Youi’s chief executive is stepping down to take up a new job leading a South African insurance company with the same parent as Youi. OUTsurance is wholly-owned by the OUTsurance Group, which owns 93% of Youi. Youi provides general insurance to people in New Zealand and Australia.
The new successor
Youi’s head of service quality, Trevor Devitt, says Youi’s deputy CEO, Frank Costigan the new Youi NZ CEO, will succeed Matthee and be responsible for Youi’s operations in New Zealand and Australia. He says OUTsurance’s former CEO who stepped down towards the end of last year, Ernst Gouws, indicated some years ago that he would want to step into a different role during 2016. As part of proper succession planning, Frank Costigan was appointed as Deputy CEO at Youi with Danie Matthee being earmarked to assume the CEO role at OUTsurance. Devitt says Matthee and Costigan have been part of a comprehensive handover process. Matthee previously worked as OUTsurance’s chief operating officer, before becoming Youi’s chief operating officer.
Misconduct under Matthee’s watch
As CEO, Matthee oversaw Youi’s entrance into the New Zealand market in July 2014. He has also been at the helm of the company as it’s been reprimanded for using misleading sales tactics in New Zealand, and is being investigated for similar misconduct in Australia. In some cases, it debited these customers’ accounts without them knowing and invoiced customers for insurance policies they were not aware they’d bought. Youi also used its online quote system as a way of getting customers’ phone numbers to give them unsolicited sales calls.
Youi NZ hampered by bad press
Youi has recently revamped its advertising campaigns. It has also made a bid to win over customers by bucking the trend of its competitors and not enforcing an insurance freeze in parts of the country affected by the Kaikoura quakes. OUTsurance’s annual report reveals Youi isn’t too exposed in the lower North Island / upper South Island, as 60% of its New Zealand business comes from Auckland.
Youi Australia has ‘significant potential’ The Group’s annual report says:Our business in Australia offers significant potential and has laid down strong roots. Youi’s new business volumes have however come under pressure in a very competitive market. Overall, the Youi Group came out of the red and made a profit of AU$33 million in 2016. It also increased its GWP by 18% to AU$695 million.