David has had a successful career, predominantly in banking and senior management, for over 20 years in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. He is a relative newcomer to the long-standing management team at Fairheads Benefit Services, having joined in 2011, shortly after returning to Cape Town from Perth where he had lived and worked for 12 years. Although David’s last role was overall leadership of a large mutual bank in Western Australia, he insists that the highlight of his career was his first job – that of an SA Perm bank teller in Darling Street, Cape Town. “There is no better place to learn about customer service than as a bank teller,” he says and this customer-first approach has stood him in good stead whether he is poring over statistical analysis or presenting to boards of trustees.
David says that he was offered two jobs when he returned from Australia but he was attracted to Fairheads because of the nature of its business. He has always had an interest in altruistic matters and continues to give back to the community wherever he has lived. “At Fairheads it is not just about making a profit, but rather growing the business in a controlled manner so that we can invest back into it for the benefit of all our clients, be they corporate or the member.”
Focus on accessibility
David has helped initiate various projects at Fairheads, including a strong focus on distribution and accessibility to members. Following the protracted postal strike, Fairheads announced a voice biometrics programme and a link-up with TEBA Limited as ways to make Fairheads service more accessible for members and guardians (Fairheads Times January 2015). David has also undertaken extensive industry research and developed the Fairheads Comparison Rates model to help trustees and consultants to be able to better compare service and fee levels among service providers. He believes strongly in creating your own opportunities within an organisation, raising issues where necessary and then running with projects with the backing of the executive committee. David has a Bachelor of Business majoring in Finance & Management from Edith Cowen University, Perth. He is married to Rachel, an Australian and environmental engineer, and they are kept on their toes by two young children – Luke aged 2 and Kate aged 2 months.
Published in Fairheads Times, Issue 32, September 2015