Welcome to Information at Your Fingertips

The Financial Services Exchange (Pty) Ltd, trading as Astute, was launched in April 2000 as a collaborative service between members of the former Life Offices’ Association of South Africa (LOA), now part of the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), which recognised the need to establish an electronic exchange for the long-term insurance industry. The initiative was spearheaded by the Liberty Group, Old Mutual and  Sanlam who set up the company on behalf of the industry and are the equal shareholders of Astute.

Through a structured co-sourcing partnership arrangement with a well known and reputable technology company, the technology has been created to cater for the exchange to handle a variety of financial information transactions.

Our Directors
RG Govender (Chairperson)
JP Rossouw (Executive Managing Director)
EV Jooste (Director)
B Matthew (Director)
AW Cilliers (Director)
L Budhram (Director)
N Madonko (Alternate Director)
K Chetty(Alternate Director)
JD Rose (Alternate Director)

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Executive Team

The management structure of Astute consists of the Executive Managing Director supported by Executive Heads with the functions of Operations, Strategic Projects, Human Resources, Business Development and Finance. Astute is in Rosebank.

Jacques Rossouw

Jacques Rossouw

Executive Managing Director and Group CEO

I joined Astute in July 2014 as the Managing Director to steer the company in a new direction. I regard myself as an entrepreneurial technologist and have more than 20 years of experience in transforming and running companies.

Charl Theron

Charl Theron

Chief Operations Officer

Darryl Smith

Darryl Smith

Executive: Business Development

I have been in the financial services industry since 1989 and Astute since March 2007. My portfolio includes development of new opportunities and the roll out of our products and services into the market.

Duncan Bussio

Duncan Bussio

Executive: Strategic Projects

I joined the company in 2011. My experience in Financial Services and Information Technology spans over 30 years.

Ovadia Kaempf

Ovadia Kaempf

Chief Financial Officer

I have been at Astute since August 2013. I have over 20 years’ experience in the finance space, since 2005 I have been an FD or CFO of the businesses I have worked in. I have a B Com and B Com (Hon) from UNISA.

Nivashni Naguran

Nivashni Naguran

Executive: Human Resources

I joined Astute in May 2014 as an Independent Consultant to the Human Resources Function and was then permanently appointed as HR Manager in September of the same year. My qualifications include a BA Degree and Post Graduate Qualifications in Human Resources, coupled with 15 years of experience in my field of expertise.

Our Products & Services

Astute is a specialist information technology company that provides data exchange services to financial services companies and intermediaries.


The Astute CCP system offers financial service providers rapid access to client policy and investment information to assist with conducting financial needs analysis (FNA) for individual clients.

The system currently provides comprehensive information on almost 800 products and benefits commonly found in the long term risk and investment markets. The products includes whole life, endowment, retirement annuity, term assurance, other annuities and income protection policies, unit trust and linked investment portfolio products. Offering rapid access to your clients’ information, which may be downloaded directly into a number of needs analysis systems like Blueprint, S.net, atWork, PROFIDA, Spotlight and Xplan.

Astute CCP System reduces the time and cost of administration and allows you to focus on your clients while assisting you to meet the compliance requirement of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS). In addition, Astute Enquiry enables flexible billing and facilitates audit trails to assist with transactional tracking and reporting.

The Financial Services Board (FSB) requires Financial Product Providers (FPPs) to verify the status and license categories of intermediaries before accepting new business from them – FAIS s7(3). In addition, FPP’s are required by SARS to verify the tax status of intermediaries they contract with.

FSPE is an automated system for FAIS s7 (3) compliance, providing FPP’s with daily changes of FSP’s they deal with as well as an annual tax status update.

System overview

–          FPPs supply a subscription list of their FSPs and Representatives (REPS)

–          FSB supplies up-to-date data on daily basis

–          FSPE matches and provides FPPs with REP details as per their subscription list

–          FSPE monitors the daily FSB file data for changes and provides these to the relevant FPPs

–          An annual audit of all FSPs is performed to confirm whether they meet the SARS definition of a Personal Service Provider requiring withholding of employee tax; details of the audit are provided annually to FPPs according to their subscription list

Business benefits of FSPE

  • New appointments or granting of contracts:

–          REP look-up assists pre-employment screening and evaluation

–          Verify license categories of specific FSPs or REPs

–          Details of employment history – includes previous “S-referencing”

  • Compliance FAIS 7(3):

–          Maintain daily checks status and categories electronically

–          Information remains current, updated by FSB, 5 days a week

–          Debarred list provided

  • Electronic process:

–          Fully integrated system saves time, resources, ensures accuracy

–          Only daily changes (deltas) are provided, reducing system overheads

–          Electronic submission of changes to FPPs intermediary list

  • SARS Compliance:

–          Eliminates need for a manual in-house check of tax status

–          Efficiencies and cost effective use of shared resources across all participating FPPs

–          Single annual survey completion per FSP for all contracted FPPs


The Life Register is a database through which insurers can share information about persons who propose for, or who are the lives assured under, policies and who have “notifiable impairments” that are relevant to the risk or claim assessment.

