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MiWay - Cover Excellence Awards

Published on: 04 August 2014

MiWay CEO, René Otto was awarded the prestigious 2014 COVER Excellence Award in the category Lifetime contribution to the Short-term Insurance Industry at the annual COVER EXCELLENCE Awards which took place on 29 July 2014 at The 2014 Insurance Conference Gala and COVER Awards Dinner - Sun City. The COVER Excellence Awards recognise individuals for extra-ordinary effort and dedication to an industry aimed at improving the financial security of consumers.

Otto, who started his career as a State Advocate, entered the private sector in 1988 where he spent eight years with Auto and General – the only direct short-term insurance company at the time. Shortly thereafter, he was requested by RMB Holdings to create the blueprint for OUTsurance.  He held the position of CEO of OUTsurance and was at the forefront of innovation and the world-first OUTbonus concept.  He exited once the company had reached critical mass and enjoyed 18 months of profitability.  Otto was also the CEO of Channel Life from Sept 2004 until June 2007, a medium-sized life insurance company, where he extended his track record of building sustainable businesses in the short-term industry to the life insurance industry.

On request of Sanlam, Santam and PSG, Otto launched MiWay in February 2008 with yet a number of industry “firsts”: i.e. (1) the first to offer the purchase and administration of short-term insurance on-line; and (2) the first to offer a rewards programme where a claim does not invalidate the rewards pay-out.  In just 6 years, he has steered MiWay into a profitable medium-sized company, boasting a critical mass of over 220,000 clients.  

It is befitting that the Life Time Achievement Award is in recognition of an individual’s ongoing commitment to the industry over a substantial period of time – and how their contribution has shaped the industry in such a way as to encourage further innovation and dedication from others.

“Receiving this Award is a great honour, but credit should really go to the dedicated teams and wonderful people I have worked with over the yearsI had great mentors and I have also been fortunate to have had incredible support from shareholders – without which an award of this nature would not have happened”, said Otto.

“Despite this being a very competitive and challenging industry, the award is a reminder of the incredible journey I have had so far.  I am truly grateful to those that have walked beside me, especially my wife Carole and our children”, concludes Otto.

Otto joins an impressive group of other Life Time Award winners like Adrian Gore, Junior Ngulube, Willem Theron and Louis Fivaz.