Old Mutual plc (Template:Lse, Template:Jse) is an international insurance company and investment management company. Originally based in South Africa and focused on the South African market, it is now London based. Old Mutual is the largest financial company listed on the JSE Securities Exchange by market capitalisation. It is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
HistoryEditThe company was founded by John Fairbairn as a mutual insurance company in 1845 under the name of The Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope.
In 2000 it bought the Gerrard Group, a financial services concern, for $857m. Later that year it acquired United Asset Management, based in Boston, for US$1.46 billion in cash and assumed UAM net debt of around US$769 million. Old Mutual was able to acquire a large and diverse but primarily US-based asset manager. As part of this transaction the PBHG Funds of Pilgrim Baxter & Associates were acquired.
In 2006 Old Mutual acquired the Swedish insurer, Skandia, in a $6.5bn deal, bringing additional business in the United Kingdom, several other countries in Europe, in Latin America, the Far East and Australia.
The Company has major assets in the United Kingdom and in the United States, where the majority of its funds under management were located before the Skandia deal took place. Its South African holdings include Nedbank Group Ltd. (formerly known as Nedcor), South Africa's fourth largest banking group and Mutual & Federal - the second largest property and casualty insurer in South Africa. It also has minor operations in Namibia, Kenya, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
It is the main sponsor of the Zimbabwe cricket team as well as the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (run in Cape Town), the Encounters series of music concerts and the country's largest choral music competition, the National Choir Festival.
The SEC charged Pilgrim Baxter & Associates with fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with market timing of the PBHG Funds between June 1998 and December 2001. Harold Baxter, a founder of the firm, provided price-sensitive PBHG Fund portfolio information to the President of Wall Street Discount Corporation, a registered broker-dealer, and a close friend of his. The friend then passed this information to Wall Street Discount Corporation customers who used the information to market time the PBHG funds and to exercise hedging strategies through other financial and brokerage institutions. After terminating market timing for most investors in the middle of 2001, Pilgrim and Baxter allowed certain personal acquaintances to continue market timing. Because of this illegal activity fund investors incurred losses. As of April 2001, timing assets in all PBHG funds hit nearly US$600 million. In the PBHG Growth Fund alone, US$466 million in timing assets accounted for 14% of the entire fund. The frequent, questionable trading finally ended by January 2002. It took more than a year and a half, as well as public humiliation and subpoenas for PBHG to come clean. During the period, from 1998 through 2001, the company earned significant investment advisory fees. On 23 April 2007, a settlement of US$125 million was reached with 254,000 investors, although this failed to recompense them for the full amount of their investment. Subsequently the PBHG funds were renamed becoming the Old Mutual subadvisor Liberty Ridge Capital.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Old Mutual History
- ↑ Old Mutual reaches deal
- ↑ Old Mutual extends US reach
- ↑ Old Mutual seals deal for Skandia BBC News, 2006
- ↑ PBHG agrees to pay $120m