Old Mutual thrives over nine months despite higher outflows

Signage on the Old Mutual building, Sandton. Picture: Karen Sandison/Independent Newspaper

Signage on the Old Mutual building, Sandton. Picture: Karen Sandison/Independent Newspaper

Published Nov 23, 2023


Old Mutual businesses remained well positioned for growth, as evidenced by the strong sales trajectory, with Life APE sales excluding China up 13% relative to 2022 and 23% relative to 2021.

Group directors said yesterday that strong growth was seen in net client cash flow in its Mass and Foundation Cluster, Personal Finance and Old Mutual Africa Regions in the nine months to September 30.

This was offset to an extent by significant outflows in Old Mutual Investments and Wealth Management, where clients required liquidity given the challenging economic conditions, the group said in an operational update yesterday.

Gross written premiums grew by 15%, driven by new business growth, premium increases, and renewals, across all divisions in Old Mutual Insure, and the acquisition of Genric Insurance Company.

In Mass and Foundation Cluster, sales benefited from solid risk sales across all retail channels and higher credit life sales, and productivity improvements.

In the Mass and Foundation Cluster, given the slower-than-expected economic recovery, the focus was on management interventions to mitigate persistency pressure which was starting to yield positive results.

“We will reassess the need to strengthen our persistency basis at year-end and any other basis changes which may be required,” the directors said.

Personal Finance experienced strong single premium guaranteed annuity sales and higher recurring premium savings sales.

Old Mutual Africa Regions delivered strong retail and corporate sales mainly due to new business, renewals, and improved productivity in East Africa.

Gross flows grew by 8% mainly due to higher inflows in Old Mutual Africa Regions following a higher demand for offshore investments in Namibia as well as new man-dates secured and higher unit trust sales in East Africa.

The increase in flows was supported by annual premium increases in Mass and Foundation Cluster, and higher single premium inflows in Personal Finance, as well as better inflows in Old Mutual Corporate with a strong secured-to-flow pipeline.

Despite lower net client cash flow in Old Mutual Investments, a significant amount of capital totalling R8.4 billion was raised in the higher margin Alternatives business supporting future revenue generation.

Marginal growth in loans and advances in Mass and Foundation Cluster was in line with a cautious lending strategy, partially offset by the decline in the loan book in Old Mutual Africa Regions due to the depreciation of the Kenyan shilling against the rand.

Casper Troskie, Old Mutual chief financial officer, would reach retirement age in April 2024, but his term was extended to the end of April 2025, while a process to appoint a suitable candidate as a successor had commenced.