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Read the NDP, Hollard CEO says

- By Erna van Wyk

Capitalism as practised over the past several decades does not have all the answers. Instead, the capitalism that seeks to maximise shareholder wealth above all else, created worldwide turmoil that culminated in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and the subsequent increase in unemployment, social unrest and austerity measures.

This is according to Nic Kohler, CEO of the Hollard Group, delivering the keynote address at the March-April graduation ceremony for graduands of the Faculty of Science on 31 March 2014 in the Wits Great Hall.

He urged graduands to become “active citizens” and to resist corruption, build safer communities and ensure environmental sustainability. The first step, he added, is to “read, analyse and critique” the 488-page National Development Plan.

“This document imagines a future South Africa where poverty is eliminated, where quality health care is accessible and affordable, where public transport is effective, safe and affordable, where all South Africans have access to clean running water in their homes, where high-speed broadband internet is universally available at competitive prices, where household food and nutrition is secured, where we are subject to a developmental, capable and ethical state, where all people live safely, with an independent and fair criminal justice system, where social cohesion and unity are broadly present and the inequities of the past have been redressed.”

“It is by no means a perfect document and it certainly does not offer a panacea for all our problems. Some of the solutions it suggests are improbable or impractical or both. But it is an important starting point in imagining a better future for our country – its analysis of the problems we face and its vision of the future are compelling,” he said.

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About Kohler:

Nic Kohler is the CEO of the Hollard Group, an increasingly global insurance group which includes The Hollard Insurance Company and Hollard Life Assurance Company in South Africa.

Kohler joined Hollard in 1997 as a member of the life actuarial team and has been involved in many aspects of Hollard’s businesses since then, including establishing Hollard’s primary retail division, serving as managing director of Hollard Life and establishing and developing Hollard’s venture in India.

He has been instrumental in driving Hollard’s Afro-globalisation strategy, which draws on the strengths of African leadership principles and African-sourced talent and ideas to create successful insurance businesses throughout the world.

Kohler is passionate about developing an organisation with a head and a heart, an organisation that contributes meaningfully to social, human and natural capital in addition to generating financial capital, both through the business that they do and the way that they do business.

Kohler completed his schooling in Pretoria in 1987, and spent the following year as an exchange student in Arlington, Texas, before going on to complete a BSc in Statistics and Actuarial Science at Wits University. He qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries while working for his first employer, Commercial Union Life, in 1996.