Manase Mabe is a financial adviser at life assurance company CompariSure.
What led you to becoming a financial adviser?
When I left high school, I decided I wanted to become a doctor. I got into medical school and completed the first two years at the University of Limpopo. In the third year of studies my father died. He didn’t have life cover in place, and I was forced to drop out of varsity for financial reasons.
I decided to move into the life insurance industry with the hope that I could prevent others from experiencing the same fate.
I started at the bottom as a call-centre sales agent and then became a team leader. After receiving my FAIS (Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services) accreditation, I had the opportunity to become a financial adviser.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The environment, culture and how we always go the extra mile for our clients. Many people in SA are not well educated when it comes to their life-cover options. They would rather pay for five separate funeral cover policies that pay out a small fraction of what life cover would, normally because they don’t know any better.
It gives me great joy when I know that my clients will be able to pay for more than just their funeral — like their child’s education, monthly expenses, and so on.
Describe an average work day.
It all starts with a coffee and a morning meeting with the other financial advisers here in Johannesburg or via Skype with the Cape Town team. Then we get on the phone, calling clients and making a real difference in their lives. Being an adviser is quite tough because you have to learn to deal with rejection as part of the ups and downs of dealing with new potential clients.
What has been your greatest career highlight to date?
Growing the Comparisure office in Johannesburg. The Johannesburg branch is proudly African-run and -managed, quite independently from our Cape Town office. I have been part of growing the team by finding new hires and also managing the Joburg team. I particularly enjoy keeping the team inspired and motivated and creating a positive energy in the office.
You have a mentor. Do you think he has contributed to your success?
Jonathan Elcock, the founder of CompariSure, has taught me the importance of longterm career planning and guided me through the challenges of setting up the Joburg branch. Having a mentor helps you keep track of your career progress on the path to success.
What advice would you give to aspiring financial advisers?
First, it’s important to have a long-term view. You want to build clients that will stay with you for life. Sometimes this means making short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term success.
Second, there is no substitute for hard work. You have to work hard to build a strong client base from scratch. The hard work pays off when people start to refer their friends and family because of great service.
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