Sydney Mbhele new Sanlam CE: Brand along with other appointments


Sanlam announced the appointment of Sydney Mbhele and other new members to its executive committee.

Sanlam has appointed Sydney Mbhele as its new chief executive of brand with effect from 1 April. 

Commenting on the appointment, Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, Ian Kirk said: 

“We welcome Sydney to the Wealthsmiths family. We look forward to his contribution as we grow our brand in South Africa and the rest of the African continent as well as in all the territories in which Sanlam has a presence. This is one of a few key appointments we have been working on to strengthen our leadership in line with our transformation priorities and enable us to continue executing on the group’s strategy.”

Sydney, a chartered marketer with experience in sectors including financial services and FMCG in local and international blue-chip companies, will be a member of the Sanlam group executive committee. His portfolio will include the group’s brand, communications and sustainability functions as well as the Sanlam Foundation.

Among other qualifications, he holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of Cape Town and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Until recently, Sydney was the chief marketing and communications officer for the Liberty Group. Previously he held positions as executive head of group marketing at Nedbank; head of global brands for SABMiller; and global marketing director: deodorants for Unilever, among others.

Sydney will be a guest at CFO South Africa's 12 March Summit. 


Sanlam also promoted its investment group division’s HR officer Jeanette Modise to the role of chief executive of human resources with effect from 1 July. 

Jeanette, an accomplished HR executive, joined the Group in 2014 as Executive: HR and transformation at Santam where she spent three years before taking up her current position at SIG. She has an established record in other blue chip and multinationals such as SAP, Hewlett Packard, Nedbank and AngloGold Ashanti, where she was before joining the Group. Among other qualifications, she holds a Master's degree in Business Leadership and a B.Com (Business Management) from the University of South Africa. She has also attended Senior Executive and Advanced Management Development for Senior Executives programmes at Harvard Business School and Insead Business School respectively.

Former MMI’s Momentum Corporate division CEO Thinus Alsworth-Elvey, who resigned with effect from 31 March, has been appointed as chief executive of special projects with effect from 1 April. 

Thinus holds a Master's degree in Law from the University of Stellenbosch and various other qualifications, including a Postgraduate Tax Diploma from the University of Cape Town. He has built a record of accomplishment in financial services over the years, having led and had accountability for various businesses including Momentum Corporate, Momentum and Metropolitan Health, Momentum Investments (including the UK business) and MMI Life Insurance, among others. He has also worked with business partners in various other African countries and in India.

Ian said, “These appointments will bring increased diversity to the Group and they affirm that our commitment to transformation is both at business and at executive level. We are also continuing to grow and attract top talent that is required for us to execute our strategy and meet the demands of the market opportunities and new initiatives for which we are gearing up.” 


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