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Sanlam Limited
Public company
Traded asJSE: SLM
IndustryInsurance, banking, asset management
Founded1918; 101 years ago (1918)[1]
HeadquartersBellville, Western Cape, South Africa[2]
Key people
Ian Kirk (CEO)
Kobus Möller (financial director)
Desmond Smith (chairman)[3]
Revenue$6.311 billion (2015)
USD 748 millions(2015)
Number of employees
~21 000 (2018)

Sanlam is a South African financial services group headquartered in Bellville, Western Cape,[2] and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Namibian Stock Exchange.

Established in 1918 as a life insurance company,[4] Sanlam Group has developed over time into a diversified financial services business. Through its business clusters – Sanlam Personal Finance, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments, Sanlam Corporate and Santam.

The group's areas of expertise include insurance, financial planning, retirement annuities, trusts, wills, short-term insurance, asset management, risk management and capital market activities, investment and wealth. The group operates in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, India, Malaysia and the UK and has business interests in the US, Australia and the Philippines. It has a stake in micro-insurance specialists, UK-based Micro-Ensure Holdings Limited, which has a footprint across Africa[5] and India servicing more than 10 million enrolled clients.


The Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Trust en Assuransie Maatskappij Beperk (South African National Trust and Assurance Company Limited), Santam, was registered on 28 March 1918. It was then decided to convert the life assurance department into a separate company, and the Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Lewens Assuransie Maatskappij Beperk (South African National Life Assurance Company Limited), Sanlam, was registered on 8 June 1918. Sanlam, the subsidiary, later became the spearhead of the operation, while Santam remained focused on short-term insurance.

Sanlam showed a small profit at the end of its first year, declared a bonus, and continued to grow consistently from there.

Santam remained the controlling shareholder until 1954 when Sanlam became an independent mutual life assurance company, as well as the largest single shareholder in Santam.

Over the years, Sanlam's focus gradually shifted from traditional life insurance to providing a broader range of financial products and services. In 1998 Sanlam demutualised, listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Ltd and the Namibian Stock Exchange. 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.

Today, Sanlam is a diversified financial services provider with an extensive product offering catering for all market segments. The group has consistently grown its local as well as an international footprint – it now has a presence in 12 African countries outside South Africa,[5] India, Malaysia, the UK and Ireland, the USA, Australia and the Philippines.

In mid-January 2017, a 20-year-old controversy involving Sanlam resurfaced due to a preliminary report compiled by Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Public Protector of South Africa.[6] Mkhwebane's report is based on the 1997–1999 Ciex investigation, according to which Sanlam stole state funds during the Apartheid era in a multilayered transaction that included Absa, Rembrandt (Richmont), Nedbank and the First National Bank of South Africa. The Ciex investigation summary claims Sanlam should pay R3.8 billion for its role in the illegal transaction.[7]

Economic empowerment[edit]

Sanlam has since 1993 contributed to broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) through the group’s partnership with Ubuntu-Botho Investments.[8]

The Ubuntu-Botho B-BBEE partnership resulted in a broad-based black empowerment consortium buying a 10% shareholding in Sanlam[9] in what was to become one of the most far-reaching black empowerment transactions in South Africa to date.

In December 2013, the initial 10-year contractual period of the transaction with Ubuntu-Botho ended, with a final total of 66.5 million deferred shares qualifying for conversion to ordinary shares. The deal created value of about R15 billion, making it arguably one of the most successful transactions of its kind in South African history.[citation needed] In 2014, an agreement was reached to extend the partnership with Ubuntu-Botho into the future.


The corporate office of the Sanlam Group is responsible for centralised functions that include strategic direction, group financial and risk management, group marketing and communications, group human resources and information technology, group sustainability management, corporate social investment and general group services.

In addition, the Sanlam group operations are managed through five operating clusters:

  • Sanlam Personal Finance
  • Sanlam Emerging Markets
  • Sanlam Investments
  • Sanlam Corporate
  • Santam

The core businesses within each cluster are as follows (wholly owned unless otherwise indicated):

Sanlam Personal Finance[edit]

  • Sanlam Sky Solutions: Financial services for individuals and groups in the entry-level market
  • Sanlam Individual Life: Financial services to the middle-income, professional and business-owner markets
  • Glacier: Financial services for the affluent market

Strategic business development consists of the following diversified financial services: Sanlam Trust (estate and trust services), Multi-Data (electronic money-transfer activities), Sanlam Healthcare Management (medical scheme administration services), Sanlam Personal Loans (70%) (personal loans joint venture), Reality (loyalty programme) and Anglo African Finance (55%) (trade and bridging finance).

