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Old Mutual: Protecting Prosperity

Brand Finance
03 May 2023

In 2023, Old Mutual is the 19th most valuable brand in South Africa, with a brand value of ZAR11.2 billion. With a Brand Strength Index score of 89 out of 100 and AAA rating, Old Mutual is both the most valuable and strongest South African Insurance brand.

Interview with Mosala Phillips.

Mosala Phillips,
Chief Marketing Officer,
Old Mutual

Old Mutual is not only the oldest insurance brand in South Africa, but also the strongest with a Brand Strength Score of 89/100. Furthermore, Old Mutual is the only insurance brand featured within the top 10 strongest South African brands. What are the successes and initiatives you can attribute to this achievement?

Old Mutual’s climb in the rankings is attributable to the trust we have built over the years with our customers across the continent. We understand that our customers place an immense amount of trust on us, therefore everything we do is connected to our promise and vison: To be our customers’ first choice and to sustain, grow and protect their prosperity. However, this accomplishment is also a tribute to our employees across the continent who continue to deliver on this vision.

The Group’s strategic focus on growing and protecting its core retail businesses, while unlocking new growth engines is beginning to pay dividends. Over the last year, our core retail businesses have returned to profit, enabled by increased sales and the continued take up of the Group’s innovative Protection Offering, Old Mutual Protect. The Group’s focus on growing its Corporate portfolio outside of South Africa and across the continent, has also yielded revenue growth for our business.

Today, the Group has grown into a premier pan-African financial services Group that offers a broad spectrum of financial solutions to retail and corporate customers across key market segments in 14 countries, across 2 regions.

Key initiatives we attribute our success to:

  • We keep our promises to our almost 12 million customers!
    • 98% of life and short-term claims paid.
    • 88% of funeral claims paid within 4 hours.
    • 1.8 million Old Mutual Rewards customers and growing…
  • Enhancing value for our shareholders
    • Just under R60 billion has already been returned to shareholders since the Group’s listing on the JSE in 2018
  • We are committed to diversity and inclusion and are actively driving transformation in South Africa:
    • 42% of senior management positions held by women and 61% of senior management roles are occupied by black people.
    • 50% of our Board members are black and 29% of the Board is comprised of females.
    • Level-1 B-BBEE certification since 2019
    • R2.1 billion “Bula Tsela” transformation transaction concluded in 2022 is set to increase our black ownership by 4%
  • Our people are at the core of everything we do:
    • Over 31,000 employees across our operations
    • In South Africa, 87% of our employees are black and 61% of our black employees are in senior management positions.

Brand Finance’s market research revealed that consumers saw Old Mutual as one of the brands most closely associated with supporting communities and wider society. Has this been a key focus for Old Mutual and how do brands ensure ESG communications are trusted by customers and other key stakeholders?

Sustainability is a central part of the Group’s vision to becoming our customers’ first choice to sustain, grow and protect their prosperity. We acknowledge the interconnectivity between the economic, social, and environmental systems within which we operate and the urgency to transform our collective growth path to one that is more socially inclusive and resource efficient.

We are committed to Creating Mutual Futures and intentional about communicating our actions in this space. Our stakeholders are critical to the success of our sustainability strategy, and our journey is designed to leave no one behind.

Some of the key initiatives we are undertaking in the Sustainability and ESG space include:

  • Environment focus:
    • An active stewardship programme designed to transform our investment portfolio over time in line with the green economy and the just transition. In 2022, our Active Stewardship programme saw 968,245 resolutions voted on.
    • The Group currently also has R146 billion in funds under management already invested in the green economy.
    • Old Mutual Investments Group was named the Best Responsible ESG Investor Africa by Capital Finance International for the second time.
    • We have joined the UN-sanctioned Net Zero movement as both an asset owner and an asset manager, with firm intermediate targets in place. Read more here.
  • Society and Governance Focus:
    • Our extensive portfolio of financial education and inclusion initiatives reaches customers and communities in the 13 African countries we operate in. Our programmes are designed to connect with people from both urban and rural communities and are available through digital and face-to-face mediums to ensure content is easily accessible to everyone. Across Africa, our financial education initiatives reached over 36.6 million people in 2022.
    • We help entrepreneurs build resilient and successful businesses. Our offerings are designed to provide an integrated commercial service offering while delivering impactful solutions. These span customised funding solutions, market access facilitation and mentoring and coaching. We invested R290 million in SMMEs across South Africa in 2022. The Group’s Masisizane Fund, a special-purpose development finance vehicle setup to support SMEs, disbursed R102.8 million in 2022.  
    • We offer humanitarian supportto communities that suffer from natural or man-made disasters. We provide support through our internal response capability, like the Old Mutual Foundation, coupled with our external partner network, such as Habitat for Humanity South Africa. Our humanitarian and disaster efforts provided support of R53 million in 2022, through extensive support to the communities affected by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, including providing food and shelter.

Looking ahead from the strong 2022 performance, what are the growth priorities for the Old Mutual brand?

Off the back of a year where we meaningfully progressed executing our strategy and delivered on our commitments to investors and customers, our priorities will remain focused on Protecting the Core & Unlocking growth through innovation even in the challenging macro-economic environment.  

The brand will continue to deliver growth through offering holistic customer solutions, which include the launch of our banking offering in 2024. Finally, our investment in our innovation engine, Next 176, and the expansion of our regional business outside of South Africa, will also be important in ensuring we remain a leading financial services brand.

About the Author

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Headquartered in the City of London, we are present in over 20 countries.

For almost 30 years we have helped companies and organisations of all types to connect their brands to the bottom line.