Suspended Fidelity Life Assurance boss Simon Chapereka dies

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Suspended Fidelity Life Assurance (Fidelity) managing director Simon Chapereka has died

Chapereka, who was appointed head of the listed and diversified group in April 2003 before his inglorious fall in April this year following an Insurance and Pensions Commission probe into various corporate governance infractions, is said to have collapsed and died Sunday morning while exercising.

His son Munyaradzi Chapereka confirmed his father’s death, but could not shed more details.

“You have to call me back for more information,” he said in a brief conversation.

Chapereka’s career started in 1985 when he joined Apex Corporation as a trainee manager. He then worked as an accountant for various companies and joined Fidelity Life in January 2000 as general manager (Finance and Administration).

A holder of several academic degrees and qualifications from the University of Zimbabwe, the chartered accountant also served as Fidelity Life Asset Management’s acting managing director 2001.

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Chapereka was also an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and credited with “transforming Fidelity into one of the most successful” insurance companies in the country — offering both life and non-life insurance products.

Under his supervision, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange firm also diversified into the property sector resulting in the launch of Fidelity Southview Park in 2013.

However, prior to his suspension early this year, he was accused of amassing property and wealth at the expense of low income earners, and policy holders, which also partly contributed to the company’s fortunes taking a downward path and losing ground to other competitors such as First Mutual Holdings, Old Mutual, Nyaradzo and Zimnat.

In the full year to December 2015, Fidelity’s expenses increased by 35 percent from $31,8 million to $43 million while underwriting surplus achieved remained unchanged at $6,7 million.

The group’s profit for the year grew by 3 percent to $5,2 million at a time when total comprehensive income for the period was $2,6 million, a 30 percent decrease from prior year.

Fidelity said this was affected by exchange differences arising from translation of foreign operations amounting to $2,4 million

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