Head of Corporate Business, Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd, Kenya
When Jacqueline Karasha joined Sanlam Kenya in 2016, she was tasked with turning around the Corporate Business’s performance which had been on a steady decline in terms of revenue and profitability. The 2016 Full Year revenue stood at USD 17mn and the company’s market position had declined from 1st to 8th. Through effective strategic planning, Jacqueline diversified the firm’s distribution channels to include Bancassurance and Digital channels, and re-engaged key intermediaries in the market.
She revamped the client service model to enhance retention and implemented a high performance culture within the team, introducing goal setting, performance management and frequent feedback sessions. As at December 2020, the revenues of the Corporate Business reached USD 35mn, up from USD 22mn in December 2019. The remarkable performance helped cushion the Sanlam Kenya business from the economic shocks that were experienced in the market due to the COVID pandemic.
She created and reinstated relationships with key partners for Sanlam Life, and introduced a Sanlam Partner Connect initiative, a platform the firm uses to engage with partners and align performance goals and objectives. Sanlam underwent a rebranding from Pan Africa Insurance in 2016. The Sanlam brand was therefore fairly new in the market and she championed the new brand awareness campaign.
Jacqueline Karasha Leadership Style
Her leadership style is anchored on good governance and she has been a champion of ethical business practices in an industry plagued with a reputation of price undercutting, poor customer service and mistrust. Her approach has served her well as Sanlam has continued to grow and the firm is recognized as a trusted brand.
Jacqueline is passionate about young professionals in the insurance industry and is keen on supporting the next generation of professional and innovative leaders of integrity. She is a co-founder of the Sanlam Women Network which champions the engagement and support of all female staff in the firm. In addition, she supports the Lea Mathare Foundation (LMF), a community-based organization that was established in March 2012 to educate and support marginalized and disadvantaged children living the informal settlement of Mathare. LMF offers early childhood education, food and a safe space to the youth living in Mathare, as well as, homeless children from as young as five years old.