THE sight of Douglas Hoto, in rafters and a worn out golf T-shirt at the Johannesburg Airport in October 14 certainly did not befit the status of a chief executive. But those who have dealt him say he is a modest individual with strong brain power.
“He was just himself, a former teacher who rose through the ranks through sheer hard work to head FML,” said one of his acquaintances.
He took over FML in 2004 but still shunned the glitter that comes with heading such a big company. He still wore his black suits with a deformed seam.
At a heated FML annual general meeting Hoto could have easily passed for another struggling shareholder. But who really is Hoto?
He did his high school at Goromonzi. He is a holder of a BSc honours degree in mathematics, which he attained in 1988 from the University of Zimbabwe. He became a secondary school teacher for some time before joining the insurance industry. And there he excelled.
Hoto worked for Old Mutual from 1990 to 1999 rising through the ranks from actuarial clerk, department manager (pension actuarial department), to actuarial consultant, with responsibility for capital management, expense monitoring and investigation for individual life business.
He qualified as a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries (FFA) in 1999 to make him one of the few actuaries in the country. Currently there are only four actuaries in the country.
In 1999 Hoto joined First Mutual Life as process owner (actuarial and product development). In this position, he was responsible for actuarial valuation of the society’s business both for statutory and internal purposes, new product development, product profitability analysis and actuarial research work.
In August 2000, he was promoted to the position of business unit executive (actuarial & the faculty of actuaries).
He had overall responsibility for the society’s actuarial and employee benefits functions.
In 2002, he was appointed business unit executive-life and information technology.
Hoto was appointed business unit executive (life business) in December 2002. In this position, he had the overall responsibility for the life business and information technology functions of the society.
He was appointed the managing director for First Mutual Life Assurance Company in 2003.
Hoto is a member of the Faculty Advisors Board on the Faculty of Commerce Department of Insurance and Actuarial Science at National University of Science and Technology.
Appointed group chief executive of First Mutual Limited in 2004 until he left on December 4 2006.