Head: Risk Finance

Job Description

Reports to:  Executive: Sales

Location:  Head Office

Department:  Sales

Position Name: Head: Risk Finance


To develop and manage a strategy and operating model for the Risk Finance Department that supports the growth and development of the Mutual & Federal business through developing, implementing and managing fit-for-purpose risk finance strategies and tactics.

Relationships /Stakeholders

  • Sales
  • Brand, Customer & Transformation
  • Underwriting
  • Claims
  • Operations
  • Change & Strategy
  • Finance
  • HR
  • Risk
  • IT

Level of work

Level 4L:  2-3 year time frame.

  • Accountable to develop strategic plans, set goals and develop an operational framework to execute strategy. Also accountable for the design or development of new organisational entities and systems.
  • Proactive identification of interconnected operational problems of which the causes are often ambiguous and uncertain, and the solutions diversified.  Model alternative solutions and update operational frameworks.
  • Undertake abstract, conceptual and comparative analysis of management and specialist information across the organisation, test propositions, identify and connect related and apparently unrelated variables and develop high level reports for strategic decision making.
  • Judgement is required on interconnected operational areas and impacts the overall organisation functioning.
  • Strategy realisation through decisions related to strategic objectives, organisational goals and the overall management of interconnected operations across the organisation.
  • Integrate and assign resources across multiple operating units, identify gaps in resources available, and take appropriate action to ensure optimum utilisation of organisational resources through reallocation and setting operational specifications.
  • Detailed budgeting for efficient and effective operations by translating strategic objectives into goals with specific output and targets, monitor and track expenditure, and maximise cost-benefit ratios.
  • Determine organisational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, interpret changing social and organisational environments, and design or develop new organisational entities and systems.
  • Planning for the implementation of changes in processes or systems, specifying the priorities of operations and resource inputs needed and establishing metrics to monitor effectiveness.

Implementation of Operations Strategy and Development of Operating Model

Integrate  and provide synergy across Departments

  • Develop, plan for, implement and take accountability for the strategy and operating model of the Risk Finance Department, partnering with the Executive: Sales in response to the business model and Mutual & Federal strategy.
  • Establish an aligned Departmental Balanced Scorecard focused on the implementation, measuring and management of the Departmental strategy.
  • Determine the business value chain for the Risk Finance Department and ensure that this value chain is aligned and integrated with the Sales Division value chain.
  • In collaboration with Executive: Sales and Executive: Underwriting drive the development, implementation and management of winning and fit-for-purpose Risk Financing facilities that achieve targeted profitability.
  • In collaboration with the Executive: Brand, Customer & Transformation contribute to strategic and targeted market research.
  • Drive the development of a leading customer value proposition for each identified market segment.
  • In collaboration with the Executive: Brand, Customer & Transformation contribute to the development and maintenance of an appropriate leading brand strategy for Mutual & Federal.
  • Develop and maintain of a winning and fit-for-purpose portfolio risk financing management strategy.
  • Develop and maintain a winning product development and lifecycle capability.
  • Develop and maintain winning business development strategies and management practices.
  • In collaboration with the Executive: Operations contribute to excellence in product fulfilment.
  • Develop and maintain a winning and fit-for-purpose customer lifecycle strategy.
  • In collaboration with the Executive: Underwriting contribute to a winning and fit-for-purpose reinsurance strategy.


  • Balanced scorecard progress
  • Business value chain alignment
  • Operating model integration
  • Business process efficiency and effectiveness
  • Business case accuracy
  • Project execution

Best Practice Service Delivery

Optimise best-practice Service Delivery

  • Contribute to the development of a customer centric strategy in line with future customer needs and requirements to drive customer centricity
  • Craft service practices and standards that meet clients and own organisation’s needs.
  • Ensure effective relationships and SLA management with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Build and maintain excellent relationships between own team and key internal interest groups.
  • Contribute to a service culture which builds rewarding relationships, proposes innovations and allows others to provide exceptional client service.
  • Ensure professional services are provided; where expectations are managed in terms of outcomes.
  • Participate in the design and application of a stakeholder feedback capability
  • Contribute to the competitive edge of Mutual & Federal through external networking and benchmarking in industry, international and national forums.


