Old Mutual Emerging Markets announces solid results despite challenging conditions

9 Mar 2017
Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM) delivered a solid set of results against a challenging macroeconomic environment. These results were underpinned by strict expense management across the business and a positive contribution from the South African businesses.



Iain Williamson, Interim CEO of OMEM, indicated that “Macroeconomic and political headwinds across many of our markets contributed to 2016 being a challenging year for the business. Nevertheless, we are satisfied with our financial performance and we continue to make good progress with our strategic priorities, including preparations for our independent future as the principal operation of the primary listed entity in South Africa.”

He pointed out that OMEM’s strong and well-diversified balance sheet is resilient enough to be able to withstand a number of shocks, including a possible South African sovereign credit rating downgrade.


“A key priority for OMEM in 2016 was strengthening our focus on the needs of all our stakeholders, particularly our 10.9 million customers. Through financial education programmes, we continue to promote the value of advice and drive financial inclusion. We also remain committed to enhancing the overall customer experience across our business,” said Williamson.

“Our asset management strategy to support our investment in socioeconomic development also reflects our deep commitment to doing business that benefits society. In 2016, OMEM committed investments towards affordable housing (R21 billion), other infrastructure (R59 billion), renewable energy (R20 billion) and sustainable agriculture (R942 million)."

“Additionally, a further R142 million was invested in community upliftment towards financial education (R27 million), education upliftment, bursaries and scholarships (R76 million), as well as skills and community development (R39 million).”

Williamson added, “We are confident that OMEM is well positioned to enable positive futures for our customers and communities as we make the most of the opportunities ahead of us in South Africa and the other emerging markets we operate in.”



  • Our Integrated Financial Services strategy, which is a key pillar for the Mass Foundation Cluster (MFC) growth strategy, delivers a holistic suite of financial services to meet all our customers’ financial needs through strong tied and independent distribution relationships, our extensive branch network and an enhanced customer experience. The branch footprint grew by 33 to 292 in 2016 and contributes 28% of total MFC life sales (on an APE basis).
  • In November, we entered into a partnership with Startupbootcamp InsurTech, a global accelerator programme, which gives us access to a management team highly experienced in successfully accelerating early stage startups to bring pioneering ideas to market, and support corporate partners to refine and enhance their innovative initiatives.
  • The Old Mutual Tax Free Plan continued its digital growth trajectory, with 26% of plans now sold through this channel (up from 15% in 2015). We also added the Old Mutual Flexible Plan to our digital sales platform and are exploring the possibility of making life cover available digitally.
  • In Mutual & Federal (M&F) strong growth in GWP of 15% was recorded in iWYZE, following the onboarding of a management team of experienced industry professionals. OMEM is in advanced discussions with Atradius, a global leader in trade credit insurance, which will be brought in as a strategic partner in Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation (CGIC) and will position M&F to lead trade credit insurance on the African continent.
  • The Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) launched the Old Mutual Responsible Investment Equity Index Fund, which invests in the FTSE/JSE Shareholder Weighted All Share Index, with a tilt towards companies with strong sustainability profiles.
  • OMIG’s one year investment performance has improved significantly with around 70% of unit trust funds above the median, up from 35% in 2015.


  • Profits in the rest of Africa have grown by 18% and contribute 14% of OMEM profits.
  • Progress has been made with the integration of UAP and Old Mutual Kenya. The rollout of the UAP-Old Mutual brand is also progressing well.
  • An enhanced deal was finalised between Old Mutual and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, which is a key pillar to the delivery of our West Africa strategy.
  • The customer base grew by 10% to 4.4 million in 2016.


  • Latin America and India experienced strong growth in profits and sales.

For comprehensive information on the 2016 Preliminary Results please visit the Old Mutual plc website.