Iain Williamson

11th September 2020

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Full Name: Iain George Williamson

Position: CEO of Old Mutual

Main Activity of the Company: Financial services

Date and Place of Birth: May 29, 1970, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Education: BBusSc (actuarial science), University of Cape Town; General Management Programme, Harvard University; Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa

First Job: Clerk in the East London branch of Old Mutual, 1989

Career History Prior to Current Position: I joined Old Mutual in 1993 and, following various roles, relocated to London to a corporate development role at Old Mutual plc. I returned to South Africa in 2003 and served in numerous positions before being appointed Old Mutual Emerging Markets FD in 2015 and COO in 2017. I acted as CEO of Old Mutual twice, before being appointed permanently in July 2020

Size of First Pay Packet: In my first role at Old Mutual after graduating, I earned R3 000 a month

First Job with Present Group: Actuarial assistant in the Group Assurance division

Value of Assets under Your Control: About R1.05-trillion at the end of 2019

Number of People under Your Leadership: About 30 000 employees

Management Style: Consultative leadership

Personal Best Achievement: Raising four children, who include a set of triplets

Professional Best Achievement: The role I played in preparing Old Mutual for a managed separation and listing on the JSE during 2017 and 2018

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My parents

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Numerous mentors and past business leaders in the Old Mutual group

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Pope Francis or the current Dalai Lama

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Ratan Tata, former chairperson of Tata Sons and the Tata group

Philosophy of Life: Actions are more revealing of one’s true character than words, and nothing worthwhile can be achieved without hard work, consistency and tenacity

Biggest Ever Opportunity: To lead the Old Mutual group as we navigate the post-Covid-19 world

Biggest Ever Disappointment: As a young man of 29, I was afforded the opportunity to move to London shortly after the demutualisation of the Old Mutual Society and the creation of Old Mutual plc. The poor performance of the group in the subsequent period is my biggest professional disappointment

Hope for the Future: That the global community emerges from the Covid-19 crisis stronger

Favourite Reading: Fiction

Favourite TV Programme: Most types of sport, especially if the South African national teams are playing

Favourite Food/Drink: Curry/a good red wine

Favourite Music: I have been a long-time fan of Queen, and am also a big fan of U2 and of classical music

Favourite Sport: Cricket (watching) and cycling (participating), while I also enjoy occasional fly-fishing on the side

Favourite Website: News24

Hobbies: Cycling, hiking, fishing and most outdoor activities

Car: Audi Q7

Pets: Two dogs and two cats

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Dishonesty and underhandedness

Favourite Other South African Company: Naspers

Favourite Foreign Company: Unilever

Married: To Nicky, since April 5, 1999

Children: Caitlin, 16; Christopher, 11; Michael, 11; Sarah, 11

Clubs: Cape Piscatorial Society (fly-fishing)

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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