Jani Allan resurfaces with Letter to Oscar

Hi there, In the mid-1980s, I was a young man in a hurry. Addicted to ambition, hard work had landed me a senior position at the Sunday Times, which in those days was the biggest name in media. In among all those household names, columnist Jani Allan was like a Goddess. She always seemed terribly … Read more

Trevor Manuel

South African life assurance industry’s Hiroshima

Trevor Manuel

December 14, 2005

Her face was one big snarl. Although dutifully recording my responses her whole look shouted out: who do you think you are, you upstart know-nothing? Actuaries, doctors, other people infinitely smarter that you have calculated our commission structures. Who are you to criticize them?

This was 1984, the year of Orwell’s Big Brother. The power of life offices was at its zenith. A time before Robin McGregor sold out to the Evil Empire, when he still railed about four groups controlling 80% of corporate South Africa. And how three of them were assurance companies.

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The Evil Empire falls back

Three things you need to read today 1. Forgive me a little shameless self-promotion but this is a momentous week for media as this Friday, Independent News & Media may have to announce bankruptcy, which may (we hope) see the Irish leaving our fair shores. Read all about it my weekly column for Moneyweb. 2. … Read more