In partnership with the Old Mutual Black Distributors Trust in 2022 and Old Mutual Insure in 2023, Masthead has been assisting AIB Brokers, a financial services provider (FSP) based in Gqeberha, on a journey of growth for the last two years. AIB Brokers’ story clearly illustrates the power of strategic practice management principles and the positive impact they can have on a business’s trajectory.
AIB Brokers’ association with Masthead dates to 2017, when the Eastern Cape Regional Office played a significant role in helping owner Mandla Mfo establish his FSP. Mandla, a qualified actuary who previously worked for an insurance company and thereafter a bank, explains: “When you work as a broker in a corporate or a bank, you grasp the essentials of being a broker, but you don’t necessarily acquire the knowledge necessary for starting your own FSP. However, Masthead was there, holding my hand every step of the way as I set up my business.”
In 2022, AIB Brokers joined Masthead’s Enterprises and Supplier Development (ESD) programme. At the time, AIB Brokers was a small team comprising Mandla, the Key Individual, and two dedicated administrative assistants. The challenges were substantial, especially considering the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ESD programme became a guiding light for AIB Brokers, offering structured monthly meetings with Masthead to address specific facets of the business that needed refinement.
The results were remarkable. The increase and upskilling of employees liberated Mandla’s time, allowing him to focus on cultivating client relationships and other crucial aspects of the business. Job descriptions were formalised, performance appraisal processes were instituted, and policies were drafted and executed to enhance client targeting and marketing.
AIB Brokers experienced an increase in revenue, owing to enhanced services and effective marketing strategies. While some clients exited due to personal economic constraints, the business experienced growth in new client numbers. Clients have also expressed their satisfaction with the heightened service quality. In addition, having access to a Masthead Compliance Officer has resulted in the business maintaining impeccable compliance standards, notably reducing its risk profile.
Mandla acknowledges the profound impact of the programme on his entrepreneurial journey, stating:
“My time with Masthead, made possible by Old Mutual through the ESD Programme, has been an invaluable experience. As the owner of a business, you’re often operating in isolation. You’re so busy working for the business that you don’t always find the time to evaluate the business from a management perspective. The ESD programme compelled me to take the time to step away from my day-to-day responsibilities and collaborate with someone to objectively assess the business and implement the necessary adjustments.”
The collaboration between AIB Brokers and Masthead is a testament to the potential that practice management principles hold for emerging FSPs, and the journey is far from over. As AIB Brokers continues to be part of the ESD programme, the future promises further growth and sustainability.