A native South African, Yurika Pistorius was inspired at a young age by Nelson Mandela, who once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” These words not only resonated with Yurika, but served as a catalyst, driving her to become a highly skilled compliance officer (and formerly, a civil litigation trial attorney), with more than 15 years of extensive experience in legal, governance, organizational leadership, risk, and regulatory compliance management. Most importantly, Yurika has spent her entire career rooting for the underdog, mentoring young professionals, and leading by example. Though once a practicing attorney, Yurika currently focuses on legal and compliance at the Clientèle Limited Group (Clientèle) in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she is appointed as group compliance officer and also serves as in-house legal counsel.
As executive head of legal and compliance, Yurika has a unique position at Clientèle, balancing the need for sustainable growth of the business, whilst ensuring compliance with the myriad of laws and regulations of the insurance industry. Not only does she advise and guide the business on national and international laws, she conducts impact assessments and implements the necessary changes as well. “A well-rounded compliance and legal professional should not only know and understand the regulatory environment, but must also understand the world we are living in and be in a position to guide the business strategically in the new digital world,” says Yurika. As a result, she has worked to guide Clientèle with legal, regulatory, and operational structures to implement digital strategies such as the roll-out of a fintech mobile application and customer loyalty program.
Yurika obtained both Bachelor of Civil Law and Bachelor of Law (LLB) degrees from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She then went on to complete her articles of clerkship and legal training at a law firm in Pretoria before being admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa. This achievement was followed by Yurika’s appointment as a practicing attorney in the same firm’s commercial litigation department, where she became skilled in high court litigation, commercial litigation, contract law, banking and insurance practice, family law, and medical negligence. Yurika later had the honor of joining a winning legal team at a law firm in Pretoria, where she worked on the landmark case, Barkhuizen v Napier. The case became a monumental win for all insurers in South Africa when the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court held that time-limitation clauses in insurance contracts are permissible and was found not be unconstitutional, nor in violation of the Bill of Rights of The Constitution. Yurika was also chosen by Zurich Insurance to be part of its Global Association Rotation Program as one of only two South African candidates of 80 nominees from 170 countries, and was awarded the professional designation of compliance practitioner (CPrac) through the Compliance Institute of Southern Africa. She is also a registered compliance officer at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, has published numerous articles relating to the financial services industry, and is a local and international speaker on compliance and conduct matters.
Yurika thanks God for providing her with the many opportunities she has been given, for her family, her three Siberian Huskies, and especially for her parents. “My parents are my heroes. They gave us love and provided us opportunities to succeed in all aspects of our lives,” says Yurika. In fact, her father always said, “You can lose everything, but you can never lose your education,” and by investing in his words, Yurika found success.
Group Compliance Officer (Executive Head Legal and Compliance)
Johannesburg, South Africa