Sanlam Emerging Markets[edit]

Retail and group life insurance and related business:

  • Botswana Life, Botswana – 60% via Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited[10] (BIHL)
  • Sanlam Life, Namibia – 100%
  • Sanlam Namibia Holdings, Namibia – 59%
  • NICO Life, Malawi – 62%
  • Pan Africa Life, Kenya – 56% via Pan Africa Insurance Holdings (PAIH)
  • Sanlam Life Insurance, Tanzania – 64%
  • African Life, Zambia – 70%
  • Enterprise Life Assurance, Ghana – 49%
  • Sanlam Life Insurance, Uganda – 100%
  • FBN Insurance, Nigeria – 35%
  • Shriram Life Insurance, India – 20% via Shriram Capital
  • Soras Vie, Rwanda – 63% via Soras Group
  • MCIS Insurance, Malaysia – 51%
  • Sanlam Life Insurance, Mozambique – 51%

Credit and banking:

  • Letshego, operating in a number of African countries – 14% via BIHL
  • NBS Bank, Malawi – 13% via NICO Holdings
  • Shriram Transport Finance Company, India 10% (3% direct and 7% via Shriram Capital)
  • Shriram City Union Finance – 9% via Shriram Capital

Investment management:

  • Pan Africa Asset Management, Kenya – 56% via PAIH
  • Sanlam Investments, Namibia – 86%
  • Botswana Insurance Fund Management – 60% via BIHL

General insurance: Jointly responsible in partnership with Santam for managing general insurance business through:

  • NICO Malawi – 62% (direct 49% and 13% indirect via NICO Holdings)
  • Sanlam General Insurance Tanzania[11] – 52% (direct 47% and 5% indirect via NICO Holdings)
  • Sanlam General Insurance Uganda – 84%(direct 79%and 5% indirect via NICO Holdings)
  • NICO Zambia – 62% (direct 49% and 13% indirect via NICO Holdings)
  • Shriram General Insurance, India – 20% via Shriram Capital
  • Pacific & Orient, Malaysia – 49%
  • Legal Guard, Botswana – 60% via BIHL
  • Soras AG, Rwanda – 63% via Soras Group
  • Santam Namibia – 37%
  • Enterprise Insurance, Ghana – 40%
  • Gateway, Kenya – 56%
  • FBN Insurance, Nigeria – 35%

Sanlam Investments[edit]

Asset management[edit]

  • Sanlam Investment Management (SIM) – manages institutional portfolios and retail collective investment (unit trust) funds
  • Sanlam Structured Solutions – structured products


  • Sanlam Multi Manager International (SMMI) – investment management advisory business

Alternative investments[edit]

  • Blue Ink – hedge fund manager focusing on both the local and global investment markets
  • Sanlam Alternative Investments – focuses on the compounding of positive investment returns coupled with downside protection strategies to generate wealth for retail and institutional clients
  • Sanlam Africa Investments – with a presence in 13 African countries, Sanlam Africa Investments enables investors to capitalise on African growth opportunities by successfully sourcing and managing investments across a range of asset classes

Passive investments[edit]

  • Satrix[12] – offers investors easy, cost effective access to the markets through a wide range of passively managed investment products

Capital management:[13][edit]

  • Capital management – manages portions of Sanlam's third-party and policyholders' funds
  • Sanlam Capital Markets (SCM)
  • Sanlam Private Equity (SPE)

Employee benefits[edit]

  • Sanlam Employee Benefits – Provides risk and investment administration services to institutions and retirement funds
  • Sanlam Group Risk (SGR)
  • Sanlam Employee Benefits Investments (SEB Investments)
  • Sanlam Umbrella Solutions (SUS)
  • Sanlam Retirement Fund Administration (RFA)
  • Simeka Consultants and Actuaries

Wealth management[edit]

  • Sanlam Private Wealth (SPW) – Private client wealth management and stockbroking
  • Calibre Investments – 50.1% – Australian investment management
  • Sanlam Private Investments UK – 97% – UK private wealth management and stockbroking
  • Summit Trust – 65% – International independent trust services group in Switzerland
  • Investment Advisory Services and Fiduciary and Tax services

International investments[edit]

  • Sanlam International Investment Partners – manages established partnerships with specialist investment management firms abroad
  • SIM Global – manages long-only specialist international equity funds
  • Sanlam Asset Management Ireland (SAMI) – Sanlam's international investment management platform in Dublin managing funds domiciled in Ireland
  • Sanlam UK – wealth management player in retail financial services in the United Kingdom, comprising Sanlam Investments and Pensions, Sanlam Distribution, Sanlam Private Wealth and Investment Management
  • P2 International – International Mutual Fund Administration Investment services
  • Sanlam Collective Investments – retail, multi-managed, institutional and third-party collective investment (unit trust) funds


