From deep involvement in the insurance industry to cycling or running for charity, Fulcrum represented in 2018.
We supported and mentored others, we grew personally, we promoted the arts, we provided thought leadership and we made changes for our environment.
One of the most important learning opportunities in Gauteng is the Insurance Institute of Gauteng’s (IIG) Class of programme. Fulcrum’s Janine Venter was accepted into the Class of 2018, and she grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Fulcrum was proud to once again not only host the launch event, but also sponsor the Fulcrum Future Leader Award.
Other Fulcrum team members who have represented with the insurance institutes include Eastern Cape representative, Ian Burnett, who was elected as the president for the Insurance Institute of the Border for 2018, and Liebie du Plessis, former Class of 2017 attendee and Top Student winner, who has joined the IIG council as a marketing ambassador.
A number of Fulcrum staff also took part in mentorship programmes, either as mentors or mentees. Elaine Pretorius was one of the mentees in the IIG’s Roots & Wings programme. Michelle-Dee Coetzee served on the committee of Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) during 2018 and we’re very proud that she has been elected as the vice-president for 2019. It was also a year of learning and growing for Dieketseng Motsoetla, who joined the GWII’s Intern Buddy programme.
In addition, three others – Anita Watson, Candice van Rensburg and Yolanda England – took part in the GWII’s annual Women in Leadership Development (WiLD) course, which provides executive training to women in leadership roles.
The Fulcrum team appeared in the industry media with thought leadership articles ranging from features on premium finance to cybercrime and premium collections.
The Fulcrum Group’s head of IT, Andre van Rooyen, was one of the experts canvassed in an FAnews article on the dangers of cybercrime and Fulcrum’s MD for Collections, Barry Scott, featured in an FAnews article, in November, on the likely effects of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s Regulatory Reform Programme on intermediaries.
Industry events and initiatives provide great opportunities for learning, for health or just plain old fun. And Fulcrum helped to make some of them happen.
We were one of the main sponsors of the Insurance Institute of KZN’s 2018 Pop Up Mentorship Programme; we sponsored a GWII event at which wealth management expert Lisa Linfield spoke on the need to be brave in order to be financially free; we were one of the South African Underwriting Managers Association’s sponsors at their annual Ladies Lunch; and we hosted an activation at the IIG’s Midwinter Fun Run.
Apart from our insurance industry activities, we also gave back to society in several ways.
We donated beehives to Farai Chinomwe, a professional beekeeper and accomplished unconventional long-distance runner – he runs backwards – which is how Fulcrum got to know of him, because several of our staff are also runners.
For the third year in a row, we participated in the Santa Shoebox campaign, making up Christmas prezzies for less fortunate kids; involvement was inspired by our own Gina Costa, who’s been one of Santa’s Helper with the initiative for eight years now.
And Gina’s certainly not the only Fulcrum staffer with a giving spirit. Magesh Naidoo helps to create food hampers for those less fortunate, Ian Burnett cycled 394km’s to raise awareness for breast cancer with the St Bernard Hospice Endurance Cycle Challenge, Shirley-Ann Oakley-Brown ran the Comrades Marathon in support of CHOC, and two of our gents participated in the 947 cycle challenge: Gavin Lill chose to ride for You and Me vs MND and Barry Scott cycled in support of The Paige Project. And then to top it off, several of our male colleagues grew facial hair in support of Movember, in the process raising over R15 000 for the Movember Foundation.
We looked out for ourselves, too, and a particular highlight was our retro-themed annual Health and Wellness Day, hosted with Discovery Vitality.
Our female colleagues rounded off Women’s Month in August with a very special “black with a doek” event, in solidarity with abused women.
For Heritage Day and Month we broke with the “Braai Day” tradition, but we still kept to South African favourites: biltong, beer and cookies.
On the football field – and in a World Cup year, at that – our own Fulcrum FC team did pretty well, placing second overall in their league.
And big ups to Barry Scott, who with his wife Michelle ticked off a big bucket list item of theirs: they trekked all the way to the base camp of Mount Everest!
We took a stand on plastic drinking straws, one of the leading causes of pollution and a killer of sea life. Simply, they suck. So we no longer have them in our offices, and anyone wanting a straw can now use a biodegradable one.
We also introduced recycle bins in our offices. And we were inspired by our colleague Ali Burnett and her family, who have cut their waste by three-quarters simply by making eco-bricks out of their plastic and paper trash – which are being used to build a classroom at a school near where they live.
Our annual Fulcrum Suzanne Shaw Creative Award was won by young curator Dineke van der Walt, whose exhibition In Silva, at the Kalashnikovv Gallery in August, lured art lovers into an imaginary forest where anything was possible …
And then our own Fulcrum ladies showed their artistic mettle, in the Fulcrum-sponsored GWII Paint Nite.
Without a doubt, 2019 is going to be an exciting year, both within the Fulcrum business and for its staff. One thing is certain: we’re going to continue to see things differently in whatever we do – follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see us in action.