The Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Trust en Assuransie Maatskappij Beperk (South African National Trust and Assurance Company Limited), Santam, was registered on 28 March 1918. It was then decided to convert the life assurance department into a separate company, and the Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Lewens Assuransie Maatskappij Beperk (South African National Life Assurance Company Limited), Sanlam, was registered on 8 June 1918.
Sanlam, the subsidiary, later became the spearhead of the operation, while Santam remained focused on short-term insurance. Santam remained the controlling shareholder until 1954 when Sanlam became an independent mutual life assurance company, as well as the largest single shareholder in Santam.
Sanlam Group has developed over time into a diversified financial services business. Through its business clusters – Sanlam Personal Finance, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments, Sanlam Corporate and Santam.
The group’s areas of expertise include insurance, financial planning, retirement annuities, trusts, wills, short-term insurance, asset management, risk management and capital market activities, investment and wealth. The group operates in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, India, Malaysia and the UK and has business interests in the US, Australia and the Philippines. It has a stake in micro-insurance specialists, UK-based Micro-Ensure Holdings Limited, which has a footprint across Africa and India servicing more than 10 million enrolled clients.