Shelley van der Westhuizen

South Africa

Having financial confidence doesn’t necessarily mean immediately having more, but it does mean doing more with what you have which leads to a better chance of living the life you want.


The focus of Shelley’s work is using data and research insights to find new ways to support people when they’re making decisions that affect their money. Being successful at this would mean that individuals have a better chance of having the life they want. Shelley is working on achieving this one interaction at a time.


Shelley loves spending her leisure time outdoors running and hiking. Living in a beautiful mountainous place near the sea makes this possible. Her work demands quite a bit of attention so being close to the places she enjoys in her time off is important. Her professional qualifications that enable her work now include finance, accounting and risk management. Her psychology degree helps her apply knowledge and experience in a more understanding way.


Making communication count - Communication only counts if people find it relevant, understandable and persuasive.

As the largest private pension fund administrator and multi-manager in Africa, we engage over a million employed individuals a year. These individuals are diverse in many ways including language, understanding of financial concepts, socio-economic background and access to technology.


The young average age of our population – more than 10 years younger than the population of the Western world – means retirement seems far away for most. Our topics are complex and the traditional way of talking about them is jargon-filled. We show examples of how we made our communications relevant, understandable and persuasive, and the difference it is making.


How do we make financial services accessible to and inclusive of more people?

  • Given that people make better decisions about their money when they understand their options, communicating in a way that is understandable is essential.

  • Many people have financial challenges, which means communication needs to be relatable to people in challenging circumstances.

  • The way we communicate also needs to be persuasive enough to encourage people to make trade-offs and sacrifices for their future selves.


Join this presentation to:

  • make it relevant and relatable by linking it to life events

  • make it understandable by showing people going through everyday experiences, testing our thinking with users and using illustrations they can relate to

  • make it personalized and interactive so that people visualize how options and decisions affect them