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Sanlam Limited
Public company
Traded as JSE: SLM
Industry Insurance, Banking and Asset Management
Founded 1918
Headquarters Cape Town, South Africa
Key people
Johan van Zyl (CEO)
Kobus Möller (Financial Director)
Desmond Smith (Chairman)[1]
Revenue R54 278 million (2011)
Number of employees
15 465 (2012)
Website Homepage

Sanlam Limited is a South African financial services group with its head office in Cape Town in the Western Cape and business interests in Africa, Europe, India, the USA, Australia and South East Asia. Established in 1918, the group demutualised in 1998 and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Limited and the Namibian Stock Exchange. Sanlam provides professional financial advice and financial products to individuals, businesses and institutions. Sanlam stands for South African National Life Assurance Company.


In December 1917 a small group of Afrikaners and a Scot met in the Royal Hotel in Cape Town to discuss the founding of an insurance company that would attract capital through policyholders' premiums. Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Trust en Assuransie Maatskappij (Santam) was registered on 28 March 1918. However, before Santam was even registered it was decided to convert the life assurance department to a separate company to ensure that long-term profits, payable to policyholders would be separated from short-term profits payable to shareholders. The Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Lewens Assuransie Maatskappij Beperk, Sanlam, was registered on 8 June 1918. Sanlam, the subsidiary, consequently became the spearhead of the operation, while Santam remained focused on short-term insurance.

During its first decade, Sanlam's income came mainly from the rural areas. In the late twenties it ventured more actively into the cities. In 1935 Sanlam bought the shares of the life assurance company African Homes Trust (now Metropolitan Life) from Santam. In 1940 Federale Volksbeleggings (FVB) was registered, giving policy owners a stake in a large number of commercial and industrial companies and providing them with the opportunity to contribute towards broad-based development, to their benefit, but also to the benefit of SA and all its people. The foundation of FVB eventually led to the foundation of home-grown industrial and mining giant Gencor in the 1950s. In 1946 Bonuskor was registered for the re-investment of policy bonuses, allowing Sanlam to mobilise capital for the development of Afrikaner businesses.

Santam remained the controlling shareholder, but after protracted negotiations in the 1950s became an independent mutual life assurance company on 8 March 1954, as well as the largest single shareholder in Santam. In 1960 Sankor was formed to undertake further development projects when Bonuskor's capital totalled R10 million.

During the 1990s Sanlam's focus gradually shifted from life insurance to providing a broader range of financial products and services. In 1998 Sanlam demutualised, listing on the JSE Securities Exchange as well as the Namibian Stock Exchange on 30 November 1998. This changed Sanlam from a mutual entity into a public company with a share capital, namely Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd. At the same time a separate company, Sanlam Ltd, was installed as the parent company of the Sanlam group of businesses. The Group was also restructured into several independent businesses within a federal business structure.


The Sanlam Group conducts its business through a corporate head office and four business clusters. The corporate head office is responsible for the group's centralised functions such as strategic direction, financial and risk management, marketing and communications, group human resources and corporate social investment (CSI).

Sanlam Personal Finance is responsible for Sanlam’s retail business. It provides clients across all market segments (entry-level, middle and affluent) with a range of financial solutions. Businesses include Sanlam Sky Solutions, Sanlam Individual Life and Segment Solutions, Glacier, Sanlam Trust, Sanlam Liquid, Sanlam Healthcare Management (85%), Sanlam Linked Investments, Sanlam Personal Loans (70%), Reality (Loyalty Programme) and Anglo African Finance (75%).

Sanlam Emerging Markets is responsible for Sanlam's financial business services in emerging markets outside South Africa. Businesses include: Botswana Life (54%), Sanlam Life (Namibia), Sanlam Namibia Holdings (54%), NICO Life (Malawi) (49%), Pan Africa Insurance Holdings Limited (Kenya) (55.82%), African Life (Tanzania) (64%), SORAS Group Limited (Rwanda) (63%)[2][3] This acquisition was completed in June 2014 made SORAS part of a larger global group.[4] African Life (Zambia) (70%), Entreprise Life Assurance (Ghana) (49%), Sanlam Life (Uganda), FBN Life (Nigeria) (35%), Shriram Life (India) (26%), SIM Kenya (72%), SIM Capital Alliance (Nigeria) (50%), SIM Namibia (86%), Botswana Insurance Fund Management (54%), SIM Swaziland (65%)and Pacific & Orient Insurance Co. Berhad (POI) (49%).

Sanlam Investments provides investment and risk management products to individual and institutional clients in South Africa, the UK and elsewhere in Europe, the United States and Australia. South African operations include: Sanlam Investment Management, Sanlam Private Investments, SIM Global, Sanlam International Investment Partners, Sanlam Capital Markets, Sanlam Private Equity, Sanlam Structured Solutions, Sanlam Properties, Sanlam Employee Benefits, Sanlam Group Risk, Sanlam Multi Management, Sanlam Collective Investments, Graviton, Blue Ink. Australia: Calibre Investments (40%). United Kingdom and Ireland: Sanlam Securities UK, Sanlam Private Investments UK, Sanlam FOUR, Sanlam UK, English Mutual, Summit Trust (65%), Sanlam Asset Management Ireland.

Sanlam also has an effective 60% interest in Santam, a short-term insurer with a 23% market share.

Recent news[edit]

Sanlam posted a 43% rise in its first-half earnings in September 2013 after the firm reported successes from its new businesses in Malaysia and India.[5]

In June 2014, Sanlam introduced the Wealthsmiths™ campaign with a refreshed brand, rejuvenated logo, brand architecture and a new advertising campaign – all working together to demonstrate what it is that makes Sanlam unique and meaningful.

Wealthsmiths™ is a simple description of what Sanlam does and what they believe in.

Funds managed[edit]

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