Old Mutual was founded 1845 as a mutual insurance company by John Fairbairn, together with several other prominent Cape Town figures. The original name The Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope was changed to The South Africa Mutual Life Assurance Society in 1885.
In 1931, Old Mutual opened its building in Bulawayo. The existing building in Salisbury was replaced by a new building in 1962. In Ndola, the Standard Bank acted as their agent.
In 1970, Old Mutual acquired a major shareholding in the newly formed Mutual & Federal, and later acquiring the remaining shares in 2009. In 1973, Old Mutual acquired shareholdings in Nedcor Bank (renamed the Nedbank Group in 2005).
In 1997 and 1998, the company acquired UK stockbrokers Capel-Cure Myers and Albert E. Sharp respectively which then merged to form Capel-Cure Sharp. In 1999, it was demutualised and the company listed on the London, Johannesburg, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibian Stock Exchanges as Old Mutual.
- Walter Herdzik