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Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
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Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
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Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Old Mutual - 175 years of doing great things

Many things have changed over the years, but the things that matter most have stayed the same.

We’d like to celebrate with you by sharing our story. This is a story of friendship, trust, and people just like you and me.

Let's begin

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

John Fairbairn,

an English teacher from Scotland, arrives at the Cape of Good Hope.

Persuaded by his friend, writer and poet Thomas Pringle, he crosses the seas with promises of a literary and teaching career, and finds himself on the shores of the Cape Colony.

A liberal and radical human rights activist ahead of his time, John has many of his early plans shut down by British Governor Lord Charles Somerset.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

But he perseveres.

And, with no capital, he builds the trust of 166 partners and launches the Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope in 1845 to care and protect.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

The Old Mutual emblem

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Our first logo is born

And then we start expanding into Africa.

Our Zimbabwe office opens.

The first female Old Mutual employee is employed in the Oudtshoorn branch.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Namibia and Kenya

join the family soon after.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

The Second World War breaks out in 1939

and Old Mutual proves it’s a certain friend in uncertain times.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

We open our art deco head office in Darling Street, Cape Town.

At 96.8 metres it’s the tallest man-made building in Africa at the time.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Amid the global uncertainty following the war,

we continue to be a certain friend in uncertain times.

1 000 000


Moni moni


We find a new home, relocating our head office to Mutualpark in Pinelands.

It’s the largest office block in the southern hemisphere at the time.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Our annual income shoots up from...





policies sold

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

In spite of social and political turmoil in South Africa, we’re growing steadily.

We continue to adapt to reach more customers, and build greater futures.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

1994 transforms South Africa, as a rainbow nation is born.

These exciting times bring new opportunities for us to help new communities and businesses thrive.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Old Mutual opens doors for micro entrepreneurs in Nigeria

As Old Mutual turns 175, we are marking this milestone by recognising and capturing some of the great things our employees do every day to enable customers to be their exceptional best.

Adebowale Saidat Balogun runs a shop in a busy street in Lagos. She sells eggs, bread, cheese, biscuits and other household essentials. When she needed working capital a while ago to increase her stock range, Mrs Balogun was initially tempted to access credit. But on the recommendation of her financial adviser, Blessing Ehiwario from Old Mutual Nigeria, she first weighed all her options.

Blessing convinced her of the benefits of strengthening her financial security and reducing her dependence on credit sources and unscrupulous lenders. Today Mrs Balogun’s business is doing well. She is even considering expanding her savings plan.

Micro businesses comprise a significant portion of Nigeria’s economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates the informal sector contributes around 60% of Nigeria’s GDP. However, micro and low income entrepreneurs often face unique challenges in starting a business, with low savings, poor access to finance and low levels of financial literacy.

The efforts to encourage Nigerians to save formally will help them achieve their financial goals and serve as a financial safety net in difficult times.

Supporting the growth of women’s businesses has long been a focus area for Old Mutual. For Blessing, it is also a personal passion. He wants to contribute to improving the livelihoods of people by increasing the availability of financial services. Blessing understands that when a small business succeeds, it benefits not only its owner and his or her family, it also contributes to the nation’s economic security.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

We expand internationally, opening offices in Hong Kong and Guernsey.

Our first call centre is set up in Mutualpark in Pinelands with a team of 40 people.

As the century ends, we celebrate going global.

Old Mutual demutualises*, and lists on the London Stock Exchange to unlock value by entering international markets, raising new capital and creating flexibility for Old Mutual to grow.

*Demutualization is the process by which a customer-owned mutual organization (mutual) or co-operative changes legal form to a joint stock company. It is sometimes called privatization.

Y2K passes

We breathe a sigh of relief, and it’s business as usual.

We sign our Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) deal.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Old Mutual reinstates lapsed community support schemes in tough times

As Old Mutual turns 175 years old, we take time out to acknowledge the great things our own employees do every day to enable our customers to be their exceptional best.

Companies only survive and grow when they are relevant, useful and driven by dedicated people who care. People like Boipelo Mondela, Senior Sales Administrator in Old Mutual’s Kimberley office.

