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Ecosystem Spotlight: Dhesen Ramsamy, Chief Technology Officer, Old Mutual


Dhesen Ramsamy joined Old Mutual as Chief Technology Officer in late 2023. He focuses on digital transformation, technology strategy and innovation, future state architecture and data as disciplines. He also leads functions responsible for corporate innovation, venture capital, and corporate venturing.

Dhesen was previously Group Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings. He has over 20 years of experience in business and customer strategy, product and client experience design, digital channel building, and technology commercialization. Dhesen started his career leading category research and development with Unilever for Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey. He has spent the last 16 years in financial services, leading product and building teams in digital banking and digital business model transformation.


1) Congrats on your new role as CTO of Old Mutual! How did you land there and what are you most excited about?

Happily, this role is an alignment of my personal growth ambitions and that of Old Mutual’s; most career fractures I have witnessed or personally experienced occurred because of this misalignment.

 As CTO of Old Mutual, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to drive technology and digital transformation. Old Mutual aims to be an AI-led financial services provider of the future. This will mean leveraging advancements in digital and AI to propel the business forward. We need to establish a strong technology culture to achieve our bold ambitions.


2) How has your background informed your experience in the role thus far? How do you intend to leverage your past experiences in this role?

My background spans R&D, client strategy, digital product ownership, and technology. This has given me a deep understanding that technology and business are inextricably linked.

The value I bring stems from understanding who we serve, the problems they hire us to solve, and how we can harness technology to do so. My experience in fast-moving consumer goods where innovation is rapid and client-centric, has been particularly formative.

While I look to advancements in technology to show us the art of the possible, I guard against technology being anything but the enabler for better client experience and better business outcomes.


3) Can you share more about Old Mutual’s digital strategies and how you navigate the rapidly evolving technology landscapes?

Old Mutual aims to become an AI-driven, integrated financial services provider of the future. Our IFS ambition is to empower customers to achieve financial wellness through comprehensive products, “advice everywhere”, and exceptional experiences.

To navigate rapidly evolving tech landscapes, we must embrace creative destruction and cultivate adaptability, curiosity, creativity, and comfort with ambiguity. 

Our key focus areas include:

  • Radically improving design and prototyping
  • Empowering digital product ownership
  • Enhancing agile build practices
  • Adopting a data-centric approach
  • Building a deep ecosystem and partnering competence for external solutions


4) You’ve had a diverse career across multiple industries and roles. Could you share your leadership philosophy and how it has evolved over the years?

My leadership philosophy has evolved to prioritize being a catalyst rather than a planner, and distributing authority. I believe great leaders must create clarity amidst ambiguity and deliver success in over-constrained environments.

Key attributes I strive for and nurture in my team include:

  • Bringing clarity to uncertain situations, 
  • Encouraging continuous learning 
  • Leaning on others’ expertise


5) You have worked with Silicon Foundry for several years now, currently at Old Mutual and previously at MMH. Can you tell us a bit about your partnership and the work you do together?

Partnering with Silicon Foundry has been instrumental in setting up internal innovation and incubation capabilities. Together, we have worked to establish structures, processes, and culture to foster entrepreneurial thinking and rapid experimentation with emerging technologies. 

Silicon Foundry has also played a key role in accelerating our corporate venture capital efforts, helping us engage with the global startup ecosystem to identify strategic investment and partnership opportunities aligned with our digital ambitions. Their deep innovation expertise and networks have been invaluable in our journey.


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