Group Strategy

“BIHL’s strategic goal is to become a broad-based financial services company offering a diverse range of products and services within Botswana and across the Southern African region.” Catherine Lesetedi GCEO BIHL.

By focusing consistently on the five pillars of our Strategy, we have achieved market-leading growth and have sustained the BIHL Group into a profitable company, with a healthy capital position, that is well placed to withstanding market volatility and sustain its performance over the long term.

The keystone of our Strategy is to leverage the collective muscle of our industry leading brands. Thus our new brand identity speaks to this with our new tag line proclaiming: “Strength in Numbers”.

Our Vision

Our vision is To be the leading client-centric, broad-based financial services group in markets in which we choose to operate.

What we do

 We engineer legacies for our clients and deliver exceptional returns for our shareholders through service excellence in wealth and insurance management.

Our Values

Our core values are:

• Collaboration

• Corporate citizenship

• High performance

• Agility and innovation

• Client-centricity

Our Roots

We are a leading financial services group, originally established as a life insurance company in 1975. We listed on the BSE in 1991. Our head office is in Gaborone and we have branches throughout Botswana.

Notable Strategic Activities in 2012

Short term business (BIHL Sure!) launched - a new subsidiary introduced during the year, increasing participation in broader financial services and creating a new income stream.

  • Group identity refreshed - positioning the collective strength and synergies in the group.
  • Bifm Capital sale completed – this transaction created an opportunity to align strategic objectives with the Group.
  • New technology embedded across subsidiaries - to improve service provision and client retention.
  • Strengthened bancassurance relationships – the outcome improved income in these areas.

The Group’s Strategy is focused on sustaining profitability and competitiveness in the long term by protecting existing income streams, while identifying new growth avenues. A five pillar strategy provides navigation for the period 2012-2014 encompassing approaches to growth coupled with efficiencies.

Market Share Protection and Growth

Our aim is to maintain customer focus in order to defend market position in our established businesses, and capture market share in the newer subsidiaries to create value for customers and shareholders.  The BIHL Group has invested in leading brands in their respective industries. This is true in established Subsidiaries and Associates alike. Botswana Life is not only the largest subsidiary in the Group, this business continues to be the most dominant life insurer in the local life insurance industry. In the highly competitive Asset Management and legal insurance market, Bifm and Legal Guard remain significant market players.

Growth across the BIHL Group in 2017 was not uncalculated. We have successfully maintained strong market positions in the face of stiff competition and an increasingly complex operating environment. Diligent execution was key to achieving the following notable achievements during the review period:

  • Improved offerings through the launch of new flexible products;
  • Improved accessibility to products and services for customers;
  • Distribution of products through strong partners; and
  • Appropriately placed educational campaigns and product promotions.

Our Associates

  • Letshego,
  • Nico Life
  • Funeral Services Group are all dominant industry players that contribute positively to the BIHL Group.

Proposed Investments

The BIHL Group intends to utilise available capital to stimulate growth through the identification of new opportunities in the wider financial services sector in Botswana. Furthermore, the BIHL Group seeks to find new growth beyond country borders with select partners.

The BIHL Group continued to explore various opportunities for new investments. However, there were no new investments during 2017. The BIHL Group intends to invest in the right entities that will result in positive shareholder returns

Increase Efficiencies

The BIHL Group strives to remove waste and unnecessary costs from all its operations, leading to improved customer focus and profitability. With respect to cost management in order to enhance profitability, a cost review exercise was conducted which resulted in rationalisation of staff and other costs during the review period. Technology continues to be a key driver in service improvements and customer satisfaction. Key systems implementations were undertaken in the legal and life insurance businesses.

Group Synergies

The strength of existing businesses and functions at the BIHL Group, including resources and expertise, will be harnessed to derive greater value to the BIHL Group. Truly leveraging our Strength in Numbers. Through the BIHL Group Business Development Office, we have developed an approach that enables us to offer a holistic value proposition encompassing products and services from the entire BIHL stable. This is starting to achieve positive results. The office has successfully closed some deals, and established a pipeline for the future.


As a service industry organisation, the size and profitability of the Group to date is indicative of its human capital strength. Staff is viewed as critical to the Group’s success. Thus, the enablement of a high-performance culture and skills alignment is an imperative in supporting future growth.

In 2017, the BIHL Group continued to develop key skills necessary to drive current and future performance. Since 2016, the Group has sponsored a total of 30 members of staff to study towards a Diploma in Insurance at Ba Isago University. Of these, eight have graduated and the rest are due to complete their studies between 2018 and 2019.

The BIHL Group participates in the Sanlam Leadership Development Programme which is aimed at managers across the Sanlam group. Four managers of the BIHL Group participated in the review period and the overall best student was an employee of the BIHL Group.

There was great emphasis on the training of and support for our distribution partners in order to improve the quality of sales. A comprehensive wellness programme for BIHL Group staff across the country ran successfully during the year. This included health education, testing, group exercises and wellness days.