with their families and members of their communities.

ASISA Academy

The ASISA Academy Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) internship programme is making a steady contribution towards transforming what was historically a white male dominated industry.

The IFA internship programme provides high potential black graduates who have a keen interest in financial planning with the opportunity to intern at established top performing IFA practices.  Interns are selected from graduates of the following four partner universities: University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) and Nelson Mandela University (NMU).

Interns participate in a structured programme that offers a powerful combination of work-readiness input, theoretical knowledge and practical work experience delivered by the Academy in partnership with the IFA practices.

Since the key objective of our internship programmes is to create desperately needed employment opportunities for black graduates, the conversion rate of internships to permanent employment is the true measure of the success of the internship programmes. We are proud of the fact that in 2017 more than 80% of the Academy’s IFA interns received offers of permanent employment from their hosting IFA practices.

On average 60% of our interns have been black female graduates, and the 2019 cohort of applicants once again reflects this demographic.

The Academy’s fourth IFA internship programme kicks off in February next year with some 40 successful intern applicants participating in the Academy’s work readiness programme, before joining IFA host practices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth in March. The programme would not be possible without the generous financial support from Allan Gray, Coronation, Investec and Prudential.

We would like to invite you to view our IFA internship programme showcase video for more information.

ASISA Enterprise and Supplier Development

The ASISA ESD initiative, managed by Edge Growth, exists to fast-track job creation by unlocking the growth potential of South Africa’s small and medium enterprise (SMEs) sector. In partnership with a number of financial services companies we have made great strides in growing businesses, thereby supporting existing jobs and creating new ones.

We are excited about a brand-new partnership with OUTsurance, which will see the launch of a new Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme. Named Kwande, which loosely translated means “to multiply”, the OUTsurance programme aims to empower and develop small black owned businesses across its value chain. These businesses will include panel beaters, tow truck businesses, builders, plumbers, electricians and other artisans.

As a starting point, the Kwande programme will seek to develop between 10 and 15 businesses over 18 to 24 month development cycles depending on the life stages of the businesses.

Selected businesses, which will be announced early in 2019, will have the opportunity to benefit from non-financial support in the form of mentorship and specialist intervention and financial support in the form of grants and loans.

Since inception, the ESD initiative has achieved the following:

  • 570 SMEs developed
  • 3 128 jobs maintained
  • 722 jobs created
  • 46 000 hours of business support supplied to SMEs
  • 25% average revenue increase across supported SMEs
  • R316 million deployed in SME support & investments
  • Optimal ESD investment for 42 funders

Cyber Security

ASISA has entered into a membership agreement with the FS-ISAC (the global Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center) for the benefit of our members.

The FS-ISAC is the global financial industry's go to resource for cyber and physical threat intelligence analysis and sharing. The organisation was created by and for members and operates as a member-owned non-profit entity.

ASISA members will be able to subscribe to this service from early in the New Year. Please contact ASISA for more information.

Government Payroll Deductions

ASISA and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) completed the review of the original Government Payroll Deduction agreement signed by the service provider, the former Life Offices’ Association (LOA) and SAIA in 2001.

This agreement has been replaced with a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by ASISA, SAIA and Q LINK, the service provider appointed to maintain the system that validates, regulates and manages these deductions. 

Insurance companies that have a deduction agreement with National Treasury will be required to sign a new Service Agreement with Q LINK.

Criteria for Living Annuities in a Default Annuity Strategy

On 13 November the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), in terms of regulation 39(3) read with the definition of “annuity strategy” in the Default Pension Fund Regulations, published a Draft Conduct Standard on the Criteria for Living Annuities in a Default Annuity Strategy.

The draft standard contains principles relating to sustainability of income and sets out maximum drawdown limits for a default annuity strategy based on age and gender. Submissions to the FSCA are due by 14 January 2019. ASISA has requested comment from members and a working group has been constituted to formulate the ASISA response on the draft standard.

In conclusion

We would like to acknowledge the dedicated and professional contribution from each and every member of the ASISA team that helped make this, our 10th year, such a successful one.  Equally, we would like to thank all the member representatives who volunteered their time and expertise to serve on the various committees and work groups.

As always, we are also hugely appreciative of the guidance provided by the ASISA Board.  

A heartfelt thank you goes to our members for their valued support throughout the year as well as all our stakeholders for the positive and productive engagements we have enjoyed with you in 2018.

On behalf of everyone at ASISA, we wish you a peaceful holiday season and safe travels if you are planning a trip.

Please note that the ASISA offices will be closed from Tuesday, 18 December, until Wednesday, 2 January, to allow the ASISA team to take a well-deserved break after a busy year.

Kind regards

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