ABSIP Celebrates Thabo Dloti, new CEO of Liberty Holdings

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” In the words of the late former president Nelson Mandela, Tryphosa Ramano welcomed members of the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) to a celebratory dinner in recognition of Mr. Thabo Dloti as the newly appointed CEO of Liberty Holdings.

Ramano highlighted ABSIPs 2020 vision and the five pillars on which ABSIP stands. Celebrating in grand style, the remarkable event was held at The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosebank on the 18th of March 2014.

The ASBIP advisory council, represented by Mr. Thabo Leeuw, expressed the great pride that they take in Dloti’s achievement stating that he is a shining example of the values ABSIP seek to inculcate amongst their members. The advisory council emphasized two values in particular embodied by Mr Dloti;
(1) Perseverance – the recognition that enduring success does not happen overnight, and
(2) Perfectionism – the value of placing a premium on honing ones skills and experience in their chosen careers.

Thabo Leeuw described Thabo Dloti as a serious but smart role model and he was reminded that many of ABSIP’s members are shareholders in the company he had taken up responsibility for, taking the baton from Bruce Hemphill.

Not so long ago, a similar celebratory dinner was held for Sim Tshabalala – group CEO of Standard Bank and the guest speaker for the night. “What is the difference between an insurance company CEO and a mafia don?” he asked. “Answer: The insurance company CEO can tell you with certainty the number of people who are going to die this year, while the mafia don will tell you their names”. After breaking the ice, Tshabalala described Dloti’s genius to that of George Washington Carver, the African American inventor, scientist, botanist and educator who believed in hard work, training and education. Like Washington Carver, Dloti has been undeterred by the many challenges that have faced him.

Dloti’s story, much like Washington Carver’s, reminds us that adversity can be a useful precondition to success. We were told that Dloti never misses anything; he puts his clients first at the center of his business and uses a courageous approach to transformation. “Dloti is precisely the right man for the job to transform Liberty into an insurance and wealth management company that is African in every sense.” Finally, Tshabalala elaborated and challenged Dloti to apply a more digital approach for Africans to have financial services in their pockets 24 hours a day.

Thabo Dloti took to the podium and in his humble remarks of appreciation acknowledged Tshabalala’s challenge and continued to describe his journey as one of transformation where each person had a price to pay. He described his upbringing as privileged as he had a family where both parents were present, cared about his daily dealings and would constantly relate the message that he was special and that God had put him together for a purpose he had to discover. Posing a challenge to the audience, he continued by saying “It should not be a rare occasion to have a black CEO leading a financial institution, nor should it be unusual for a society such as South Africa – which is a majority black country with lots of talented people – to be celebrating more of these events”, said the thought leader Thabo Dloti who urged people to take the time to mentor the younger generation and trust them with opportunities.

If evidence counsels a change in course along Dloti’s journey, then it is suffice to say that he too has walked a long walk to freedom, breaking past the misconceptions held about adversity in this country and embracing success as he climbs yet another hill – with all its new challenges – as Liberty Holding’s new CEO.