Sanlam: a remarkable 100-year journey

On Friday 8 June, we celebrated Sanlam’s 100th birthday. Over the past century, we’ve grown from a small Cape-based life insurance company servicing the Afrikaans community to a fully diversified financial services group, one that proudly does business across Africa and globally, operating in all segments of the market. And for the past 19 years, Sanlam Private Wealth has formed part of this remarkable journey.

I’m often asked what it takes for a company to achieve 100 years in business. Well, firstly, the talent, commitment and perseverance of the people who work there. You have to have a solid strategy and the ability to implement it, and Sanlam has proven this over the years. A strong brand, capital and reputation are also necessary for success in financial services. Ultimately, however, it’s the hard work of many people over many generations that’s brought us to where we are today.

Of course, we could never have walked this path without you, our clients. We’re immensely proud that with your continued support, we’ve been able to reach this milestone. Our centenary is an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come and to reflect on our contribution as a company to the world we live in. We believe we’ve held true to our purpose – helping you to build and protect your wealth.

Since we established Sanlam Private Wealth (SPW) in 1999, the business has evolved from a small stockbroking firm into a truly international wealth manager. SPW’s global assets under management and advice are now more than R250 billion, and an international cluster of specialist and complementary businesses offers a comprehensive and integrated suite of wealth management solutions to discerning clients.

So where to from here? As a group, we have a clear vision of where we want to be. It’s about getting to the clear leadership position in South Africa in financial services as we define it, from the perspective of all stakeholders. And then to get to a leading position on the African continent, supported by our asset management and wealth management operations in developed markets, mainly the UK.

We have a bright future and I have no doubt that the fundamentals are in place to put us on the map in 100 years’ time – when the world, the business and Sanlam will be very different, just as they were 100 years ago.