The CN&CO team works across a broad range of industries, and one of our favourites is the insurance industry. The passionate and driven people, and the vibe at industry events is second to none. Last night the CN&CO team was out in full force at the Sandton Convention Centre for the Insurance Institute of Gauteng’s (IIG) 74th Annual Dinner, and were reminded, again, what an incredible industry we are a part of.

The CN&CO team with our good friends, Christelle Fourie-Colman (MUA), Anthony Crichton (Livingstone Crichton) and Paolo Cavalieri (Hollard)

The CN&CO team with our good friends, Christelle Fourie-Colman (MUA), Anthony Crichton (Livingstone Crichton) and Paolo Cavalieri (Hollard)

One thing we can say about last night’s event (in addition to it being a great testament to the gees and passion the industry holds) is that we were in good company throughout. We spotted many a familiar face in the 1800 strong crowd, including Amanda Thomas (co-opted member of the IIG, from King Price Insurance – who happen to also be good friends and clients of ours.) We had a ball having being hosted by the Purple Group team (who, released their annual results yesterday – which we are all super chuffed with. Well done, Purple Group! Click here to see them for yourself), CN&CO also had Anthony Crichton and Megan King from Livingstone Crichton (good friends and client of ours) and the six finalists from the 2015 Insurance Apprentice joining us as our guests. We’re big fans of the Insurance Apprentice because of how it aims to unearth the hidden gems, while at the same time education and challenging the young guns in the industry to do even more awesome things in this space. That said, we’re really excited to be one of the official partners for the 2016 Insurance Apprentice. Last night we caught up with Roxanne Moodley, winner of the first Insurance Apprentice, and she affirmed that the entire process and experience was incredibly worthwhile. “I learned so much about the industry that I hadn’t been aware of before. The Insurance Apprentice really opened our eyes to just how vast, awesome and ‘sexy’ our industry is!”

The 2016 Insurance Apprentice is heading into the final voting stages to get to the top 8 contestants, so be sure to cast your vote now!

The finalists from the first edition of The Insurance Apprentice

The finalists from the first edition of The Insurance Apprentice

With 1800 attendees at this year’s “IIG Goes International” themed dinner (the highest attendance to date!) the IIG team had their work cut out for them – and they nailed it. The evening kicked off with an electric drum performance by 1st Project. Tracy McLaughlin from GIB then led us in a loyalty toast, followed by grace, after which the female trio, Black Bird, sang the national anthem. Current president of the IIG, Zuriel Naiker, then took to the stage for the 2015 Presidential Address. He spoke about some of the firsts the IIG have firmly got under their belt in 2015, including: the CEO roundtable event, the broker leadership forum, “the mother of all golf days” which started aboard the Rovos Rail, and not forgetting the IIG International trip to London and Munich in September 2015. He also threw out some impressive numbers, including the fact that over 700 people have attended thought leadership seminars by the IIG, and how the IIG has provided industry folk with over 2100 hours of CPD points over the past year. Impressive.

Zuriel emphasised how this is an industry that is all about relationships, which is very true. He also noted that collaboration and sustainability have been two key themes for the IIG in 2015 – which is evident by the work done by the IIG and the many firsts they achieved over the year. Dinner (and a rather delicious one at that) was then served. Throughout the first half of the evening, people mingled and networked and enjoyed the entertainment by Black Bird. Pablo Clark Racing (our good friends and partner) had a Formula 1 simulator set up, which was a hit with the crowd! Mutual & Federal had a really cool spin & win wheel, and in keeping with the theme, depending on what country’s flag the wheel stopped on, you had to have a shooter from that country. We saw many people at the wheel holding thumbs for to land on South Africa just for that smooth shot of Amarula… Tracker had a champagne and cheese experience set up, which was fabulous – reminded us of France. These were but a few of brands who ensured the “IIG Goes International” theme was felt throughout the evening at their stands.

CN&CO's Gianluca Tucci & IIG President, Zuriel Naiker

CN&CO’s Gianluca Tucci & IIG President, Zuriel Naiker

The awards part of the evening kicked off after dinner, with the long service awards being handed out first. It was amazing to see just how many people have been in the industry for more than four decades – which shows the commitment and passion people have for the insurance space. Paul Carpenter was awarded for his 50 years in the industry – that’s half a century! Incredible. Next up, the Class of 2015 were awarded for their achievements throughout the year. Fulcrum (another client, and good friends of ours) sponsored the “Fulcrum Future Leader Award” which went to Mmabatho Letoaba. The Swiss Re top performer award went to Buzwe Lindi. Rounding up the awards, Zuriel presented past president of the IIG (2014), Justin Naylor, with the Meritorious award.

There was only one way to really round up the formalities – with dessert – and prizes! Every year Global Choices does an exciting random draw for all Annual Dinner guests. This year one lucky person walked away with R20 000, and another with R13 000. Next was the BlueSpec SMS competition where one lucky guest and a partner won a chauffeur driven experience which includes dinner for two. The big prize of the night was sponsored by ACE insured in association with RISKAFRICA – one lucky person won a spot on the IIG International trip to New York and Dubai in 2016!

All in all, another super night out with an industry that is more like family than anything else. A fired up, vibrant (sometimes crazy) and supportive family.

To Zuriel and the entire IIG team, high five on a great event showcasing the best of what the industry has to offer. Keep up the good work, guys!