Manny Rios, American Modern
Manny Rios, circa 2014, as CEO of American Modern

When Manny Rios left his job as CEO of Munich Re’s American Modern in August 2015, his next steps were a mystery. Now we know: He’s become the leader of a South African insurance group Telesure.

The Cape Town-based company announced Rios took over as of February.

What is Telesure? It owns and runs a number of South African insurance brands. As well, it pursues a multi-channel, multiple brand approach through direct sales, broker sales, aggregators and affinity partnerships.

Rios said that he joined Telesure Group because of its focus on innovation.

“What attracted me was [Telesure’s] focus on wanting to find better ways to do things, its reputation for being first to market, and its strategy of using technology to make it better and easier for the customer,” Rios said in prepared remarks.

Telesure said it launched in 1998 as a vehicle to house South African interests of Guernsey-based international financial services group Budget Holdings Ltd. Each company under Telesure’s banner targets different market segments. Among them: Auto & General Insurance, a player in the short-term insurance industry, according to Telesure’s web site; Budget Insurance, which offers South African customers low premiums on motor and home insurance, covering tasks such as plumbing, locksmiths and emergency delivery of gas for a customer’s vehicle; and First For Women Insurance, which provides women coverage for car, belongings in the home, business and life insurance, among other products.

Telesure touts itself as “one of the most profitable short-term insurance groups in South Africa,” and asserts it has never experienced an underwriting loss.

Rios is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in Kansas in the United States. When he left his job as CEO of American Modern Insurance Group, the company issued a statement saying he was departing for personal reasons after four years in the job. Neither Rios nor American Modern disclosed further details. Before American Modern, he served as chief underwriter for USAA, and held various executive positions at Allstate and Homesite Insurance.

Rios will be relocating to Johannesburg for his new job.

Source: Telesure