Chief Information Officer: Job Grade: 14 / 15

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Date: 08-Oct-2021

Location: Bellville, Western Cape, South Africa

Company: Sanlam Group


The Sanlam Retail Affluent (SRA) cluster is responsible for Sanlam’s retail business in South Africa. SRA provides clients across different market segments (entry-level, middle-income, affluent, professional market and business owners) with a comprehensive range of appropriate and competitive financial solutions. These include traditional life insurance risk and savings products, investment, retirement, health and fiduciary services. Our products are designed to facilitate long-term wealth creation, protection and niche financing and therefore these solutions are engineered around client needs.


Purpose of the role?


As a member of the Executive Committees of the three Retail Affluent businesses, namely Sanlam Individual Life; Sanlam Savings & Closed Book and Business Shared Services, the incumbent will be responsible for their strategies as well as the implementation of the business strategy within the Information Technology Division in alignment with Sanlam Group Technology (SGT) Strategy.


Shaping and driving the strategy and the associated demand and IT transformation to build the IT capabilities which will support the business strategies and related objectives.  Be accountable for directing, planning, organising IT services and IT delivery for these businesses, in conjunction with the Group’s IT Shared Services, which includes Business Change and Transformation, Group Infrastructure, Development and DevOps, Cyber, and Data Platforms etc.


The incumbent will be required to advise on current and future technology capabilities and directions, the opportunities that IT provide, what the business has to do to capitalize on these opportunities and will be responsible for ensuring that optimal value is realised from IT projects and service delivery.  The CIO will be responsible for creating a strategic plan that defines how IT will contribute to the business’s strategic objectives and related costs and risks, and to create tactical IT plans that are derived from the IT strategic plan.

What will you do?


  • Develop IT strategy with strategic goals to enable the IT needs of each business.  Ensure that IT capabilities are geared for future business plans.


  • Ensure alignment of the IT strategy to the business strategies of these businesses.


  • Continuously influence, shape and drive the IT strategy and the associated transformation and demand of the businesses.


  • Aligning IT demand and supply with the business objectives and requirements.   This includes partnerships with product and fusion teams and engagement with Business Change Chapter Leads to align demand, as well as partnership and engagement with the SGT Delivery Teams (comprising the APMO, Group Enterprise and Solutions Architecture and Development Squads), to align supply.


  • Taking ownership for defining, prioritising and translating demand into architectural change and simplification, including digital insurance transformation initiatives. This entails partnering with SGT Architecture and Business Design to define, prioritise and translate demand into technology product change and simplification, including digital insurance transformation initiatives. These activities are driven by SGT Architecture and Business Design respectively but need alignment for the business unit by the BU CIO.


  • Take accountability for managing the delivery, including quality of delivery and driving of improvements together with Sanlam Group Technology. This includes IT services and change delivery.


  • Own and provide oversight and visibility into the IT budget and execute sound financial management and IT value optimisation, including monthly reporting to the three business units. Advise the business on the total cost of ownership of IT investments. This includes visibility of the Group IT Shared Services capacity model which directly impacts throughput.


  • Accept accountability for IT governance, compliance and risk management.  This includes ownership of the role of the Information Officer with the support of the incumbent Data stewards.


  • Oversight of IT operational issues to ensure they receive the necessary attention and are resolved within SLA and highlighting any concerns or blockages to the business units.


  • Stakeholder management of key SGT and Business stakeholders end to end to align business and IT priorities and strategy.

What will make you successful in this role?


Qualification & experience


Minimum qualification


  • Graduate level degree in IT management and/or recognised IT professional qualification


Minimum experience and knowledge


  • 5-7 years’ experience in a CIO/Head of IT role.


  • Proven experience to include:
    • Managing IT Service delivery at a strategic and operational level
    • Developing key account management plans and service offerings
    • Partnership and relationship development
    • Budget ownership and financial management
    • IT solution development and business case planning


  • Extensive knowledge of key business processes and drivers within the financial services industry


  • Broad knowledge of technology (existing and emerging) and its application in the life industry


  • Financial acumen, reporting and costing capability

Sanlam core competencies


  • Being resilient


  • Collaborates


  • Cultivates innovation


  • Customer focus


  • Drives results

Personal qualities


  • Strategic and Analytical thinker


  • Relationship and Stakeholder management


  • Change management


  • Strong negotiating and influencing skills


  • Assertive


  • Goal setter and prioritise


  • Problem solving skills


  • Good planning, organising and co-ordination skills


Build a successful career with us


We’re all about building strong, lasting relationships with our employees. We know that you have hopes for your future – your career, your personal development and of achieving great things. We pride ourselves in helping  our employees to realise their worth. Through its four business clusters – Sanlam Life and Savings, Sanlam Investment Group, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Santam, as well as MiWay and the Group Office – the group provides many opportunities for growth and development.

Turnaround time


The shortlisting process will only start once the application due date has been reached. The time taken to complete this process will depend on how far you progress and the availability of managers. 


Closing date: 22 October 2021

Our commitment to transformation


The Sanlam Group is committed to achieving transformation and embraces diversity.  This commitment is what drives us to achieve a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace as we believe that these are key components to ensuring a thriving and sustainable business in South Africa.  The Group's Employment Equity plan and targets will be considered as part of the selection process.