The Claims Register is a database through which insurers can share information about persons who are the lives assured under policies and who have made “notifiable claims” that are relevant to the assessment of future claims or future risk assessment.

The registers were initially created as a joint venture between ASISA and Astute.

The objective of the Life and Claims register is to prevent fraud in the following ways:

To prevent consumers who have been refused cover due to a notifiable impairment, to approach another Life Office without disclosing the impairment.

To prevent the payment of notifiable claims that is refused/repudiated, usually due to non-disclosure.

Centralised capture ensures that there is single version of the truth – no synchronisation discrepancies. All companies are able to submit their notifications through the multiple integration mechanisms improving fraud prevention.

The combined register ensures that both Life notifications and Claim notifications are always available whether assessing a claim or performing underwriting.


On this system new policies are monitored to see if it replaces another policy that was cancelled during the previous 4 months, or cancelled within four months after the new policy was issued.

The Replacement Register was initially created as a joint venture between ASISA and Astute.

The system is designed to accept “change events” and “new business events” from the Life Offices – these are events which lead to a change in the status of a policy e.g. policy cancelled, policy lapsed, premium reduced, new policy issued etc. Data is not captured manually, instead an electronic notification file is sent from all the life offices directly to Astute for population of the register for all events. These notifications are sent in batches or individually. Life offices are required to notify at least every two weeks, but may do so more frequently depending on the volumes and the system capabilities of the different life offices.

The system helps to create a better understanding of the quantity and types of replacements taking place in the life insurance industry. Member life offices that are currently unable to track internal replacements (where one of their products is replaced by another of their own products) can gain visibility into these replacements through the system.

The automated processing of data alleviates administrative burden as well as human errors in the member life offices.

The data can be further analysed to determine long-term trends, policy types that are being replaced, policy types that are being favoured when replacements take place, financial intermediaries responsible for excessive replacements of policies, net replacements within and across life offices.


On 1st January 2016 Astute has acquired the STRIDE switch. Industry feedback played a crucial role in the streamlining, enhancing and integration of STRIDE switch into the Astute Short Term Switch (ASTS). ASTS  is a secure and easy way of request and delivering data between insurers and industry participants. The electronic interchange (or switch) of data is a system whereby information can be easily moved from one source to another and is able to overcome incompatibility issues. This type of environment offers a strategic advantage to your company through various benefits:

  • Cost saving
  • Data accuracy
  • Speed of delivery
  • Business efficiencies – process more transactions in less time with less errors
  • Enhanced partnerships
  • Improve operational efficiencies by tracking the status of a transaction and measuring performance throughout the process

ASTS will ensure the safe and secure transfer of data without storing data in a central database. Special security is embedded in the switch which will not allow access to parties outside of the insurance transaction without the explicit permission of the industry.

A Directory Service will manage the security and data sharing relationships in the switch. A Batch delivery mechanism will enable participants to share information in a daily, weekly or monthly load. The Switch will enable real-time, bi-directional communication between participants to facilitate both data and process exchange.


VOPD provides for the following verification types:

  • Identity verification
  • Death certificate verification
  • Status verification (alive/deceased status)
  • Birth certificate verification
  • Family lineage verification
  • Marriage verification

Participating companies will receive the following benefits from the DHA link:

    • New Business:
      • Verify the identities of current and prospective clients; making it difficult for people with fraudulent IDs to take out new policies or to claim against existing policies.
    • Claims:
      • An overall reduction in fraudulent claims as well as investigation costs;
      • Consistent automated processes to fraud detection and prevention
      • Verification of DHA documents can speed up valid claim payments and reduce fraud
    • Forensics:
      • More focused forensic activities due to lower first line requests
      • Mandated access to DHA data allows for admissibility of evidence
      • Improved syndicate investigations and claims analysis
    • Annuities:
      • Regular scheduling and automation of proof of existence;
      • Reduction in incorrect payments and improved turnaround time
  • General:
    • Data scrubbing and analysis of existing client books e.g. credit life, trusts & wills etc.
    • Manage previously undetected risk exposure
    • Proportional development shared with community
    • Enhancement costs shared by all participants
    • Transactional model lowers barrier to entry; more cost effective

Governance is provided by a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and ASISA. Access is granted either through a secure website or fully integrated business solutions allowing for individual and bulk requests.

