Press release -
Discovery’s Roseanne Harris elected President of International Actuarial Association
Celebrating women in leadership this Women’s Month
12 August 2020, Johannesburg – Professor Roseanne Harris, Head of Regulatory and Policy Affairs at Discovery Health and adjunct Professor in Actuarial Science at WITS, has been nominated President of the International Actuarial Association (IAA). She will take up the role of President-elect for 2021 and President for 2022.
The IAA is a representative body of 106 actuarial associations worldwide, with a membership of more than 60,000 actuaries.
Professor Harris has been a member of the Executive Committee of the International Actuarial Association since 2018 and among other roles, has served as the Chair of the Health and Education Committees of the Actuarial Society of South Africa, and as the President of the Actuarial Society of South Africa in 2016 and 2017.
Dr Ryan Noach, CEO of Discovery Health said, “We are very proud of Roseanne’s achievement, her upcoming appointment as President of the IAA is well deserved recognition of her immense contribution to the actuarial profession over many years. She is taking up this position at a time of enormous challenges for the profession, and there could be no better leader for this role right now, when the world is looking to the actuarial profession to ensure financial institutions remain strong and resilient in the face of a pandemic.”
As President of the IAA, Roseanne will lead the profession’s engagement with supranational organisations, such as the WHO, OECD, World Bank, and others, to drive the development of the profession internationally.
In the context of National Women’s Day, Adrian Gore, Chief Executive of Discovery Group, said, “We recognise that celebrating and empowering women is a year-round pursuit, and we continue to learn how to do this more intentionally and consistently. This month however, we want to highlight just how important the women of Discovery are to our organisation, as we remember the brave South African women who came before them.”
Women at the top of their fields in the actuarial and data sciences, in product development, operations, technology, marketing, risk management and more – lead the way to make a tangible impact on society, aligned to Discovery’s purpose and principle of shared value.
Dr Noach explains that Discovery Health is led by a majority female executive team. “This dynamic and distinguished group of women possess an extraordinary depth of skills and ensure excellence in every critical part of the business. We’d like to make their stories visible to recognise their contribution as #WomenInMotion to uplift and inspire others.”
Among the inspirational women in the health leadership team at Discovery is Chief Operating Officer, Karren Sanderson, who was recently appointed a member of the Discovery Group Executive Committee. Her remarkable career began in the call centre twenty years ago. A UNISA BCom student , she is passionate about customer services, business operations and technology in the financial services sector, with a team in her current role of 3 400 employees that fields 35 000 calls and 15 000 emails a day, her vision is for this team to be the best Health Insurance Operations team in the world.
Discovery Health’s Head of Employee Solutions, Nonkululeko Pitje, was the first university graduate in her family. With a firm belief in seizing opportunities, she secured a BCom Law degree at Wits University in 2000, completed executive programmes at Duke University, and is finalising her MBA through the Jack Welch Management Institute.
Her current focus is on expanding the business and offering innovative products to employers to support the drive for employee health and wellness in business. In this role she looks after three businesses, Discovery Primary Care, Healthy Company, and Discovery Gap Cover, and has played a critical role leading key Discovery investments in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Discovery COVID-19 Business Support, helping organisations to navigate the challenges it brings.
Lisbon-born, Ana Andres, Head of Discovery Health’s Strategic Health Services, is a qualified chemical engineer, specialising in bio-technology, with an MBA from Spain, she’s fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and holds her own in French and German.
What excites her about Discovery is that it stands out globally when it comes to innovation. “The rapid thrust with which Discovery brings innovation and products to market is absolutely unique. Surrounded by a really good group of intelligent, knowledgeable people, I find driving innovation with our teams deeply motivating.”
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in 24 markets with over 20 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY.
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