Yashoda Ram, NUMSA’s insurance company’s Curious Curator

  • The provisional curator of NUMSA’s insurer 3Sixty Life, Yashoda Ram, had been working the insurer’s enterprise for 2 months when she all of the sudden modified her thoughts about its future.
  • Ram’s appointment was opposed by administration together with CEO Khandani Msibi, which mounted arguments that she was not an acceptable curator.
  • As curator she paid the insurer’s claims and deliberate the return to solvency.
  • But investigations prompted by Msibi’s complaints confirmed that she had misled the Prudential Authority about her {qualifications}.
  • On 15 February the regulator utilized to have her eliminated on 22 February. But this software failed.
  • But within the meantime she accomplished her report, wherein she all of the sudden mentioned she didn’t assume the corporate ought to have been positioned below curatorship in any respect.

The provisional curator of bancrupt insurer 3Sixty Life, which is owned by the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) doesn’t consider that the insolvent NUMSA-owned insurer ought to have been positioned below curatorship. This is the complicated story of how this complicated conclusion got here to be.

In late December 2021, the Prudential Authority launched an pressing software within the Johannesburg High Court to place 3Sixty Life under curatorship. The Prudential Authority argued that this was wanted to stop the collapse of the insurer and safe the claims of policyholders. The authority made an ex parte court docket software — that means with out the enter of 3Sixty Life, to “keep away from the chance of 3Sixty taking steps to misappropriate funds, or in any other case act improperly or unlawfully upon gaining information {that a} curator is on her means”.

Acting Judge Allyson Crutchfield agreed and the Prudential Authority was granted the order on 21 January.

From that time, a curator — BDO Advisory Services’ Head of Actuarial, Predictive Analytics and Insurance Innovation, Yashoda Ram – was in control of the insurer’s enterprise. Through her, claims have been paid, and a return to solvency deliberate.

The curatorship didn’t go down effectively within the ranks of NUMSA’s industrial empire. Khandani Msibi, appearing CEO of 3Sixty Life and grandee of NUMSA’s funding firm, launched a court docket try and regain management, taking exception to Ram’s appointment as curator.

In the Prudential Authority’s founding affidavit, Ram was introduced to the court docket as their proposed curator — an individual with 16 years of expertise within the insurance sector. She is described as a “member of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA)”, and the court docket is directed in the direction of a quick CV within the annexures.

Here, Ram is represented as a member of ASSA, since 2009. She can be listed as a Certified Enterprise Risk Actuary, since 2016. Ram supplied a confirmatory affidavit to the founding affidavit confirming that she has seen the contents of the applying, that they have been true and proper, and repeats that she is a member of ASSA. This happy Acting Judge Crutchfield and he or she was appointed.

But Msibi’s prolonged criticism of Ram’s expertise and efficiency as curator required a response from the Prudential Authority, which was submitted to the court docket on 31 January.

Here, the Prudential Authority presents Ram’s expertise within the monetary sector extra absolutely, and locations an emphasis on the group from BDO that was chosen to encompass and assist her.

Ram busters

But behind the scenes, sure occasions in the course of the drafting of this affidavit had rattled the Prudential Authority’s confidence in Ram. On 29 February 2022, in response to 5 individuals who submitted confirmatory affidavits to the court docket, Ram had said in a gathering held to finalise the Prudential Authority’s reply to Msibi that she held an undergraduate diploma in Actuarial Science from the University of Pretoria.

But Ram didn’t maintain a level in actuarial science; she didn’t maintain an undergraduate diploma of any kind. It was additionally not the case that Ram was a member correct of ASSA, nor that she was a licensed actuary.

According to the Prudential Authority, Ram solely corrected this error within the afternoon of 31 January, because the Prudential Authority was finalising its affidavit.

She had, by the Prudential Authority’s estimation, seven alternatives to right her declare to own an undergraduate diploma, earlier than lastly doing simply so hours earlier than the submission deadline for the affidavit. Further, contended the regulator, Ram may on a number of events have corrected the assertions that she was a fully-fledged member of ASSA and a licensed auditor.

According to an affidavit by BDO’s Head of Financial Services Pierre Jacobs, he and a supervisor in BDO’s monetary companies division Dylan Bywater, started placing collectively a presentation on BDO’s suitability to imagine the function of curator in early October 2021.

