Absa hosts inaugural F&I Awards

The first ever Finance and Insurance (F&I) Awards took place last week in Sandton, Johannesburg, to celebrate the achievements and contributions of outstanding professionals and companies in the local Finance & Insurance sector.

FI Lifetime Achievement Award

The individuals, companies and dealerships within the F&I industry play an integral role when it comes to facilitating vehicle sales, managing risks, ensuring legal compliance, and offering customers financing and insurance options that suit their needs. These awards highlight the dedication to providing exceptional services, driving innovation, and ensuring the financial well-being of individuals and businesses across the sector.

This platform to showcase excellence, award outstanding contributions and honour the dedication of the best and the brightest F&I professionals in South Africa was made possible with the support and endorsement of headline sponsor, Absa . Other sponsors included TransUnion, MVIA, Orange Owl and Crystal Fusion, and Netstar.

Hannelie van Zyl from Lazarus Motor Co with Erik can der Walt from Orange Owl – Director Sales and Operations

Head of Sales and Distribution at Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance, Fulufhelo Mandane, who addressed guests last night, said that as a bank, Absa recognises the critical role played by the F&I sector in our ever-evolving economic landscape. “We continually strive to support the F&I sector, through innovative and dynamic platforms with the shared understanding that the customer is our priority. We congratulate all of tonight’s winners and nominees for going beyond to provide an exceptional customer experience, by setting new standards and exemplifying the core values of the F&I industry.”

Gary Newton from Fuzion Motor Group with Deon O’Neil from Netstar

Vinolia Selepe from Super Group was awarded the 2023 F&I Customer Experience Award, recognising her efforts to go beyond expectations to provide an exceptional customer experience during the F&I process, focusing on transparency, trust, and personalized service.

The 2023 F&I Marketing Campaign of The Year accolade went to Madelein Kruger from Lazarus Motor Co for a creative and successful marketing campaign, boosting awareness, customer engagement, and sales.

The 2023 F&I Industry Leadership Award was presented to Gary Newton from Fuzion Motor Group, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and made a real contribution to the F&I industry by driving positive change.

Christo Claasen from VAPS Consultancy with Sheraaz Patel – Motorvaps Vice President Strategic Partnerships
Madelein Kruger from Lazarus Motor Co with MC for the night, Alan Committee


One of the most prestigious and eagerly anticipated awards was the category of Group F&I of The Year, which was presented to Hannelie van Zyl from Lazarus Motor Co for her continued setting of new standards of excellence and making a lasting impact on the lives of customers.

The South African Finance and Insurance (F&I) sector encompasses businesses of various sizes, from small enterprises to medium-sized dealerships and large corporations. Each play a vital role and contribute positively to this dynamic industry. Given the calibre of the nominations received and to reflect the South African F&I business landscape more accurately, the F&I of The Year Award was presented to the best small, medium, and large-scale dealerships.

Winner of F&I of The Year Award – Small Dealership – Malissa van der Mechst from Muji Suzuki in Ladysmith.

Winner of F&I of The Year Award – Medium Dealership – Belinda Katzke from Super Group.

Winner of F&I of The Year Award – Large Dealership - Kim Elizabeth Waterson from Super Group.

Amid all the accolades for remarkable and well-deserved achievements within the F&I sector, the presentation of the F&I Lifetime Achievement Award was a highlight at last night’s event. Recognizing his extraordinary contributions to the F&I industry in South Africa, Christo Claasen from VAPS Consultancy was presented with the 2023 F&I Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Guest speaker at the awards was Brand Pretorius, retired chief executive of McCarthy Limited, the leading motor retail group in South Africa, who shared insights into achieving personal success in a challenging environment.

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