Customer feedback (internal and external)

Best-practice/Continuous Improvement

  • Optimise continuous improvements within specific focus areas
  • Establishing optimum integration and alignment of organisational resources


  • Ensure process optimisation is prioritised in order to deliver targeted strategic advantage
  • Establish and promote healthy vertical and horizontal business processes that ensure efficient and effective client delivery within set expectations and agreed performance standards in the area of accountability and the overall optimisation of the value chain for Mutual & Federal.


  • Optimised business process and operating procedures.
  • Efficiency measures.

Best-practice financial and corporate governance

Manage effective financial management, control and budget management


  • Ensure that the departmental operating framework and model is adequately budgeted for through the development and implementation of fit for purpose budgets.
  • Manage vendor relationships, and budgets associated with projects
  • Ensure effective financial management, control and corporate governance.


  • Optimised business process and operating procedures.
  • Efficiency measures.

Drive Best-practice governance

  • Take accountability for the management of business related risks within own area.
  • Operate within agreed mandates.


  • Risks mitigated and managed within area.
  • Best-practice people practices
  • Drive Best-practice people practices and build strategic capacity.
  • Empower direct reports to achieve tactical excellence / best operating practice
  • Optimise talent across departments (not just within)
  • Embed formal performance development and informal coaching in the department
  • Identify, attract, appoint, grow, engage, reward and retain top talent to drive strategic execution.
  • Identify, define, communicate and obtain buy-in for performance expectations through the implementation of the Mutual & Federal performance management system.
  • Coach direct reports on how to conduct meaningful performance development discussions with their direct reports and ensure that they conduct the process effectively
  • Establish and maintain a succession plan for the key roles in the area and review and approve succession plans for one level below
  • Develop, implement and manage a People Capability plan that ensures that the department has the human resources and skills required to deliver on the strategy for the short-, medium- and long-term.
  • Embed and demonstrate aligned values that drive and support the required behaviour to achieve the articulated vision and strategy. 
  • Demonstrate leadership behaviour of personal involvement, commitment and dedication to the business area in support of the organisation’s culture.
  • Communicate a meaningful strategic context to apply people best practice, fostering an environment of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Provide mechanisms and support to implement major changes to the function by acting as a change agent.
  • Manage poor performance constructively and decisively.
  • Create a collaborative environment which allows for employees within inter-related functional areas to work together thereby leveraging constructive team dynamics and innovation
  • Actively participate in own professional development and career path.


  • Quality of new recruits
  • Staff turnover
  • Quality and effectiveness of performance management
  • Quality and effectiveness of talent management
  • Growth and development of staff
  • Growth and development of self



  • The willingness and capacity to simultaneously accept and adapt to change, as well as, remain effective and task focused in a fast passed and constantly changing workplace environment.
  • Advances an organization’s mission and long-term organizational practices
  • Assesses external to internal demands/ expectations and takes appropriate action, involving upper management and affected staff
  • Seeks and obtains buy-in from a variety of external/internal sources, with regard to changing and/or shifting priorities, demands, and requirements
  • The ability to adapt to and capitalizes on emerging industry trends, opportunities and risks

Decision making and problem solving

  • The extent to which an individual is able to recognize and analyse a problem and/or a difficult situation and develop an appropriate and results-oriented course of action
  • Anticipate obstacles and overcome challenges in highly complex situations
  • Recognizes symptoms that indicate more significant problems
  • Anticipates obstacles, considers the impact/ consequence of decisions
  • Puts a problem in context, recognizes risks, understands situational variables
  • Reconciles the conflicts between short term requirements and long term objectives.

