Her experience started and continues to live in Sanlam
Gerda Khun is the General Manager of Policy Administration and Bancassurance at Sanlam Namibia
19 November 2021 | People
Gerda khun has been working at Sanlam for 33 years which includes the six years she spent at the Sanlam office in South Africa.
The General Manager of Policy Administration and Bancassurance says she is strategically responsible for the teams who issue clients’ policies, collecting premiums to maintain cover for benefits selected and making sure that they operate within all Compliance rules as well as pay claims at the end of the client journey.
Khun was born in Riversdale in the Western Cape in South Africa. She attended school and matriculated in the small town of Albertinia. After school, she joined Sanlam at the Head office in Bellville.
Khun says there are no dull moments in her day. “Meetings take place to make decisions on work procedures, implementation of new products and processes and catching up with teams on the progress of work in the different departments,” she explained. The operational side involves assistance to internal and external clients as well as to managers on decisions. Khun also books time out to make sure she attends to strategic objectives where her teams are concerned.
After having spent 33 years at Sanlam, Khun shares some of the reasons that helped her remain at Sanlam for all those years. Khun thinks her generation tends to stay longer within one company. Apart from this, she believes that “one works and stays longer where company values are in line with your personal values and where you feel part of achieving company objectives. Also, where you are given opportunities to grow and build a career and freedom to use your own initiative to reach goals,” she said
Khun says the most challenging part about her job is juggling responsibilities. “I would say trying to “keep all balls in the air” and making sure that I remain focused and prioritise well will help me run the business smoothly and avert crisis,” she said.
Khun believes that you are only as strong as your team. “Lifting up your team and making them stronger will make sure that you are also successful. Teams knowing and understanding the goals that they need to achieve and executing them well brings success. Being able to understand and adapt to a fast changing environment, will determine your success,” she said. This, Khun says was especially evident during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that our ability as a company to adjust quickly ensured that we were still able to serve and meet the demands of our clients.
Khun’s advice to young people is that they must always be prepared as you never know when opportunities come your way. Sometimes it comes from unexpected directions when you least expect it. Do not “try to conquer the world on your own”. Nobody ever won a war on his own. Know who your mentors and “go to people” are and tap from their expertise and knowledge in any formal and informal way possible.