Insurtech aYo Holdings Appoints Julius Sikhuza to Lead SA Operation

Julius Sikhuza has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of aYo Intermediaries South Africa.

aYo, an African Insurtech specialising in microinsurance solutions, is an insurance platform provider and is jointly owned by telecommunications giant MTN and insurance group Sanlam. The company launched in January 2017, and has 4.2 million active policies users as per MTN’s latest quarterly trading results across Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria.

aYo South Africa is the broker behind MTN’s newly launched Khava product MyMTN Prepaid Funeral Cover underwritten by Sanlam, to offer affordable device and funeral cover to all South Africans across any telecommunications network. The new products will see a sign-on journey via WhatsApp with all premiums collected, and claims paid, using MTN’s Mobile Money (MoMo).

Sikhuza is no stranger to MTN. He was previously General Manager of Mobile Financial Services at the company, where he led the team responsible for the launch of the division – including payments, lending and insurance – as a new business unit. Before joining MTN, he was a Business Strategy Manager at insurer Old Mutual.

aYo Group CEO Marius Botha said Sikhuza’s range of experience across the financial services value chain made him ‘a natural choice’ to lead the company’s operations in South Africa.

“Julius has worked across insurance products, distribution, marketing, branding and mobile money, which makes him the ideal choice for this key role. What really sets him apart is his incredible affinity for aYo’s broader goal of driving greater financial inclusion across South Africa and the continent, and his passion for making an impact on the lives of the financially underserved,” said Botha.

Sikhuza said the partnership between MTN and Sanlam offered an unmatched opportunity to combine the ability to distribute financial products with a deep understanding of the local insurance market.

“I’m delighted to be part of a business that’s making a difference in solving financial inclusion issues for customers, and providing financial services that are both affordable and meaningful. The loss of key assets and life is devastating to people and businesses, and I’m confident that our ability to talk directly to those problems will quickly set us apart,” he said.