Old Mutual


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Nov 22, 2010
Old Mutual plc is an international long-term savings group. Established in 1845 in South Africa, it is now a FTSE100 listed company and has more than 12 million customers.

The company was founded by John Fairbairn, as a mutual insurance company in 1845 under the name of The Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope and became The South Africa Mutual Life Assurance Society in 1885.

In 1939 the Old Mutual art deco office opened in Darling Street as the Mutual Building (or, Mutual Gebou in Afrikaans) which has since been converted to residential use and known as "Mutual Heights". In 1956 Old Mutual relocated its Head Office to Mutualpark in Pinelands and was the largest office block in the southern hemisphere at the time.

In 1970 Old Mutual acquired a major shareholding in the newly formed Mutual & Federal, and later acquiring the remaining shares in 2010.

In 1973 Old Mutual acquired shareholdings in Nedcor Bank (renamed the Nedbank Group in 2005).

In 1997 and 1998 it acquired UK stockbrokers Capel-Cure Myres and Albert E. Sharpe respectively which then merged to form Capel-Cure Sharp.

In 1999 it was demutualised and the company listed on the London, Johannesburg, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibian Stock Exchanges as Old Mutual. Old Mutual establishes a head office in London.

In 2000 it bought the Gerrard Group, a financial services concern, for $857m. Capel-Cure Sharp subsequently merged with Greig Middleton, Gerrard Group's private client business. Old Mutual sold Gerrard to Barclays Bank PLC in 2003.

Later in 2000 Old Mutual purchased United Asset Management, based in Boston, for US$1.46 billion in cash and assumed UAM net debt of around US$769 million, thus acquiring a large and diverse US-based asset manager. Among the holdings of UAM were the PBHG Funds of Pilgrim Baxter & Associates. In 2003, PBA was one of many companies who faced charges related to market timing brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Attorney General of New York. Ultimately, the PBHG Funds (which had been renamed Liberty Ridge) were absorbed into the Old Mutual Funds group.

In 2005, Mike Levett retired as Chairman and was succeeded by Christopher Collins. A Black Economic Empowerment deal was introduced at Old Mutual South Africa, Nedbank and Mutual & Federal in 2005.

In 2006 Old Mutual acquired the Swedish insurer, Skandia, in a $6.5bn deal, bringing additional business in the United Kingdom, several other countries in Europe, in Latin America, the Far East and Australia (which Old Mutual has since exited). Old Mutual also announced its Black Economic Empowerment deal in Namibia.

In 2010, Patrick O'Sullivan became Chairman of Old Mutual plc, succeeding Christopher Collins. In 2011 Old Mutual sold US Life to Harbinger Group Inc.

In 2012, Old Mutual sold its Nordic operations to Skandia Liv for £2.1 billion.

Source: Wikipedia