Boipelo was recently approached by Pastor Desmond Smith about the closure of the Kingdom Worth Ministry support scheme as well as the Sasha Burial Society scheme. Both schemes are managed by Old Mutual and play a significant role in supporting the congregation and broader community in which the Kingdom Worth Ministry operates.

In times of tragedy the schemes play a huge role in reducing the financial stress that is part of this community’s daily experience. When loved ones pass and families are expected to host funerals, the schemes help to ensure dignity, supply food and provide peace of mind.

During difficult times, however, coming up with the cash to make the monthly contributions can be hard, even when there is a 15 days grace period. Unfortunately, non-payment leads to schemes being closed automatically, leaving 700 to 1000 people without access to support.

When Pastor Smith approached Boipelo about the closure of the schemes and the problems the community faced, she immediately empathised. She also appreciated the fact that Pastor Smith was being proactive, open and honest.

By immediately outlining the community’s challenges to her senior manager, Angeline Moshutli (Angie), Boipelo succeeded in getting permission to waive the lapse provision and re-open both schemes without the normal re-joining fees or waiting period.

At a meeting with scheme members, Pastor Smith introduced them to Angie in person. She explained how members could approach Old Mutual themselves to see their individual contributions and receive an individualised certificate. They were also assured they could call on their benefit whenever needed.

Angie and Boipelo’s humanity and understanding of the struggles real people face and Old Mutual’s willingness to walk the extra mile to protect and support customers demonstrate why the company has been a certain friend in uncertain times for more than 175 years.

We welcome Nigeria and Ghana

and expand in East Africa.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

Old Mutual helps manager make the jump from employee to owner

Old Mutual’s 175th anniversary is an opportunity for us to reflect and remind people about the importance of having a trusted financial partner that enables them to be their exceptional best and do great things.

Take Gabriel Mhlamvu, a store manager who was assisted by Old Mutual’s Sibusiso Mnguni, a Franchise Investment Associate at Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund, to acquire the store he worked for, Donnybrook Spar in rural KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Spar stores are independently owned and operated retailers and wholesalers that work together in partnership under the Spar brand. Sibusiso assisted Gabriel to go from being a hard-working employee of Donnybrook Spar to being its proud owner. In collaboration with KZN Spar Managing Director Max Oliver and his team and the Old Mutual Masisizane Fund, Sibusiso was able to make sure Gabriel was given access to a financial loan, as well as essential financial mentorship, entrepreneurship guidance and SMME capacity development.

Entrepreneurs from disadvantaged and under-represented groups such as black women often face greater hurdles in accessing financing. It is one of the focus areas of Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund. Preference is given to enterprises with 51% plus ownership by women, youth or people with disabilities. The Masisizane Fund understands that besides financing, entrepreneurs, especially those in rural areas, also need sound advice on managing capital and overdrafts, and basic business knowledge. Most traditional lenders cannot fulfil this critical role for entrepreneurs who are starting out. According to Gabriel, Old Mutual not only paved his entrepreneurial journey and supported his dream, it also contributed indirectly to generating much needed employment in KZN. In less than two years, Donnybrook Spar’s staff component increased from 54 employees to 88. The learnings from the many meetings with Old Mutual and the broader team have also influenced the trajectory of the store, making it one of the best in Spar’s fold. Gabriel is confident that the business skills he gained from his relationship with Old Mutual have placed him and his employees on a firm growth path.

We Anchor in Africa with a primary listing as an independent entity on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

We also have secondary listings on the London, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibia stock exchanges.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

We’ve got the support of over 13.9 million customers.

And the dedication of
30 000 employees…

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

…across 13 African countries

Which brings us to


Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

A lot has changed over the last 175 years. And right now more significant shifts are taking place.

One thing’s for sure, our story is not over yet.

We continue to gain valuable new insights and experience, which we apply in our business every day.

But the most important lesson we continue to learn is that the things people really care about seldom change.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years
Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years

We all want to protect the people and things we hold dear.

We wake up every day, determined to make the most of what we’ve got. We long for the simple moments in life. The runs in the park. The coffee with friends. Time to play with our children.

Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years


for making this journey possible.


Let us help you build a better tomorrow.



Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years