Our Valued Partners

Our corporate clients include all major life, short-term and system provider companies. Astute is proud to provide services to a large majority of independent financial adviser firms, including the members associations Masthead, FPI, FIA and IISA. Astute is a member of ACORD and ASISA.

Our Training

The Astute training department offers training services nationally for the following products:

Our workshops cater for all levels of experience and the sharing of knowledge during open discussions which have proven to be of mutual benefit to attendees. Our typical workshop session is user driven and hence addresses the user challenges, questions and queries practically. We do not merely offer insight into Astute but also provide you with learning material relative to products and legislation in the competitive and legislative Insurance industry.

The training is offered to Advisors, Assistants and Administrators.

The Workshops covers the following subjects:

Functionalities on the Astute Home Page
Requesting and retrieving product information on the Astute website
Effective application of Astute may assist in a more efficient and cost saving financial needs analysis process.
User Administration and Security

The Life Register is a data base through which insurers can share information about persons who propose for, or who are the lives assured under, policies and who have “notifiable impairments” that are relevant to the risk or claim assessment.

The Claims Register is a database through which insurers can share information about persons who are the lives assured under policies and who have made “notifiable claims” that are relevant to the assessment of future claims or future risk assessment.

Training is offered to Life users, Claim users, Supervisors and Enquirers of the various participating companies. The training covers the following topics:

  • Loading a Life Notification
  • Loading a Claim notification
  • Searching for a notification
  • Amending a notification
  • User management

The Asisa Replacement register monitors the replacements of Policies in South Africa. The system is able to accept “policy change events” and “new business events” from all the relevant South African life offices and performs a replacement match on transactions within a 4-month trading window.

Training is offered to the participating companies and includes reading and interpretation of the various reports available.

The verification of Personal Details system provides participating companies with a direct link to the National Population Register to verify various aspects of personal identity and DHA documentation including Death Certificates.

Training is provided to the users of the various participating companies on how to submit individual and bulk queries through the secure website.

Contact us on training@astutefse.com or +27 861 278883

To book a training session, kindly complete the form below:

News & Events

Stay up to date with out latest News & Events.

Cybercrime and Identity Theft

In the previous Buzz edition we shared the term Cybercrime and the top 5 types that most affect us in today’s tech-driven world. We now delve into one of the most popular crimes – Identity Theft Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world and you could easily become the next […]

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Astute Launches the Risk Mitigation Switch (RMS)

For almost a decade the Financial Services Industry has been discussing the need for data sharing in the combat against fraud. Astute’s introduction of the Verification of Personal Details (VOPD) system, a private public initiative with the Department of Home Affairs, was the first step. The Risk Mitigation Switch is now taking fraud mitigation to […]

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2017 Annual Astute FSB Day

The Financial Services Exchange T/A Astute will be hosting our annual FSB Day on 8 September 2017 at the Emoyeni Estate in Parktown, Johannesburg. The aim of the day is to highlight upcoming changes in the FSI landscape as well as the future of the industry. The Theme of this year’s event is, VUKA! Wake […]

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2017 Astute Fraud Day

The Financial Services Exchange T/A Astute will be hosting our second annual Fraud Day on 25 August 2017 at Emoyeni Estate in Parktown. The aim of the day is to highlight new technologies and methods of combating fraud, in an ever-changing environment. The theme of this year’s event is, Fraud: The Billion Rand Problem. Programme: […]

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2017 Astute Charity Golf Day

2017 ASTUTE Charity Golf Day Raises R100k for charity! ASTUTE Financial Services Exchange held its annual fundraiser on the 9th June 2017. In addition to facilitating a fun-filled networking day for the Financial Services Industry, ASTUTE FSE rallied together key players in the sector to support a worthy cause, ultimately raising R100,000 to donate to Judea […]

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Cybercrime and How to Protect Yourself

What is Cybercrime? Cybercrime is generally defined as: Any form of criminal activity involving the use of computers and the Internet. Also referred to as computer crime, electronic crime, e-crime, net-crime and hi-tech crime that may threaten a person, organisation or a nation’s security and financial health. Experienced surfers know that there are dangers out […]

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Starting the data revolution

Astute Short Term Insurance Switch – Data quality and data sharing in the short-term insurance industry is highly contentious topic, given the cut-throat nature of placing and moving business within the highly competitive local insurance market. As per the Insurance Laws Amendment Act, a short-term insurance broker or a juristic person operating under a binder […]

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