Yvonne Mahlatji joined Fairheads in 2008 as a consultant in the Sandton office. She is currently the Key Accounts Manager, managing four consultants in Johannesburg, Sandton and Durban. She services her own clients and oversees others.
Prior to joining Fairheads, Yvonne was a financial adviser after an internship as a credit analyst. She has a BComm in Economics from the University of Pretoria and was schooled at the Catholic mission school in Subiaco, Limpopo where some family members still go to school.
Yvonne is passionate about clear communication, both at the member and corporate client level, saying: “It’s important that we communicate in simple language to our corporate clients. That will ensure that they are kept in the loop with changes within the company as well as the industry as a whole. They will have a full understanding as simple language is used.”
While presentations are made primarily in English, Yvonne can switch easily between sePedi, isiZulu and seSotho, which she says can go a long way to helping trustees feel comfortable with concepts. She welcomes the recent translation of the Fairheads member guide into isiZulu and seSotho.
Yvonne is also mindful of the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) legislation, but feels that Fairheads goes beyond the basic requirements of TCF, given the nature of its business. She says: “It is important to treat our members fairly, being sensitive and understanding towards their needs and the changes that they are experiencing as we are dealing with people who have lost their loved ones. We go further however as at all times, we have to show empathy towards them, do right by them, protect their interests as well.”
As described in the last issue of Fairheads Times, the introduction of voice biometrics will allow Fairheads to record the member or guardian’s voice and eliminate the multiple security checks that are currently being done. Yvonne is very excited about the potential of this development, particularly when it comes to terminations. “If we have recorded the 17-year-old’s voice, the payment of capital on termination will be far smoother and faster than in the past,” she says adding that Fairheads is also now able to update proof of existence over the phone, eliminating the need for ‘snail mail’ and postal problems.
Years of experience working with beneficiary funds have convinced Yvonne of their strong advantages and she wishes that the authorities could speed up legislation to allow for the transfer of assets from umbrella trusts to beneficiary funds where the minor will be relatively better protected.
On a personal level, Yvonne is engaged to be married and has a two year old son. She spends all her free time with family and loves reading and playing puzzle games. She looks forward to more outdoor activities when her son is a little older!
Published in Fairheads Times, Issue 31, June 2015