Management Team

Michael van der Merwe

Mike began his insurance broking career in April 1996 when he was employed as a marketer by Aon Durban (then Louis Volks & Associates) under their graduate recruitment programme. Mike remained within the Durban branch until the beginning of 2001 when, at the age of 26, he was promoted to Branch Manager of the Aon operation in Port Elizabeth.

In April 2005 Mike accepted an opportunity to head up the local office of FNB Insurance Brokers (then First Link Insurance Brokers) in Cape Town, but was soon enticed to return to the Aon fold when he was offered the position of Branch Manager Cape Town, effective January 2006. Mike juggled his attentions on the service and procurement of Corporate Business, with the challenges of looking after Aon South Africa’s largest branch office.

Mike sought new insurance broking challenges and with the appeal of working as a team with Des Roos he re-joined FNB Insurance Brokers in June 2007. With their considerable expertise and experience, and concentrating on specialist lines of insurance business such as construction, transport and liability risks, they very quickly became the largest portfolio holders of commercial insurance business within the company.

Like Des, Mike joined Waterloo Brokers in November 2012.

Mike has a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Economics obtained from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, and has his Diploma in Insurance Studies.


Desmond Roos

Des started working in the insurance industry in January 1975 with AA Mutual.

In October 1975 transferred to Windhoek as Assistant Branch Manager and was promoted to Branch Manager Worcester in July 1976 (youngest in their history at age 22).

Des joined Highveld Brokers in 1980 as broker consultant.  He was promoted to Regional Manager in 1982. After Highveld Brokers sale to what is now ABSA, he started a brokerage with his partner André Vosloo in April 1983.

Des joined FNB Insurance Brokers (then First Link) in July 2003 and headed up their team in Cape Town.  Not only was he instrumental in the growth of the Cape Town office into FNB Insurance Brokers flagship branch, but he was extremely involved in the national development strategy of the company.

Changes within the Executive of, and the prospect of new opportunities outside FNB Insurance Brokers, saw Des join Waterloo Brokers in November 2012.

Des has spent a large part of his time focusing on Construction Insurance, both Civil and Building and is considered one of the leaders in this field of insurance in South Africa.  As such he brings with him skills, knowledge and experience which enable the structuring of specialist insurance programmes in this industry.

Des has his Higher Certificate in Insurance Studies.


Claire Vaskys

Claire joined Protea Assurance in Pretoria in 1981 where she was introduced to Construction Guarantees Bonds and Commercial Insurance.

In 1986 she joined Price Forbes in Johannesburg and worked on Corporate Accounts which included the Federale Volks Beleggings Group and later transferred to PFV Cape Town – Corporate Division. She then spent 18 months at MIB where she worked with most of the team who are now shareholders of Phoenix Risk Solutions. It was at this stage that Claire became involved in Construction Insurance which included the insurance programmes of both the Construction and Assets of the V&A Waterfront development in Cape Town.

Thereafter she joined Daly’s & Associates looking after various portfolios including clients in the Construction Industry, Transport and Logistics, Engineering and General Commercial .

In 2000 Claire bought Waterloo Brokers and has built that up over the past 13 years. As time has gone on she has felt the need to join forces with like-minded individuals who she can share opinions and experience with.

She has obtained her Associate of the Insurance Institute (London) as well as her Fellowship of Insurance Institute (London) and these have now been converted to the Associate and Fellowship of Insurance Institute of South Africa diplomas.


Deon du Preez

Deon started his career in the insurance industry back in 1999 when he joined ABSA Insurance Brokers as a marketer on the West Rand. In June 2000 he accepted a position at First Bowring Insurance Brokers (now FNB Insurance Brokers) in Johannesburg and held various marketing positions in Gauteng until he transferred to First Bowring Insurance Brokers Cape Town as an Account Executive in August 2003.

Under the leadership of Des Roos, he gained experience in the engineering insurance space. In January 2007 Deon joined Mirabilis (then CEU), a Santam specialist underwriter in engineering and construction insurance as a broker consultant. The love for broking and being client facing remained and Deon re-joined FNB Insurance Brokers in May 2008. 

Relying on the knowledge, experience and expertise gained over many years as a specialist underwriter and broker, Deon continued to excel and was appointed as Cape Town Branch Manager at FNB Insurance Brokers in July 2015.

The opportunity to reunite with Des Roos  and Michael van der Merwe motivated Deon to join up with Phoenix Insurance Brokers North at the beginning of 2018 where he has continued to grow and hone his skills in various fields of expertise which has also branched out into the renewable energy industry.

Deon has his Higher Certificate in Insurance Studies.


Nathan Roos

Nathan began his career in short-term insurance by joining FNB Insurance Brokers in 2011. While spending only two years there, he developed a passion for the profession and absorbed as much knowledge as he could while administering the Small Business Unit portfolio.

He took this knowledge and growing passion for insurance with him when he joined up with previous managers, Desmond Roos and Michael van der Merwe, at Waterloo Brokers in November of 2012. There he worked his way through every department in the business building experience and a well-rounded understanding of the operations of a short-term insurance brokerage which stood him in good stead when he was appointed Operations Manager of the business in May of 2017.

Nathan was appointed Director in May of 2022 and continues to focus on all matters relating to operations at Phoenix Insurance Brokers North

Nathan obtained his Bachelor of Commerce Management Sciences degree from Stellenbosch University in 2010 and later completed the IISA Programme in Short-Term Insurance qualification in 2014 and the Programme in Short-Term Insurance Associateship qualification in 2019.