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Summiting earth's highest mountains

29 Jan 2020

When most people look at Liberty, they see a financial services company filled with actuaries, accountants and insurance specialists. Which is true, and yet, every person in our company has their own special talents and passions. This month we'd like to share an inspiring story from one of our employees to remind you that every obstacle in life’s journey can be overcome with hard work and perseverance.

After 24 years of climbing, on Sunday, 19 January 2020, Liberty Executive Arthur Marsden became the first South African and one of only five people to complete the Volcanic Seven Summits and Explorers Grand Slam! This momentous climb was tough, the team gained over 4 700 vertical feet of elevation gain from High Camp to the summit with temperatures below minus 20.

It has taken two decades to reach this milestone, Arthur’s extraordinary dream is now a reality after years of fierce dedication, hard work, perseverance and a whole lot of luck. He did all this to raise awareness for Liberty’s #DriveHope initiative to provide school shoes for underprivileged learners.

Arthur says, "My 25 years at Liberty Group have taught me the value of adaptability and positivity in helping South Africans secure their financial futures. As an avid explorer and mountain climber, I thrive on meeting new challenges head on. Completing the Explorers Grand Slam and Volcanic Seven Summits is one of the greatest adventures I have enjoyed in my life. I have met so many wonderful people and explored some of the most beautiful parts of our world."

The challenge of climbing the world’s highest mountains has given him the skills to adapt and thrive in an industry that is constantly changing. He says, "In the office and on the mountains, I reach for heights where the view is clear and the mind uncluttered. My role at Liberty is diverse, rewarding and challenging, the constant change is something I thrive on and continue to search for in my mountain

Success, failure and determination

While Arthur's years of climbing have given him a wealth of experience and knowledge, a lot of that growth came from failing. Arthur admits that he has been overconfident before and it prevented him from summiting Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in South America, on his first attempt.

Without adequate training and preparation, that volcano got the better of Arthur and he had to turn back. "It was a devastating failure that made me question whether I was still up to mountain climbing at all. But it also gave me the determination to keep pushing and training until I conquered that mountain on my second attempt. I learned that success does not come easily, it requires fierce determination, passion and most of all, preparation. You need to aim high when reaching for your dreams, but you also need to be prepared to fight for every inch until you achieve that summit."

To find out more about Arthur's journey to Mount Sidley's summit and what he is doing to Drive Hope in South Africa, follow his story on LinkedIn by clicking here.

All articles in this newsletter

The hidden costs of education

Six tips to financial wellness in 2020

Helping learners achieve their dreams

Summiting earth’s highest mountains

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Liberty Group Limited (Reg. no 1957/002788/06) is a licensed Insurer and an Authorised Financial Services Provider (no 2409).