Sanlam has an effective 60% interest in Santam, which in turn operates through the following businesses:

  • Santam Insurance – traditional and specialist lines intermediated business
  • MiWay [14] and Centriq[15]– short-term insurance to clients through a direct distribution channel
  • Santam Re – reinsurance in emerging markets

Sanlam Group Executive[edit]

  • Ian Kirk, Group Chief Executive Officer / Executive Director, Sanlam Group
  • Heinie Werth, Financial Director, Sanlam Group
  • Temba Mvusi, Chief Executive, Sanlam Market Development
  • Hubert Brody, Chief Executive, Sanlam Personal Finance, and Group Strategy and Projects
  • Robert Roux, Chief Executive, Sanlam Investments[16]
  • Junior John Ngulube, Chief Executive, Sanlam Emerging Markets[17]
  • Heinie Werth, Chief Executive, Sanlam Emerging Markets
  • Lizé Lambrechts, Chief Executive, Santam
  • Anton Gildenhuys, Chief Actuary and Group Risk Officer

Recent news[edit]

For the six months to June 2015,[18] Sanlam reported an increase in new business volumes of 22% to R100 billion compared to the same period in 2014. The net result from financial services increased by 5% on the first half of 2014; up 11% excluding certain one-off items. The annualised Return on Group Equity Value (RoGEV) per share of 13% exceeded the target of 12.1%. RoGEV is the group's primary performance target for measuring shareholder value creation.

Ian Kirk was appointed as Group Chief Executive[19] and Executive Director of Sanlam Limited and Sanlam Life Insurance Limited from 1 July 2015. This follows the retirement of former Group Chief Executive Dr Johan van Zyl from this position, as well as from the boards of Sanlam Limited[20] and Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd.

In November 2015 Sanlam announced that the group had agreed to buy a 30 percent stake in Morocco-based Saham Finances, which operates in 26 countries predominantly across Africa with a presence in the Middle East. The US$375 million deal will significantly expand the group's African footprint.[21]

Former CEO, Dr Johan van Zyl, joined the Sanlam Limited and Sanlam Life Insurance Limited Boards as a non-executive director and representative of Ubuntu-Botho Investment Holdings, Sanlam's black economic empowerment partner as of 18 January 2016.[22]

A new business cluster known as Sanlam Corporate was created early in 2016. The unit will be headed by the former CEO of Munich Re sub-Saharan Africa, Junior John Ngulube and will offer corporate clients life insurance, general insurance, investments, health insurance, retirement, financial planning and advice.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About". Sanlam. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  2. ^ a b "Contact Us". Sanlam. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  3. ^ Sanlam Limited: Who we are, retrieved 10 July 2010
  4. ^ "Sanlam – Hot or Not". Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  5. ^ a b "Mozambican insurer changes name to Sanlam Seguro de Vida | Macauhub English". Macauhub English. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  6. ^ Wet, Athandiwe Saba, Phillip de. "Absa may have to pay back apartheid-era bailout billions". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Ubuntu-Botho/Sanlam BEE deal". Financial Mail. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  9. ^ "BRIEF-Santam sells 76 pct of Indwe to UBI and Sanlam". Reuters. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  10. ^ "BIHL goes on a shopping spree | Botswana Gazette". Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  11. ^ "Sanlam to unlock insurance potential". Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  12. ^ "How to start investing in Satrix". Fin24. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  13. ^ "Sanlam Capital Markets Limited: Private Company Information – Businessweek". Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  14. ^ "Santam buys the rest of MiWay". Moneyweb. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  15. ^ "Professionals: Short-term » Press Room > Santam acquires 100% shareholding in Centriq". Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  16. ^ "Van der Merwe steps down as Sanlam boss". Business Day Live. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  17. ^ "BRIEF-Sanlam appoints CEO of corporate business unit". Reuters India. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  18. ^ "2015 Interim Results" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  19. ^ "Sanlam names insider Ian Kirk as CEO". Business Day Live. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  20. ^ "SLM:Johannesburg Stock Quote – Sanlam Ltd". Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  21. ^ eNCA. "Sanlam Group's Africa expansion | eNCA". Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  22. ^ "Sanlam appoints Munich Re exec to head up new unit". Moneyweb. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  23. ^ "Cluster deepens black leadership on Sanlam executive". Business Day Live. Retrieved 2016-02-16.