METROPOLITAN Lesotho made history by appointing its first female managing director (MD), Mamello Phomane, last September.
Ms Phomane served as acting MD since June 2019 and has also become the first female to head a life insurance company in the country.
Having risen through the ranks in the organisation since joining in 2004, Ms Phomane is a vastly experienced having also served as chief operations officer (COO) before her new role.
At the time of her appointment, Ms Phomane recently told the Lesotho Times that she was proud to have broken new ground for her womenfolk. She said the feat was enabled by the company’s succession plan which ensures an endless supply of future leaders.
“I feel proud as the first female to head a life insurance company, and at the same time I also feel humbled by the vote of confidence in my abilities to lead the organisation by the board,” Ms Phomane said.
“The company has invested a lot in helping me to get to the levels I have assumed and I would like to applaud them for that.”
Ms Phomane is looking forward to building on the “strong legacy of the company left by former MD Ntate Nkau Matete.”
“I am looking forward to my new role and I know I have the necessary and continued support from within the business.
“Metropolitan Lesotho has performed well for the 2019 financial year on the back of a solid business strategy and effective execution. A key element that we will continue to build on is delivering an excellent client experience as we know this to be a critical element to business success.”
Ms Phomane said the uninspiring state of the economy however, makes for a challenging ride at the top of a financial institution.
“The company faces some challenges in its line of business but I feel like the biggest one is the poor state of our economy. When the economy is unstable, it becomes difficult to do our business since it depends on money.
“The other challenge is the increasing competition within the industry with more entrants. This makes it challenging for any company to manoeuvre around. However, I am optimistic that we can thrive in spite of these challenges.”
Dumo Mbethe, who is the former CEO – Africa at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings said; “Being in a position to appoint someone of Mamello’s calibre as MD for Metropolitan Lesotho from within the business, attests to the leadership bench-strength that has been established in the organisation. She is also the first female MD to be appointed to head a country within Momentum Metropolitan Africa”.
Commenting on the appointment, chairperson of the Metropolitan Lesotho board Stephen Phakisi said: “The historic step of appointing Lesotho’s first female country MD of a life insurance group indicates an important shift in the financial services sector”.
“In her various roles of leadership within the organisation, Mamello has shown a passion and hunger for growth that has propelled the business on a positive trajectory. She has really proven herself as a leader of note amongst her peers.”
Ms Phomane holds a Master’s degree in Business Leadership and brings 15 years’ experience from within Metropolitan Lesotho. She joined the group in 2004 and gained experience throughout various posts over the years as Head of Employee Benefits and most recently as Chief Operations Officer overseeing the Retail Life and Corporate Operations, including Information Technology for the business.