In Jacobs’s account, which is supported by emails, Ram supplied them with an up to date CV for the presentation, which now contained the declare that she held ASSA membership and was a licensed auditor. This CV was then despatched to the Prudential Authority as a part of BDO’s pitch to take over the curatorship, and was then used within the founding affidavit. Ram, in her affidavit, referred to as this “a straightforward spelling error to mistakenly overlook, being the distinction between ‘accomplished’ and ‘finishing’”.

Jacobs’s affidavit makes it clear that BDO was conscious that Ram didn’t have an undergraduate diploma after they employed her in August 2021. But this was not communicated to the Prudential Authority clearly. In a now-removed webpage, Ram’s resumé on the BDO website, current from 13 January 2022, said that her {qualifications} included a BA in Actuarial Science and a BSc in Psychology.

In the times that adopted the 31 January affidavit, Msibi and 3Sixty Life’s group continued to focus on Ram’s suitability for the curatorship.

Ranti Mothapo of Matlotlo Group, 3Sixty Life’s First Line Actuarial Function, corresponded with BDO actuary Tinashe Mashoko, and strongly recommended that Mothapo would report Ram’s breaches of ASSA code.

In February Ram forwarded the correspondence, which had been copied to her by Mashoko, to the Prudential Authority’s authorized group. The Prudential Authority’s in-house authorized counsel supplied Ram some reassurance, saying that there isn’t any statutory requirement for a curator to even be an actuary.

But 3Sixty Life’s claims that she was not match for workplace clearly induced the Prudential Authority to reevaluate Ram – a candidate that that they had promoted and defended at size in two separate affidavits.

On 9 February, it grew to become clear to the regulator, after making inquiries with ASSA, that Ram had not accomplished the coursework to qualify as a licensed auditor and that Ram was a so-called “pupil member” of ASSA, quite than a member correct. By ASSA’s conventions, Ram couldn’t name herself an actuary.

Ram had, within the Prudential Authority’s eyes, misrepresented herself and her correct {qualifications}. Further, it appeared that 3Sixty Life was eyeing this obvious weak point within the curatorship as a solution to restore management over its operations. The work of Ram and the BDO group had raised severe questions over the recapitalisation plans proposed by Msibi, and had revealed mismanagement and lots of worrying breaches of regulation.

On 13 February, the Prudential Authority contacted BDO to formally elevate their issues about Ram’s {qualifications}. In its papers, the Prudential Authority argued that at this level it had little alternative however to hunt her removing as curator, and change Ram with a BDO actuary with unimpeachable actuarial {qualifications} and standing.

On 15 February, the Prudential Authority served Ram with papers searching for to have her eliminated as curator, and changed with Mashoko. Mashoko, not like Ram, was, actually, an actuary, and had been engaged on the curatorship because the starting.

On 16 February, BDO served Ram with a letter of suspension. But Ram had been appointed as provisional curator of 3Sixty Life by order of court docket, and her suspension didn’t change her standing or tasks.


On the identical day, at quarter to 2 within the afternoon, Ram despatched an email to Msibi and different executives. She mentioned can be “offline for the subsequent few days” and that her colleagues would full the report back to the court docket which was due 5 days later, on 21 February. The following day, on 22 February, the applying by the Prudential Authority to have her changed as curator was set all the way down to be heard by Judge Denise Fisher within the Johannesburg High Court.

But Ram didn’t hand over report writing duties to her colleagues. Instead she accomplished the report with out discussing it with the BDO group that had been engaged on the curatorship alongside her, and with out contemplating their inputs. On 21 February, Ram launched her interim report which included no enter from BDO’s groups of actuaries, accountants, or attorneys.

As late as 11 February, Ram had written that Msibi and 3Sixty Life administration’s “disregard for curatorship is merely a symptom of their persistent lack of threat administration and correct governance and of roles and tasks”. Ram had on a number of different events raised issues about 3Sixty Life’s proposed recapitalisation plan, dire monetary state and the company’s disregard for laws.

But now, on this report, Ram claimed that 3Sixty Life ought to by no means have been positioned below curatorship. Ram wrote that if the regulator had “thought of the transaction previous to putting the licence below curatorship in all its deserves, the curatorship wouldn’t have been deemed crucial, based mostly on solvency alone and the outcomes of the Internal Recapitalisation Plan proposed at the moment.”

The inside recapitalisation plan was the last-ditch proposal made by Msibi in early December to switch over R100-million of property owned by 3Sixty Life’s mum or dad firm Doves to the embattled insurer to spice up its capital.

