HR Indaba Africa 2018: PPS continues to be the leading mutual company in South Africa

It is the largest financial services provider that operates under the ethos of mutuality whereby all members receive a share of annual profits.

With only a few weeks left before the inaugural HR Indaba, the anticipation from partners is palpable. In this article, we speak to Ayanda Seboni, the group executive for brand marketing and communications at PPS.

What is PPS and how long has it been around?

PPS was founded by a group of dentists in 1941. These dentists didn’t want their earnings to be affected if they fell ill. In order to protect themselves, they started a society where everyone contributed. These funds would help any member through a period of illness. With this shared value, PPS soon grew to include other like-minded professionals.

PPS is the largest financial services provider in South Africa that operates under the ethos of mutuality, which means that all PPS profits are allocated to PPS members on an annual basis by way of allocations to their PPS Profit-share Accounts. In South Africa, we had many mutual companies in the financial sector, but most of them demutualised and listed as large companies on the JSE in the 1990’s.

How do you differentiate yourselves from other competitors in your space?

PPS continues to be the leading mutual company in South Africa. Every year, 100% of our operating profits are distributed to members with qualifying products. Over the past five years, PPS we have consistently exceeded one billion rand in operating profit – no mean feat for a company of our size and scale. In the 2017 financial year, this amounted to R3,7 billion in profits that was allocated to members, and they can enjoy this money tax-free when they reach the age of 60 onwards.

Why have you signed up for the HR Indaba and what should attendees look forward to seeing from you at the event?

PPS saw this as an opportunity to gain access to the workplaces of HR professionals. Every professional should belong to PPS, it makes no sense for a graduate professional to be with any other company. There are no frills, no gimmicks, no extra premiums, just pure value from being a part of the mutual family.

We have various financial services solutions we would like to introduce to HR professionals. These include not only our life insurance products, but also PPS Healthcare Administrators, as an administrator for in-house employer schemes or Profmed/Keyhealth.

What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the HR profession?

The HR profession is facing a major challenge in the recruitment and retention of millennials. One of the characteristics of millennials is their active participation in cause engagement – and their commitment to creating positive change is on the increase. They want to change the world and they want the companies that they work for to do so as well.

They are also ambitious and value education, growth opportunities and mentorship. Failure to provide this may see recruiters lose valuable skills to competitors that offer a more direct career path, and opportunities for exposure.