Resilience report 2017

Sanlam at a glance

Sanlam at a glance

We track our sustainability performance against leading national and international codes of best practice.


Sanlam has been a signatory of the CDP since 2007. This year, we achieved a score of B. This indicates that Sanlam implements a range of actions to manage climate change in its own operations and beyond.

| Read more about our environmental performance


The United Nation’s SDGs provide an overview of the world’s most pressing economic, social and environmental issues of our time. We integrated the SDGs in our strategies and Sustainability Management Framework, and commit to the goals material to our business.


We use the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as a tool to improve our sustainability processes and associated reporting to ensure that we have a comprehensive internal structure. We use this index to benchmark ourselves against our peers. Sanlam was again included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – achieving an index score of 54 out of 100 (2016: 60). Sanlam is also the only South African life insurer included in the Dow Jone’s Emerging Market Index.


R60,1 billion

Understanding how our business creates shared value

The cornerstone of our purpose, to build a world of WealthsmithsTM, is our ability to create shared value for our material stakeholders. In this way we are able to strengthen their financial resilience and prosperity.

This contributes to a mutually beneficial value ecosystem for individuals, organisations and society.


Creating a world worth living in means that organisations have the benefit of:

  • Wealth creation, management and protection through sound advice, fair treatment and a range of financial solutions that meet collective needs and expectations
  • Opportunities to generate fee income as distribution partners of Sanlam products and services
  • Growth in dividends and the value of institutional shareholding in Sanlam
  • Access to financial capital for businesses in support of sustainable economic growth through Sanlam’s investment of client and shareholder funds under management
  • Technical and financial support to regulators to enable economic, social, regulatory, political and environmental resilience and prosperity
Creating a world worth living in means that society has the benefit of:

  • Economic empowerment and choice through consumer financial education and entrepreneurship support
  • Enhanced levels of education and skills development at primary, secondary and tertiary levels
  • Execution on Government’s social agenda, including reduced risk through environment-related risk management and transformation initiatives
  • Stability and liquidity in the financial sector through Sanlam’s investment of client and shareholder funds under management
  • Trust in the financial sector as a result of technical and financial support to regulators
  • Collaboration and trust between business, government and labour in support of inclusive economic growth
Creating a world worth living in means that individuals have the benefit of:

  • Wealth creation, management and protection through sound advice, fair treatment and a range of financial solutions that meet individual needs and expectations
  • Employment opportunities and fair remuneration that leads to career development and financial security
  • Growth in dividends and the value of Sanlam shares owned by our individual shareholders

Understanding our strategy

Our vision is to:

  • Lead in client-centric wealth creation, management and protection in South Africa;
  • Be a leading Pan-African financial services group with a meaningful presence in India and South-East Asia; and
  • Play a niche role in wealth and investment management in specific developed markets.

Our purpose

is to build a world of WealthsmithsTM, supporting people in living their best possible lives through financial resilience and prosperity at individual, organisational and societal levels.

Our strategic intent

is to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.

Sanlam’s vision and strategic intent are pursued through a strategy focused on four pillars:

Profitable top-line growth through a culture of client-centricity

Enhancing Sanlam’s resilience and earnings growth through diversification

Extracting value through innovation and improved eficiencies

Responsible capital allocation and management

Continuous transformation is central to Sanlam’s ability to adapt to a changing world and underpins all of the strategic pillars.

Understanding our business

Sanlam’s financial and risk solutions support wealth creation and protection for individuals and organisational clients. The nature of these solutions often have a positive impact beyond the client, as it supports systemic resilience for businesses, families and communities, such as in the case of death, disability or fires and floods.

Sanlam is a diversified financial services group, based in South Africa, operating across a number of selected global markets.

We use a decentralised operational model, managed through tight principles set at a Group level, to execute on our strategy. This model is a key part of our ability to diferentiate ourselves from our peers in strategic execution.

We offer the following products and services:

Life insurance

Risk solutions provide monetary benefits to compensate for the financial impact of unexpected events such as death, disability, trauma and retrenchment

Investment solutions facilitate wealth accumulation and provide for income at retirement through a full range of investment options that offer varying levels of investment guarantees

General insurance

Insurance solutions provide monetary benefit to compensate for the loss of physical property, loss of trading income or liability incurred. It includes motor, property, aviation, crop, engineering, guarantee, liability, accident, transportation and alternative risk transfer insurance

Investment management

Retail client solutions offer savings options that create wealth through a range of collective investment schemes and wealth management solutions, including stockbroking

Institutional client solutions offer wealth creation through traditional and specialist asset management in South Africa and abroad

Credit and structuring

Retail client solutions offer access to personal loans and traditional banking to create long-term financial prosperity

Institutional client solutions provide asset-based nancing, debt origination and structuring, asset- liability management, equity and interest rate derivatives, and collateralised lending in support of business activity and economic growth

Administration, health and other

Long-term financial resilience and prosperity is created through individual and organisational financial needs analysis and advice (including estate planning, trusts, wills), health management and retirement fund administration

Understanding our governance approach

The concept of traditional governance is being disrupted and reformulated due to shifting global realities. For example, the governance of emerging technologies adds complexity to existing regulatory uncertainty. These and other global challenges, such as climate change, place pressure on governing bodies around the world. This includes policymakers, government, industry and civil society.


In many developing countries, governments are simultaneously challenged by limited resources, strained budgets and systemic corruption, while feeling the pressure of society’s demands for access to services and infrastructure, fair opportunity, and shared prosperity.

Many countries around the world continue to perform poorly in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI), which measures key aspects of human progress such as life expectancy, per capita income and education.

Aside from increasing pressure on governments, there is a renewed and nearly global focus on corporate governance as a contributor to economic stability and safer capital markets. This focus comes in the wake of corporate governance failures, such as the global financial crisis in 2008, and the Libor scandal.

Governing bodies are increasingly accountable and are expected to lead ethically and in a way that contributes to inclusive and sustainable development for all stakeholders. This accountability is spurred by increasing levels of activism by civil society and shareholders.

While South Africa’s socio-political and economic environment is stabilising following a period of uncertainty, widespread corruption and the systemic threat of state capture remain issues of concern.

Despite this, South Africa is fortunate to be a forerunner in corporate governance.

The King IV Report on Corporate GovernanceTM for South Africa (King IVTM) was released in 2016. King IVTM, and its preceding Codes, is respected as one of the leading and most mature codes of corporate governance in the world. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is rated as one the top-ranking stock exchanges in the world.

These systems, among others, provide organisations and governing bodies in South Africa and around the world with the tools to implement ethical and transparent leadership. For example, the implementation of King IVTM is paramount to prevent the involvement of corporates in state capture and corruption in South Africa going forward.

Understanding our key risks

How we identify and respond to risks

To provide the benefits underlying our products and services and to sustainably create value for all stakeholders means that we are exposed to a range of risks. These risks, however, also create opportunities for innovation and differentiation. We distinguish between strategic and operational risks, which are mitigated through a mature risk management governance structure.

Risks are managed on a preventive basis as far as possible through various risk management activities. Should risks materialise, Sanlam’s financial capital is available to absorb the financial impact. This ensures that we remain solvent and can honour our commitments to clients.

The top-down approach is undertaken at an executive and senior management level, and considers the key strategic risks affecting Sanlam in the medium to long term.

The clusters and business units undertake a bottom-up approach with the assistance of their risk management functions to assess all categories of key risks from an operational perspective.