Tuesday, October 26, 2021

AON skating on thin ice by refusal to localize CEO post

Botswana’s biggest short-term insurance company, AON Insurance is still without a Chief Executive Officer more than a year after the departure of Dr Thapelo Matsheka.

AON Insurance had interviewed Thuli Johnson, Cross Kgosidiile and Lorato Morapedi as potential replacements for Matsheka.

Botswana Government and the regulators were however rubbed the wrong way when the AON later declared that none of the candidates had met the mark.

All the three interviewed are considered to be among the country’s top-tier executives in the financial sector.

They have all held Chief Executive Officer positions for various organizations.

Johnson, currently the CEO of the country’s gambling authority has previously been Managing Director of Barclays Bank Botswana, among others.

Lorato Morapedi is currently Chief Executive at National Development Bank.

Kgosidiile has been CEO of the motor accident fund.

When AON disqualified the three luminaries, Botswana Government hit back by refusing the work and resident permits of a South African that AON had put forward to take over.

The official reasoning was that he did not have core competences needed for the position as his background was in Human Resources.

Information received by Sunday Standard is that by demonstrating its unwillingness to localize the position, AON is actually playing with fire, as it risks losing major contracts that the company enjoys from Botswana Government.

At the moment AON manages the guaranteed loan insurance fund which is an insurance scheme for all central government employees’ property and car purchases.

AON has been managing this billion Pula fund for close to a decade now. Proceeds accruing to AON run in excess of P5 million a year.

AON also manages a similar scheme for Land Boards and also for Local Government employees.

A source has said Government is worried at how such a beneficiary of Government patronage can be so unwilling to embrace leadership of qualified citizens.

At the moment another South African citizen is heading on an acting basis.

Investigations by Sunday Standard have shown that the regulator NBFIRA ÔÇô Non Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, is investigating AON after a client alleged that the insurance company was hoarding cash stacks that should be distributed to clients.

“It is a mess. Because there is no clear leadership, NBFIRA has been receiving contradictory answers in its investigations,” said a source.

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