Top 10 Companies in Africa 2015

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5. Sanlam

Sanlam is a South African financial services company with its headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa.


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Sanlam is an acronym for South African National Life Assurance Company. Its span of services ranges from life and general insurance, banking along with wealth and asset management for retail, business and institutional customers.

Santam was incorporated on 28th March, 1918 as an insurance company that would attract capital through policyholders’ premiums. However, the life assurance department was separated and Sanlam was incorporated on 8th June, 1918. Since then it has undergone several re-structuring processes leading to its expansion. From the 1990s, Sanlam’s focus shifted from life insurance to providing broader range of financial products and services. In 1998, Sanlam was demutualised and converted to public company – Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd. Concurrently, a holding company for Sanlam group of businesses was also created viz. Sanlam Ltd.

The group comprises of the following divisions:

• Sanlam Personal Finance: It’s responsible for retail business in South Africa.

• Sanlam Emerging Markets: It provides financial services for emerging markets outside South Africa with the aim to ensure sustainable delivery and growth in these markets.

• Sanlam Investments: It provides retail and institutional customers in South Africa, UK & rest of Europe specialised investment and risk management services.

• Santam: Specialises in general insurance products for South Africa including personal, commercial, agricultural and specialised agricultural products.

Going ahead, the strategy of Sanlam is hinged on the strategic pillars of:

• Earnings growth: Increasing market share, diversifying base and delivering consistent client experience

• Operational efficiencies: Optimising operating structures and internal systems and effective risk management and governance practices are part of this pillar.

• Optimal capital utilisation: Capital allocation and investment in profitable and sustainable growth opportunities.

• Diversification: Identifying and expanding to new markets in South Africa as well as globally, offering higher long-term growth and returns.

• Transformation: Transforming business objectives by increasing contribution to socio-economic development.

Revenues: $8.5 billion

Net Income: $0.81 billion

Assets: $52.5 billion