Ntombela takes over on 1 October 2017 from the current CEO, Nic Kohler, who has held the post for 10 years and said in January that he would be stepping down.
Ntombela joined Hollard five years ago as head of its fledgeling life and investments area, following executive positions at ABSA and Nedbank. He is a BSc Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University of Natal, a graduate of the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and has completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School.
After the announcement of his appointment was made, Ntombela said: “I have enjoyed working with a really passionate team in Hollard’s life and investments space over the last five years and am really looking forward to working with the rest of this amazing organisation as we forge ahead in a difficult market.
“We have big ambitions and, despite the environment, I think we’re well-positioned to grow strongly over the next three to five years, particularly in the commercial insurance sector and in the lower-income segments of the life market. We will also continue to secure and develop long-term partnerships that deliver true value for insurance consumers.”
Ntombela paid tribute to his predecessor, saying: “Nic did a fantastic job in the 10 years he was here, transforming Hollard from a strong local player with some international interests into a truly global insurer, motivated by a higher purpose.
“I plan to build on the good work that he did, ensuring that our growth is sustainable and inclusive, that we deliver increasing social dividends alongside strong financial dividends, and that we become the favourite insurer in each of the countries in which we operate.”
For his part, Kohler, who will join parent company Yellowwoods to assist with managing its growing global insurance interests, said in a communication to Hollard staff that he is “both proud and excited” to announce the appointment of Ntombela.
“I am proud because Saks’ appointment speaks volumes about the depth of talent within our organisation. While good governance required that we included very strong external candidates in the mix, it was clear throughout the process that our internal candidates had all the skills, attributes and ability required to successfully lead a diverse and complex insurance business such as ours,” said Kohler.
“And I am excited because he brings a fantastic new perspective to the job. A purple-blooded believer in the Hollard purpose and culture, Saks has demonstrated over the five years he has been here that he is a true leader. He has built a great team with the ethos, skills and determination required to succeed in a very challenging part of our business. And he has lots of exciting ideas for the future of our business.
“I look forward to watching Hollard’s progress as Saks takes it to tremendous new heights.”