our positive Futures Plan

In 2015, we launched our Positive Futures Plan with full leadership support across our Group. With a focus on financial wellbeing and responsible investment, we believe we can contribute to positive futures for our customers and others by addressing issues relevant to the sustainability of our business and the markets in which we operate.

  • These are issues that affect the quality of life of our customers and employees, and the health of the economies and environments in which we operate.
  • Our Plan supports our business strategy by creating a pipeline of future growth opportunities, driving increased employee engagement, building customer trust and contributing to product and service innovation.
  • Our purpose is to help our customers thrive by enabling them to achieve their lifetime financial goals, while investing their funds in ways which create a positive future for them, their families, their communities and the world at large.

We remain committed to being proactive in our contribution to society, including the growth of jobs, housing and income. Our Positive Futures Plan unites us in our long-term view of creating positive futures for all.

Bruce Hemphill Group Chief Executive

On a global and national scale, there are many social, environmental and economic challenges and opportunities that will face us as a business over the next 10 to 20 years. By addressing these challenges, and turning them into opportunities, we will create mutual benefit for the societies in which we operate and our business in the long-term.

Some of these large-scale pressures and interconnected trends include:
  • Large scale unemployment, particularly amongst youth. This is particularly pertinent across Africa where 40% of the world's youth will be seeking jobs and a means of making a living and where approximately 50% of the population are financially excluded.
  • Climate change and extreme weather patterns. These are disrupting agricultural systems, resulting in food scarcity, a rise in food prices and pushing people into poverty.
  • An ageing and increasing urban population. This is putting pressure on natural resources, education systems, housing and infrastructure. More investment is needed to provide for an ageing population, particularly in health and financial management.
  • Transformation to digitised economies which will open up opportunities for many in sharing information and accessing services. However, could also exacerbate income differences when populations do not quickly adapt and benefit from technology driven growth.

Our Plan aims to contribute to the solutions to some of these challenges while also aligning to international and national plans. In particular, a number of our programmes align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we support the South African Government's National Development Plan (NDP). These frameworks help us as we develop cross-sector partnerships to address common issues. As we progress with our Plan, we will be able to demonstrate how our activities positively contribute to national and global issues.

We aim to enable financial wellbeing by significantly scaling up financial education and financial inclusion in our key markets.

  • Financial wellbeing means that individuals are included in the financial system, by making informed decisions about their short and long-term financial plans.
  • It also means they have access to appropriate products and services which best serve their financial needs now, and for their futures.
  • We can support this through financial education initiatives so that people have the skills and knowledge, which is one of the key drivers of furthering economic participation and prosperity.
  • We are scaling up our financial education programmes to reach 50 million people by 2020.
  • We have products, and are developing products which drive societal value with the aim of positively impacting 20 million people through our microfinance and micro-insurance products.

We are aligning our investment strategies to respond to the key risks facing us as a predominantly African business, particularly in infrastructure and moving to low-carbon economies.

  • Our focus on responsible investment means that we will use our significant funds under management to invest in solutions that will help address the societal and environmental challenges that most affect the societies in which we operate.
  • Our goal is to have 10% of funds under management invested in the green economy and infrastructure such as in affordable housing, education and agriculture.
  • We will also encourage and make it easier for all customers to select funds that deliver against these long-term objectives.
  • As part of our 2020 goals, we also have a commitment to transparency.
  • We will commission and publish independent research into the benefits of our products to customers.
  • By 2020, we also aspire to have 100% of our funds publically rated along environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

Over the year we have been developing our Positive Futures Plan. This has included research conducted with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, dialogue with a range of stakeholders and we have given much consideration as to how we want to create lasting positive impact.

Since launching the Plan in August 2015, we have been embedding our approach and specific programmes across our businesses. We have grown strong partnerships to drive it forward and scaled-up existing partnerships to help us meet our goals.

Other key achievements in 2015 include:
  • Continued to scale up financial education programmes such as On The Money which was delivered to 108,000 participants in South Africa
  • Co-founded Blue Marble Microinsurance to provide vulnerable societies with access to insurance - first venture aims to protect African farmers from the impact of adverse weather conditions
  • Established new partnership between Opportunity International and Old Mutual's Faulu Microfinance Bank to increase access to loans and training for Kenya's low-cost schools
  • As custodians of our customers' money, committed R60.5 billion into renewable energy projects and invested R57 billion into infrastructure projects, supporting the move to low-carbon economies
  • Invested £16.7 million in communities focusing on financial wellbeing and education

All data as at 31 December 2015

We will continue to strengthen partnerships and initiatives where we make positive impacts. For example, with Opportunity International we are testing education tools for customer use and digitising our financial education programmes. This new partnership aims to increase the access to capacity building loans and training for Kenya's growing number of low-cost schools. Operating through our Faulu Microfinance Bank, the loan product will be launched in 2016 to fuel the growth of Kenya's schooling market. Over the course of the long-term partnership, over 900 schools will access loans resulting in improved access to quality education for over 400,000 children.

We are establishing a common approach to measure the impact of our Plan - to help us report progress against our six goals. Our aim is to report not just what Old Mutual has delivered but what the effect is for our business and the long-term benefit to society.

Other key achievements in 2015 include:
  • Continuing to embed common environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles into investment and ownership decision making
  • Continuing to work with stakeholders on how best to use the industry's emerging system of fund ratings for responsible investment
  • Continuing to align the Plan with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and demonstrate commitment to the aims of the SDGs

Our Plan is a bold progression for Old Mutual but one that builds on solid and long-standing foundations in our approach to operating a responsible business. Old Mutual's core responsible business practices will continue such as sound environmental management, investment in communities through their foundations, trusts and supported-employee activities, development of our approach to human rights and disclosing progress through publically available reports such as through PRI and CDP.