Old Mutual has announced that it is set to scrap the Mutual & Federal brand and rebrand it as Old Mutual Insure, and subject to regulatory approval this will take effect from 5 June 2017.
In a statement issued this week it said it made this decision after extensive research and engagement with employees, brokers, advisers and customers.
“This might be a good thing for the brand [Mutual & Federal] as it’s aligning with the bigger brand [Old Mutual], pointed out Will Keevy, head of Insurance Busters. “Old Mutual is better known than Mutual & Federal and it will benefit from being under one name, much like Discovery has its various products under its name. I think this move may strengthen the insurance brand.”
The idea to rebrand Mutual & Federal has been brought up before. Back in 2015, Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM) CEO, Ralph Mupita believed the insurance arm would benefit from a name change, saying that the brand was ‘weaker’ in the retail space, but very strong in the traditional broker market.
Old Mutual said the rebrand will support the group's vision to become a fully integrated financial services provider, making it easier and more convenient for customers across the continent.
“Our customer value propositions will be integrated across the banking, insurance, savings and risk needs of our customers. This creates opportunity for Mutual & Federal to further unlock the value that sits in the Old Mutual customer base, its brand and distribution channels. The rebranding does not take away from our core capability of offering specialised short-term insurance expertise. It is an exciting time for us and for all our stakeholders to do great things for our customers,” said Raimund Snyders, chief executive officer of Mutual & Federal.
The history of Mutual & Federal
This is not the first time that Mutual & Federal, which has been in business for 186 years, has undergone a name change. In fact, it’s had many names and logos along the way.
It was initially known as the South African Fire and Life Assurance Company in Cape Town and opened its doors on14 March 1831. After trading profitably for 64 years, the business was acquired by London & Lancashire which, in turn, was absorbed by the Royal Group in 1962.
In the 1960s South Africa had become a republic and the government directed that all branches of foreign insurance companies operating in South Africa should be registered as South African companies and trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. This conversion became known as the ‘domestication of foreign companies’. As a result, the Royal’s many companies in South Africa merged with Old Mutual’s short-term company, the SA Mutual Fire & General Insurance company, in 1970.
Old Mutual said: “To be known as an overtly South African insurance company, a suitable name was needed. The Mutual part was easy, reflecting Old Mutual’s involvement (The Old Mutual Group was established in South Africa in 1845). As the names ‘Royal’ or ‘London’ would reflect a British heritage, it was then decided to use the name ‘Federal’, from the Federal Insurance Corporation.”
In 2010, Old Mutual acquired the remaining shares of Mutual & Federal from the Royal Insurance Company and thus M&F became wholly owned by Old Mutual.
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