John FairbairnLike most great stories, ours has humble beginnings.

A Scotsman named John Fairbairn started the The Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope in 1845 in Cape Town with no capital - just the trust of like-minded individuals and the unwavering belief that together people can achieve more than alone.

Our motto became a “certain friend in uncertain times” and it wasn’t long before Mutual Life became a leading to insurer the region, making a real difference in the lives of our customers and the communities.

Over the century and a half that followed, we spread our wings from most southern tip of Africa to the rest of the world, including Latin America, China and the Rest of Africa and today we are one of the largest emerging market insurers in the world.

We are constantly developing our advice capability and expanding our product range in order to provide the best solutions to meet our customers’ needs. Beyond providing investment, savings, banking and protection solutions for our customers we also continue to innovate and educate.

We furthermore believe that doing business responsibly best allows us to achieve our purpose – to help our customers thrive. We do this by enabling them to achieve their lifetime financial goals, while investing their funds in ways that will create positive futures for them, their families, their communities and the world at large.

This is our story and it is just begun - let’s do great things together.


  • June 2018 - Old Mutual Limited lists on the Johannesburg, London, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibia stock exchanges.

  • March 2016 - Old Mutual plc announces managed separation post a strategic review. Read more about managed separation

  • February 2006 - Old Mutual plc completes the acquisition of Skandia

  • May - July 1999 - Old Mutual is demutualised and Old Mutual plc lists 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). Read more about Demutualisation and Old Mutual plc

  • 1845 -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