Yurika Pistorius – Finding Simple Solutions For Difficult Scenarios

Yurika Pistorius_Dynamic Entrepreneur_Exeleon Magazine

Not many would claim that a television series has altered their lives, but that is the case with Yurika Pistorius. A legal drama series called L.A. Law had a major impact on her during her formative years and it made her opt for law as a profession. It was the way the lawyers were always fighting for the cause and especially rooting for the underdog that left an indelible mark on her.

Like many, she found the lives of a trial attorney, in a big law firm, doing big things, for big clients, making lots of money, quite glamorous. However, this was just an influencer for a brief period of time. She soon realized that “everyone has the right to be represented and to be assisted, and that small matters often have an enormous impact on individual lives.” The realization was like an epiphany and she found the ‘why’ that drove her so far and kept her on track.

It was not the wins, the glamor of the field, or the perks that come hand in hand with a job in an eminent company. The ‘why’ that inspired her moves was an innate desire to make a difference. Yurika Pistorius discerned that she covets an opportunity to make a lasting impact and no matter what the size of the case is, she is ready to persevere.

Each and every step she has taken since that momentous day is to ensure a steadfast vision and an honest approach to her work so that it mirrors what she believes.

Her Course Of Action

With an unwavering focus, Yurika went for both Bachelor of Civil Law and Bachelor of Law degrees. It was then followed by completing her articles of clerkship and legal training at a law firm before being admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa.

She then joined the same firm’s commercial litigation department as a practicing attorney. There she honed her skills to become an expert in high court, commercial litigation, contract law, banking and insurance practice, family law, and medical negligence.

Yurika had this honor later to join the winning legal team at a another law firm, where she got an opportunity to assist in a landmark case, Barkhuizen v Napier. The case ushered in a change. She recalls, “It was 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 were found not to be unconstitutional, nor in violation of the Bill of Rights of The Constitution.”

This added wind to her sails and she found herself approached by several corporate insurers. She chose Zurich Insurance, where she got to be part of its Global Association Rotation Program as one of only two South African candidates of 80 nominees from 170 countries. There she learned how business and law are inextricably intertwined and how leadership can transform policyholders’ lives.

But one thing Yurika Pistorius maintained during her time in these companies. She never stopped learning and building a knowledge base, which now proves its worth by assisting her in coming up with easy solutions for complicated issues. She went for various certifications in commercial and contract law, corporate governance, compliance management, COBIT international certification and the Oxford Fintech Programme.

Further to this, she was awarded the professional designation of compliance practitioner through the Compliance Institute of Southern Africa.

All these acts helped her learn that alone, one cannot achieve much. Therefore she learnt that collaboration is key to any success. The best solution is always an outcome of a blend of different backgrounds, skills, education, experience, viewpoints, and cultures. This also taught her how to plan her course of action for the future and Yurika Pistorius always looks for role players to optimize solutions and results.

Her Roadblocks

Understanding law in isolation is not optimal, in addition to it, it requires a comprehensive knowledge of the strategic vision of the business, the numbers, the people, technology and ultimately, the customers to ensure success for any business. This helps form a strategy that can inspire enriched legal and compliance solutions to ensure the business runs smoothly without any obstacles.

The Compliance Culture

The compliance function plays a pivotal role when it comes to developing and maintaining a compliance culture that would weave different strata of business together. Yurika’s inputs in forming such a culture are crucial.

The entire approach of the compliance function has transformed in drastic ways. It no longer involves sitting in a dark office and ticking the box. Instead, it has evolved from “a tick box approach to a risk-based approach, enabling and aiding the business.” The compliance officers have now turned into trusted advisers. This has happened as the constantly developing legal landscape and application of laws and regulations are making the process more complicated, and businessmen are looking for a credible solution.

A holistic compliance approach is not just about advice and guidance on national and international laws. Yurika believes that it includes conducting impact assessments and implementing necessary changes as well. However, an all-inclusive approach only comes to life when the compliance officer involved in the process knows in and out about the changes impacting business strategies across the world.

One such major change could be the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has forced employees to work from remote locations, which propelled the chances of data breaches. In fact, Yurika Pistorius claims that this should be one of the main risks to be considered by companies.

Her Take On Leadership

As a servant leader, Yurika focuses more on understanding the business strategy as it will facilitate the process of developing a simple solution for an otherwise difficult situation.

Yurika mentions how a late mentor of hers embedded the leadership principle of “if I can be a better person tomorrow than I was today.”

She believes a leader should always have empathy and people around him or her who are eager to join the force with the leader to pave ways for progress.

This idea of a leader stems from Theodore Roosevelt’s quote where he says, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with dust and sweat; who strives valiantly, who errs and may fall again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming.”

Her Views On Entrepreneur

She believes what Steve Jobs said about “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  As an entrepreneur, we must inspire people to fall in love with what they do, which will bring satisfaction. She puts her heart in whatever she does and Yurika knows she has this responsibility of setting examples as well so that others can model their lives on it.

As Yurika Pistorius opines, the sure-shot recipe for emerging as a successful entrepreneur is to find a viewpoint that can provide simplified solutions. Some are gifted with that, but others have to earn it, and there is no shortcut.

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