It was on 14 March 1831 that the forerunner of Mutual & Federal - the South African Fire and Life Assurance Company – first opened its doors. After trading profitably for 64 years, South African Fire and Life was acquired by the 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.
In order to be known as an overtly South African insurance company, a suitable name was needed. The Mutual part was easy, reflecting the 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.
And so the Mutual & Federal Insurance Company was born and the rest – as they say – is history!
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