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Umar Bagus

Leads McKinsey’s work in insurance and advanced analytics in Africa; advises companies on advanced analytics and digital transformations

Umar is a partner at McKinsey, based in Johannesburg and a leader of McKinsey’s work in insurance and advanced analytics in Africa. He serves companies on advanced analytics and digital transformation, particularly insurers and banks.

Umar is a qualified actuary with a background in life and health insurance covering strategy, valuations, product development, benefit design, investment strategy, and enterprise risk management. He has wide-ranging expertise in helping his clients with strategy, operating model redesign, customer experience, and agent productivity topics—with the added benefits of digital and analytics and often building “at scale” digital and analytics capabilities from scratch.

Umar has worked across all lines of insurance—including life, health, motor, commercial lines, and professional indemnity—and across African markets including South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, and Ghana. Recent engagements include advising a South African life and pensions insurer on digital transformation and business model simplification, and working with a North African motor insurer to develop an advanced analytics solution for technical pricing, proactive customer retention, and cross-selling whilst setting up a new internal digital and analytics capability (digital factory). Umar has also worked internationally in insurance and banking markets in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Russia, Germany, and Pakistan, for example, assisting a Pakistani life insurer with digital and lean transformation in back-office operations.

Umar is a graduate of UCT’s Actuarial Science program and majored in statistics and pure mathematics. He previously worked at Metropolitan Life as an actuary and executive assistant to the CFO, was a part-time lecturer at the University of Cape Town, and a consultant to the African Union. He is a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and a certified agile scrum master.

Published work

On the brink: Realizing the value of analytics in insurance, McKinsey & Company, February 2023

Africa’s insurance market is set for takeoff,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

Beyond COVID-19: Charting the road to recovery for South African insurers,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020


University of Cape Town
BBuSci, actuarial science, statistics, and pure mathematics