Distruptive . Digital Native

Based: Cape Town

Ian Russell was CEO of BCX, South Africa’s largest technology company, with a turnover of $2bn, and an employee base of 10,000. Russell’s tenure saw a focused re-engineering of the company, simplifying the core of the business, creating new technology capabilities, and a massive shift of the brand towards innovation and disruption. Prior to this, Russell was at Telkom, part of the ExCo and at the heart of the turnaround. He was accountable for every aspect of cost across the Telkom business. Procurement, supply chain, property and people costs were all tackled systemically and with great effect. The resurgence of the Telkom business was predicated on the transformation of the cost base during this time. Before Telkom, Russell was at SABMiller and led the migration of the procurement activity from being an in-country South African operation, to a global one based in Switzerland. Russell spent eight years at Barclays, working across operations, procurement and technology. These included roles running the Barclays African back-office, creating and leading the world’s first ‘smartsourcing’ approach to cost re-engineering, and ending up as Barclays’ Global CIO, a role which led him to Absa. Russell was also one of the initial architects

The Disruption facing the Insurance Profession is Massive and Real: Prepare for a Seismic Shift

The insurance profession may be age old, but it’s absolutely ripe for a fundamental and seismic shift as the power of quantum computing and artificial intelligence becomes a reality, and the ability for immediate, real time comparison of products is a here and now for most consumers.

The disruption that the insurance industry faces is massive and real, with the new digital natives increasingly pitting their latest technology and customer friendly interfaces against the traditional players’ strengths of customer relationship management and broking skills.  Is this a fair match?

In this talk, Ian will focus on the disruptive shift to this profession and industry and draw parallels with other now long gone jobs and companies that faced similar threats but did nothing about it.

Ian positions the need for the eternal search for personal and business relevance in a fast changing world, in this thoughtful and incisive talk.