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FIA’s Butši Tladi Appointed President of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (WFII)

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At a recent meeting of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (WFII) in Mexico City, Butši Tladi was elected to lead the federation as it enters its milestone 25th anniversary year. Tladi, who is a Consulting Executive at Alexforbes and President of the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA), becomes the first African woman and black president of the prestigious federation.

What Is the WFII?

The WFII is a global body for insurance intermediaries that comprises regional chapters in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa, representing members from over 100 national associations (in over 80 countries). It is recognised by the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

The WFII represents the interests of intermediaries with international institutions and works to deepen the understanding of the role played by insurance brokers and agents in global commerce. Its role is to connect and support the intermediary market, providing a platform to collaborate on issues facing intermediaries and the insurance sector.

Currently the federation is engaging around issues such as growing protection gaps resulting from climate change and cyber risks, creating guidelines and guard rails for the use of AI in insurance and the intermediary space, and evolving regulation and compliance demands, among other global concerns.

The FIA represents South Africa at the WFII, and it is through her position as president of the FIA that Tladi became eligible for the WFII presidency.

Establishing South Africa as a Global Leader

Tladi’s appointment enhances the credibility of South Africa’s insurance and intermediary sector on the world stage. “This isn’t just about me – it’s about the country,” she says. “It cements our leading position, not just on the continent but globally. I’m increasingly impressed by the quality of the contribution we make as South Africa. Our insurance market may not be as big as some of our counterparts, but we are advanced in certain areas. We have a lot that we are taking into the world, including how we are navigating the growing complexity of solutions, and increasing regulation and compliance.”

She says the challenges faced by South Africa’s economy and democracy are not always unique and we have more in common with other countries. “As South Africans we are hard on ourselves, but there are much more established economies and democracies that are grappling with the same issues.”

She’s also excited about the opportunities her appointment unlocks when it comes to representation. “This is the first time we have a black person as president, and the fact that I’m a woman as well; it gives hope to millions of people to see these doors being opened,” she says. “It’s important for them to see that a woman educated in rural Africa can become a leader on the global stage.”

Tladi plans to use her one-year term as president to debunk stereotypes and deepen diversity and inclusivity in the insurance and intermediary space, both locally and abroad. She points to the importance of consumer education and notes that diversity in the industry is necessary for insurance to truly act as a safety net for all.

“If we, as the WFII, end this term having positively shifted the dial on some of these complex issues, we would have done well, and I will be very happy.”