First decade a roaring success for Hollard Namibia

Date posted: 18 Nov 2013

Twenty kilometres outside Windhoek, in the heart of the Khomas Hochland, lies the generally quiet Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, an area of peace and tranquillity where tourists and locals come to relax and catch their breath. However, all that changed on 24 October 2013 when one of Namibia's largest short-term insurers descended on our country's smallest game park to celebrate a major milestone: Hollard Namibia's 10th anniversary.

Guests came from far and wide to commemorate a decade of achievement, growth, co-operation and friendship and to lay the groundwork for many more years of the same.

The first speaker was the Minister of Finance, Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila,who spoke graciously of the Hollard business and the vital role that the insurance sector plays in the Namibian economy. Businesses like Hollard have a larger role to play in the Namibian economy than ever before in light of changing legislation, she said.

Johan Barnard, Head of Hollard Namibia, outlined some of the many achievements of the team since Hollard Namibia was started in 2003.

"From a small office of six people in Windhoek merely 10 years ago, we are now 125 Hollardites in 12 offices in 10 towns and two countries," he said. "The average premium income growth per year for the past 10 years was more than 31%. We stand at almost  N$750m in Namibia and Zambia from a zero base 10 years ago, with more than N$600m in assets.

"The compound growth in value over this period was more than 54%per year," he continued, "and we paid government more than N$280m in taxes, levies and fees."

That's a whole lot of achievement!

Supporting the Hollard group

Nic Kohler, CEO of the Hollard group, highlighted the role played by Hollard Namibia in supporting the group's international expansion drive.

“International expansion is a key objective for us at Hollard, and expansion in Africa is the most important part of our international focus. We call it our Afroglobalisation strategy," he said. "Five years ago the combined profit contribution from our businesses outside South Africa amounted to a grand total of zero – because we were investing in a some places while others were contributing at a modest level. Now in 2013 that contribution is around 30% of our total profits, and increasing.

"More than half of our annual growth in profits now comes from non-South African businesses. Importantly, this does not represent a flight from South Africa, but rather our serious aspiration to establish ourselves as a meaningful player on a global stage.

"Hollard Namibia is a really important part of our increasingly global business. Although it was the second country in Africa (outside of South Africa) that we entered, it is today by far our largest African business, making up more than 50% of our African premium income.”

What the future holds

Looking ahead, Johan decided to focus on 10 things that Hollard Namibia would NOT be doing in the next 10 years to paint a clear picture of where the business is going (or rather, not going):

1.       We will notstop being a catalyst for positive and enduring change in Namibia

2.       We will not stop doing the right things for the right reasons or as they say in Hollard “do well by doing good”

3.       We will notstop building and developing an exceptional team

4.       We will notact outside the regulatory framework, law or even the spirit of the law

5.       We will not compromise our relationships because Hollard is more than just getting things done

6.       We will not stop believing that people are our business and that customers, partners and brokers are at the heart of what we do. We believe they deserve our support and our respect

7.       We will notcompromise our risk management and underwriting standards

8.       We will notcompromise our passion to become the best insurer in Namibia

9.       We will notallow out-dated business practices to hold us back. We will keep on challenging the status quo and always search for better ways

10.   Lastly, and most importantly, we will not compromise our Hollard and personal values

Once the formalities were dispensed with, the 350 guests – comprising Hollardites from Namibia’s eight branches as well as from Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa; brokers and their partners; clients and government representatives – partied until the wee hours, when they were ferried safely home in shuttles and buses.

Here's what some of the guests had to say:

"For me it's not just that we've had 10 years, it's that we've had 10 sucessful years – which is even more remarkable considering the 2008/2009 financial crisis. The celebration itself was phenomenal. I was amazed how many people there were. I just wish I could have chatted to everyone!" – Andre Vermeulen, financial manager, Hollard Life Namibia

"It feels like yesterday that we started Hollard Namibia. I can't believe it's been 10 years! The 10-year celebration was well worth the 460km drive from Walvis Bay. It totally lived up to our expectations." – Berndine Coetzee, claims manager, Hollard Walvis Bay

“What an epic journey it has been, filled with passion, dedication and fun! Looking forward to the next 10 years!!” – Du Preez Grobler, marketing manager, Hollard Namibia

"Whenever I visit Namibia, I am struck by the raw beauty of the country and the down-to-earth warmth of the people. This time was no exception, with Daan Viljoen nature reserve providing the perfect setting for an evening of well-deserved celebration, geseligheidand lekker kuier! It was awesome to see so many of our valued partners and supporting brokers turning out to congratulate Johan and team, and in turn, to pause for a moment to appreciate what they have helped us achieve in such a short space of time! Our sincere thanks go out to all our supporting brokers and clients – none of this would have been possible without them, and we look forward to celebrating many more important milestones with them." – Nic Kohler, Hollard group CEO

"Fantastic, well organised event showcasing true Namibian hospitality. Well done to the speakers and a huge congratulations to Johan Barnard and the entire Hollard Namibia team for achieving such a significant milestone." – Pierre Geyer, member of the Hollard SA Exco  

From left to right: Elton Boois (Hollard Namibia), Frans Iita (broker in northern Namibia), Chicco Ngidamwasha (Hollard Namibia), Hansie Coetzee (Hollard Namibia), Ronnie Vries (Hollard Namibia) and Sam Kauapirura (Hollard Namibia) share a laugh at the 10-year anniversary celebration.

Hollard Group CEO Nic Kohler presents a one-of-a-kind sculpture to Hollard Namibia CEO Johan Barnard to commemorate 10 years of excellent business in the country.

The entertainment reflected some of the cornerstones of Hollard Namibia: strength, focus, balance and WOW!


Namibian Finance Minister, Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila 


Johan Barnard is confident about the future of Hollard Namibia

Download Johan's speech (PDF)

Share this article via: