Like most great stories, ours has humble beginnings. A Scotsman, named John Fairbairn, started the Mutual Life Assurance Company in Cape Town, with no capital, just the trust of like-minded individuals and an unwavering belief that together, people can achieve more than alone.
What's in a name?
Not long after Fairbairn started the mutual society in 1845, another life assurance society also appeared in the region. Fairbairn's mutual society had, by this time, established itself as a constant in peoples' lives; providing real benefits to its members. It didn't take long before people started referring to the mutual society as the Old Mutual - acknowledging the role it had come to play as an innovative provider of security: a true friend that rewarded its clients with financial stability in uncertain times.
Where did the Old Mutual logo come from?
With a reputation for reliability and trust firmly established, Board chairman and local artist Charles Bell penned the now familiar three anchor logo design 25 years later. He drew inspiration from the Cape of Good Hope symbol which featured one anchor, and explained that the Old Mutual logo represented the mutual strength that was to be found when people came together to invest in Fairbairn's mutual society. His choice of three anchors overlaid upon each other represents the strength that is to be had in numbers, and speaks of our belief that - when it comes to investment and wealth creation - the sum is greater than its parts.
From small beginnings, great things grow
Old Mutual prides itself in its innovative approach to providing considered, market-leading solutions that preserve and grow the money that our customers entrust to us. Our early history is rich in heritage and industry defining milestones, and our growth is intertwined with that of South Africa - where our story started. With a constant focus on growing our business, we acquired companies such as Mutual & Federal and Nedbank and have remained at the forefront of technology and policy related matters to ensure the highest levels of flexibility and service - despite adverse economic conditions.
Growing beyond our borders
Following Old Mutual's public listing on the Johannesburg stock exchange, we followed with a core listing on the London Stock Exchange, and listings on the Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibia stock exchanges in 1999. A period of global expansion in a number of international markets followed, with notable purchases around this time including the acquisition of United Asset Management in the USA, and Skandia - a Scandinavian life insurance company that operates internationally.
170 years on, we remain focused on our founding principles
True to the spirit of John Fairbairn's original intentions, we remain committed - more than a century and a half later - to helping people create positive futures for themselves and their families. As part of the Old Mutual family you are able to reap the benefits of many years of wisdom; a priceless asset that we are proud to share.
Key Dates in Our History
Creating enterprise value by growing in markets of greatest opportunity and where we have a strong competitive positioning, while becoming recognised as the financial services leader in responsible business.
Bruce Hemphill becomes Group Chief Executive of Old Mutual
Old Mutual celebrates 170 years of providing savings, investment and protection solutions for our customers
Dave Macready becomes Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual South Africa
Old Mutual's Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment transactions mature, creating net value of over R7.9 billion for Old Mutual's South African empowerment partners, staff and communities
Appointment of Bruce Hemphill as Group Chief Executive, effective during the fourth quarter of 2015
To boost the nation's savings and steer its customers towards a greater future, Old Mutual South Africa launches a very attractive new tax-free savings plan
Provident Life Assurance renames to Old Mutual Ghana
Old Mutual plc sells Skandia Germany and Skandia Austria, part of Old Mututal Wealth, to Heidelberger Leben Group
Skandia UK renames to Old Mutual Wealth
Skandia Colombia renames to Old Mutual Colombia
Old Mutual Wealth acquires Intrinsic to accelerate growth strategy.
Ingrid Johnson becomes Group Finance Director
Old Mutual plc sells Skandia Poland, part of Old Mutual Wealth, to Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe
Old Mutual acquires a majority share in Faulu Microfinance Bank Limited ("Faulu") in Kenya
Skandia Mexico renames to Old Mutual Mexico
Old Mutual expands operations in Nigeria through the acquisition of Oceanic Insurance
Old Mutual establishes operations in Ghana through the acquisition of Provident Life Assurance
Old Mutual Wealth (South Africa) starts operating, combining seven business units into one division
Raimund Snyders becomes Managing Director of Mutual & Federal
Old Mutual establishes operations in Nigeria through the acquisition of Oceanic Life
Old Mutual acquires 22seven in South Africa
Old Mutual strengthens its distribution capability through the acquisition of Aiva in Uruguay
Nedbank Private Wealth is launched as the new name for four well established businesses formerly known as BoE Private Clients, Fairbairn Private Bank Limited, Fairbairn Trust Company Limited and Fairbairn Trust Limited
Old Mutual sells Skandia Nordic to Skandia Liv
Ralph Mupita becomes Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual Emerging Markets
Old Mutual sells US Life to Harbinger Group Inc.
Peter Bain becomes President and Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual Asset Management (US)
Old Mutual celebrates 165 years of providing savings, investment and protection solutions for our customers
Mike Brown becomes Chief Executive of Nedbank Group Limited
Old Mutual acquires the remaining minority shareholding in Mutual & Federal
Patrick O'Sullivan becomes Chairman of Old Mutual plc, succeeding Chris Collins
Paul Hanratty is appointed Chief Executive Officer, Long-Term Savings, Old Mutual plc and Chairman of Old Mutual South Africa
Julian Roberts becomes Chief Executive of Old Mutual plc
Skandia announces the launch of Skandia Investment Group, a new global investment management function
Old Mutual announces £350m share buyback programme
Old Mutual de-lists its shares in Sweden from Stockholmsbörsen
Old Mutual Asset Management acquires Ashfield Capital Partners in the United States
Old Mutual Asset Managers (South Africa) restructured into a multi-boutique model under the renamed Old Mutual Investment Group (South Africa)
Old Mutual Group announces a Black Economic Empowerment deal in Namibia
Old Mutual South Africa acquires Marriott Property and Income Specialists, a property investment business
Old Mutual sells eSecLending, its US securities-lending business, to TA Associates
Julian Roberts becomes Chief Executive Officer of Skandia
Old Mutual completes the acquisition of Skandia
Old Mutual Asset Management acquires a 60% interest in Copper Rock Capital Partners, a small-cap growth equity manager
2100 Capital acquires Larch Lane, a hedge fund specialist
Old Mutual makes offer for Skandia; total consideration approximately SEK 44.9bn
Nedcor Limited, the holding company of Nedbank, changes its name to Nedbank Group Limited
Mike Levett retires as Chairman of Old Mutual plc and is replaced by Christopher Collins
Old Mutual Asset Managers establishes 21 Capital, a diversified alternative investments company
Black Economic Empowerment deal introduced at Old Mutual South Africa, Nedbank and Mutual & Federal
Pilgrim Baxter & Associates announces change of name to Liberty Ridge Capital
OM Kotak Mahindra changes company name to Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Limited
Mutual & Federal becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Old Mutual
Old Mutual sells Gerrard Management Services Limited to Barclays Bank plc
Old Mutual re-launches GNI Fund Management under the name Bright Capital, a fund of hedge funds manager
Old Mutual sells Old Mutual Securities Limited to Secure Trust Banking Group
Nedcor Bank Limited changes its name to Nedbank Limited
Old Mutual sells GNI Holdings to Man Group plc
Nedcor acquires BoE Bank
Nigel Andrews is appointed as non-executive director
US Asset Management sells NWQ Investment Management, a value oriented equity fund manager, to John Nuveen Company for $120m
Old Mutual sells Old Mutual International (Isle of Man) to Aberdeen Asset Management
Launch of Selestia in the UK, a fully online service distributed through the IFA channel, offering IFAs and investors access to a range of third party funds
Jim Sutcliffe becomes Chief Executive of Old Mutual plc
Nedcor and Old Mutual (South Africa) announce the merger of Permanent Bank and Old Mutual Bank, to form Old Mutual Banking Services
Old Mutual acquires Fidelity & Guaranty Life for $635m
Old Mutual is admitted to FTSE4Good, the socially responsible indices run by FTSE
Old Mutual announces that the role of Chairman and Chief Executive will be split: Mike Levett will remain as Chairman (non-executive); Jim Sutcliffe will become Chief Executive in November
Old Mutual South Africa purchases 20% stake in Umbono Fund Managers, a black empowered index investment house
Nedcor and Old Mutual acquire Fleming Offshore Banking, renaming it to Gerrard Private Bank. It was subsequently renamed as Fairbairn Private Bank and in 2012 became known as Nedbank Private Wealth
Old Mutual acquires Unified Life Insurance Company for $25m (renamed Americom Life in May 2001)
Old Mutual Asset Managers formed in the US, combining seven key UAM affiliates
Mutual & Federal acquires CGU Holdings South Africa for £115m
Old Mutual acquires United Asset Management Corporation (UAM) in the US for $2.2bn
Old Mutual enters into a joint venture in life assurance in India with Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd
Julian Roberts is appointed as Group Finance Director
Albert E Sharp Securities merges with the institutional broking and corporate finance division of Greig Middleton to form Old Mutual Securities
Nedcor acquires FBC Fidelity Bank Limited
Capel-Cure Sharp merges with Greig Middleton, Gerrard Group's private client business (subsequently rebranded under the Gerrard name)
Old Mutual acquires Gerrard Group for £525m
Old Mutual sells its UK life insurance business to Century Life for £75m
Mike Levett becomes Chairman & Chief Executive of Old Mutual plc
Old Mutual is listed on the London, Johannesburg, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibia stock exchanges. Listing price is 120p (R11.25), giving the company a market capital of £3.9bn (R36.8bn)
Old Mutual is demutualised
Old Mutual establishes a head office in London
1831 - 1999
Policyholders in the South African Mutual Life Assurance Society approve demutualisation
Old Mutual acquires private client stockbroker Albert E Sharp. merging it with Capel-Cure Myers to form Capel-Cure Sharp
Old Mutual acquires UK private client stockbroker and investment manager, Capel-Cure Myers
Skandia launches in Italy
Old Mutual Investment Advisers is established in Boston, USA. Old Mutual opens offices in Hong Kong and Guernsey
End of apartheid and creation of a new South African government led by Nelson Mandela
Old Mutual Asset Managers is founded as a new subsidiary company
Old Mutual makes its first entry into the UK market with the acquisition of Providence Capital
Mike Levett is appointed as Chief Executive of the Group's South African life company
Old Mutual becomes the first South African life assurer to receive R1 billion in premium income in one year
Skandia insures space travel for NASA
Skandia launches in the United Kingdom
Old Mutual acquires a shareholding in Nedcor Bank
Old Mutual's premium income exceeds R100 million a year
Old Mutual acquires a majority shareholding in the newly-formed Mutual & Federal.
Old Mutual forms the South African Mutual Unit Trust Company Limited to administer its mutual fund/unit trust activities
Skandia uses a computer for the first time - the IBM650, also known as the magnetic Drum Calculator
Mutualpark in Pinelands is opened and is the largest office block in the southern hemisphere at the time
Old Mutual issues its millionth policy
Skandia launches in Colombia
Old Mutual's Art Deco head office in Cape Town opens; at 96.8 metres the tallest man-made building in Africa at the time
Skandia becomes the first company in Sweden to employ married woman
Old Mutual opens its first office in the capital of Namibia, Windhoek (then known as South West Africa)
Old Mutual Chairman John X Merriman is elected first premier of the Cape Colony
On April 18, large areas of San Francisco are devastated by a major earthquake. Skandia faces its largest claim ever, but is able to fulfil commitment and pay all claims
The first women staff member in Old Mutual is employed in the Oudtshoorn branch
Old Mutual opens a new agency in Harare, Zimbabwe (then known as Salisbury and Rhodesia respectively). Our first office in Zimbabwe was later built in 1927.
The company changes its name to South Africa Mutual Life Assurance Society but, in the face of increasing competition from new mutual aid institutions, starts to refer to itself as "Old Mutual" to emphasise the fact that it was South Africa's first mutual society
Skandia introduces accident and life insurance
Old Mutual's emblem is designed by board chairman Charles Bell. The interlocking anchors represent mutual strength.
Scotsman John Fairbairn founds The Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope with no initial capital other than the premiums of its first 166 policyholders
The Board of Executors (BoE) was established in Cape Town as a trust company.
Cape of Good Hope Bank, later to become part of the Nedbank Group, is established.