Strategic Thinking

  • Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization in a global environment. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks.
  • Create, implement, monitor and review tactical strategic plans.
  • Develops short term (12 – 18 months) tactical plans that are aligned with business division strategy and objectives to promote organizational strategic goals
  • Makes strategic decisions which demonstrate an awareness of divisional strengths and weaknesses
  • Displays a clear understanding of the market and competitive forces
  • Adjusts strategy according to changing conditions
  • The ability to interpret organizational strategy and translate this into tactical action and contingency plans

Leading and Living the Vision and Values

  • Takes a long-term view and builds a shared vision with others; acts as a catalyst for organizational change. Influences others to translate vision into action.
  • Create an environment of shared vision through a method of staff engagement  Involves employees and stakeholders in an organizational change process by conducting meetings and providing frequent updates
  • Acknowledges organizational strengths and develops plan to address areas needing improvement
  • Communicates vision and mission to employees while incorporating employee feedback for ideas on accomplishing new goals and objectives

External Awareness

  • Understands and keeps up-to-date on local, national, and international policies and trends that affect the organization and shape stakeholders’ views; is aware of the organization’s impact on the external environment.
  • Predict the impact of external factors on the organization and its operations. 
  • Gathers and summarizes information to predict stakeholder views on a new policy
  • Considers external policies and trends when reviewing correspondence, reports, and policy documents


  • Is responsible for results expected and all resources that have been placed under one’s care. Is open to sharing results and resources with others.
  • Manage and influence organizational practice in a responsible and dedicated manner 
  • Approaches own work with dedication and high sense of responsibility
  • Provides support to others in accomplishing their work
  • Takes responsibility for the welfare of the entire portfolio under one’s lead

Customer Orientation

  • Making customers and their needs a primary focus of one’s actions; developing and sustaining productive customer relationships
  • Demonstrates exceptional application and expert understanding of customer focus
  • Proactively seeks feedback from customers and uses this information to make improvements in systems, processes, etc.
  • Actively seeks out the customer to discuss business challenges in an effort to provide products and services that meet the customer’s needs even before the customer recognizes the need as critical
  • Anticipates how plans and actions of the business will affect the customer in the  long term

People Skills

  • The ability to influence a wide range of diverse individuals and groups positively 
  • The ability to influence  positive work behaviour 
  • Adopts a collaborative management style
  • Trusts and empowers others to take responsibility
  • Shows a strong concern for staff welfare
  • Offers direction, encouragement and support, particularly during difficult times
  • Gives recognition for all positive contributions
  • Takes ownership and seeks to resolve any area of conflict positively
  • Understands HR policies and procedures and the legal need to adhere to these

Negotiation Skills

  • Anticipates the interests of others.  Deals with objections. 
  • Influences others and achieves agreements to benefit the organization as a whole. 
  • Apply negation skills during highly complex contract or deal negotiation phase 
  • Accommodates stakeholders to the extent possible without undermining other involved parties
  • Uses the process of give-and-take to gain support
  • Offers trade-offs or exchanges to gain commitment

Presentation Skills

  • Effectively presenting prepared information to a variety of audiences using appropriate delivery tools 
  • Prepare and deliver a high powered presentation to a diverse audience 
  • Budgets time for maximum efficiency
  • Proactively anticipates additional resource requirements
  • Is a powerful speaker who easily inspires audience to take action
  • Is clearly a thought leader in area of expertise

Technical Skills & Knowledge


  • Business planning and budgeting
  • Product knowledge
  • Business development
  • Market knowledge


  • Business Intelligence
  • Influence


  • 7 – 10 years’ experience in financial sector;
  • 8 years’ experience in field of risk finance;
  • 5 years’ experience in the management of people, at least at manager of manager level.

Career Path

  • Potential Position 1: Executive: Sales
  • Potential Position 2: Executive: Direct Distribution
  • Potential Position 3 : Executive: Africa