How did a business founded in 1918 make it to 2018?
It’s taken 100 years of hard work and perseverance over many generations to get us this far. Our company has evolved but we've always stayed committed to creating lasting value and enabling people to live their best lives possible. For now and for generations to come.
So what can we learn about our past 100 years that will help us see through the next 100?
We embraced opportunities for empowerment by being a forerunner of transformation in South Africa and continue to be pioneers of technological development and innovation.
We did it first
We did it for good
The first payout of this cover was made in 1924, to AR Helsden, a railway worker, who lost his eyesight in an accident.
This was the first mainframe computer installed for use at Sanlam, which came from Burroughs in the United States.
A forerunner in computerised financial planning at the time, Finplan introduced electronic financial analysis for clients.
Selling control of Metropolitan Life to a black consortium that establishes New Africa Investments Ltd (Nail).
Sanlam led the way and became the first South African financial institution to enable offshore client investments.
Sanlam Life’s advisers become the first of all South African life insurers to receive accreditation from the internationally recognised Financial Planning Institute (FPI).
Sanlam sold a stake in the business to Ubuntu-Botho, a group of black investors led by Patrice Motsepe, in a deal which allowed for the empowerment of many black individuals and broad-based groups.
Sanlam becomes the first major South African insurer to offer standard life cover for people with HIV.
In 1998, through demutualisation, every person who owned a Sanlam policy got a share in the newly listed business known as Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd.
These new shareholders essentially became co-owners of Sanlam, empowered to share in the success and profits of the newly formed broadly-based financial services group.
Along the way, we’ve diversified our leadership and nurtured the growth of our staff. Our financial advisers and independent brokers are our most valuable business partners, playing a key role in establishing meaningful, lasting client relationships. It’s thanks to the skills and dedication of these individuals that we’re able to celebrate this 100-year milestone.
From a small Cape-based insurance company to a leading, diversified financial services group with the biggest non-banking footprint on the African continent.
We are Wealthsmiths™
We never settle. We continue to adapt and evolve. We work hard every day to help people live their best lives possible. Through this hands-on, roll-up-your sleeves approach, we’ll continue to make a real and positive difference to the lives of all South Africans.
For 100 years, we’ve put our clients first
Sanlam has established a board committee to oversee client-centricity, client service and client satisfaction. It’s the right way to do things, it’s just part of the DNA of Sanlam and the way we do business.Desmond Smith Chairman of Sanlam’s Board of Directors (2010 - 2017)
1918: 1st policyholder
Mr S de Wet
1919: 1000th policyholder
Mr C Ncinitwa
1988: 10 millionth policyholder
Mrs M Odendaal
Our purpose is to empower
Sanlam’s purpose is to build a world of Wealthsmiths™, supporting people in living their best life by helping build financial resilience at the individual and societal level.
The Blue Ladder Schools project is giving South African learners a headstart on a brighter future by improving maths tuition, nutrition and upgrading key facilities at schools across the country.
It’s the hard work of many people over many generations that has got us to where we are today. We’ve adapted as a group and we’ll continue to do that. I have no doubt that the fundamentals are in place to put us on the map in 100 years time.Ian Kirk Group Chief Executive of Sanlam