Palesa Ntoagae to bring wealth of experience to Old Mutual Insure


The HR executive hopes to bring a cumulative 19 years of experience to the new role as human capital executive at Old Mutual Insure.

Former JSE HR director Palesa Ntoagae has been appointed as the human capital executive at Old Mutual Insure.

Palesa joined the financial services provider and non-life insurer on 1 June.

Speaking exclusively to CHRO South Africa, Palesa expressed her excitement at moving back into the profit and loss (P&L) business. “I’m thrilled to be moving back into a business that’s both responsible and accountable for delivering value to the bottom line, yet centred around purpose by safeguarding and protecting the future of our clients.”

“I believe my new role will be that feather in my cap that equips me with added skills to call myself a truly diverse HC leader in the financial services industry. And while I studied a BCom at Rhodes University, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having a fruitful career in human capital.” Palesa also holds a postgraduate management diploma from GIBS.

Prior to joining the JSE in 2022, she was the regional HR Partner at Standard Bank with accountability for the HR function for Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It is in this position she got the opportunity to sharpen her craft. “Working across the continent while at Standard Bank is definitely one of my career highlights. I was young, it was a steep learning curve and it afforded me the opportunity to gain experience I would have never received sitting in a business school. My cultural competence was sharpened and the relationships I built have remained intact to today.”

Charting a new path

Palesa is also the 2022/2023 SAWIL Trailblazers Award winner and Mount Kilimanjaro summiteer. She hopes to use this experience to contribute and influence her team positively. “I think it’s crucial to remember our roles as advocates for change and to be active citizens.”

She adds that she will also use her wealth of knowledge in leading the people agenda across a specialised environment. “Old Mutual Insure is a wonderful combination of both under the same segment. I’m a transformational human capital person so where there’s opportunity and the mandate to improve, I thrive! And I have plenty of that here.”

Touching on challenges in the industry, Palesa says transitions at this level have their ups and downs, and this misnomer of a 30-day plan is something that needs to be reviewed.

“I think landing with impact is good, but if you’re external, it’s important to spend time immersing yourself to understand and just wear the clothes, as a good friend would say. So I plan to manage my transition with the right balance of patience and urgency.”

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