Ram’s report continued to say that “based mostly on this report alone”, “curatorship could haven’t been applicable and however different allegations put ahead by the Prudential Authority, must be opposed”.

The Prudential Authority noticed this as spite.

“It appears she was reacting with vengeance and solely wished to attempt to embarrass the Authority,” wrote the Prudential Authority about Ram in a 12 March supplementary affidavit.

The Prudential Authority’s pressing bid to interchange Ram was not profitable.

Following the 22 February listening to, Judge Fisher dominated on 3 March that the strategy taken by the Prudential Authority to take away Ram as curator was not the proper one, and that the applying failed for lack of urgency. Fisher mentioned that the matter can be extra correctly addressed on the matter’s subsequent listening to on 22 March, when Judge Fiona Dippenaar would hear arguments on whether or not the curatorship ought to stay in place.

Fisher famous that additional written and oral submissions can be wanted to find out whether or not Ram was actually appropriate to stay as curator.


The Prudential Authority’s 12 March affidavit particulars the full breakdown of the connection between Ram and her BDO colleagues and the regulator.

On 24 February, Ram instructed 3Sixty Life’s IT supplier — the NUMSA-owned UIPlay — to revoke the BDO group’s entry to 3Sixty Life’s emails. This is adopted the subsequent day by the repeal of their entry to 3Sixty Life’s payroll and safe file switch service.

According to a 4 March attorneys’ letter from BDO to Ram, Ram additionally forbade 3Sixty Life staff from contacting any member of the BDO group.

She demanded that the group from BDO that was engaged on the curatorship get replaced.

The group continued to attempt to work along with her, to no avail, however with out success. The phrases of her suspension allowed her to proceed to freely contact BDO staff, work from BDO’s workplaces, and entry BDO’s inside pc methods. She additionally had a direct line to BDO’s CEO, Mark Stewart, if she encountered any obstacles to discharging her work as curator.

In early March, BDO supplied Ram the usage of a convention room at a lodge — and made specific point out that this price can be borne by the agency –- as a impartial location for Ram and the group to work from. Ram declined.

On 7 March, Ram “had a black out at dwelling”, was admitted to Sandton Mediclinic, and discharged on the identical night. Unable to work, and booked off till 14 March, she handed over curatorship duties to Marnus Fourie, a associate at BDO and head of their insurance desk. Fourie had been processing claims for 3SixtyLife since late January and had had entry to the e-mail system till it was blocked by Ram.

On 8 March, Fourie tried to get again his entry to 3Sixty Life’s electronic mail server to carry out his new duties. This was blocked by Ram, although she was on sick go away. She mentioned Fourie ought to ship any request for emails via Ronelle Brits, head of UIPlay, 3Sixty Life’s IT supplier and fellow member of NUMSA’s secure of corporations.

Following a go to to her physician, Ram’s sick go away was prolonged from 14 March to 31 March, “because of a seizure dysfunction which onset was attributable to these proceedings”, in response to Ram’s 18 March affidavit.

However, Ram was effectively sufficient to offer the court docket along with her ultimate report simply after its 15 March deadline had handed. This once more argues that curatorship is just not wanted and that the inner recapitalisation plan — the switch of property from mum or dad firm Doves to 3Sixty Life — was ample to revive the insurer to a solvent place. BDO’s personal findings weren’t included in Ram’s report, however connected, along with her remark that she disagreed with them.

Ram’s secret releases

On 11 March, the BDO group that had been engaged on the curatorship case got here throughout emails despatched from Ram’s BDO electronic mail account to Micah Reddy, a journalist at AmaBhungane.

Ram had used her firm electronic mail to ahead a lot of confidential paperwork associated to the curatorship to Reddy between 1 and 11 February. These emails all associated to malfeasance at 3Sixty Life that Ram had been discovering throughout her time period as curator. The image she painted then was of an organization in disaster.

The discovery of the emails prompted BDO to take additional disciplinary motion towards Ram. The leaking of confidential paperwork to the press by an individual entrusted with the rescue of an organization in misery was, in BDO’s view, an unacceptable breach of ethics. She was suspended by BDO on 16 March.

On 22 March, Judge Dippenaar heard arguments within the curatorship matter. Judgement was reserved.


  • How does Ram’s report evaluate to BDO’s?
  • Has 3Sixty Life been ripping off its shoppers?


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