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Our Stakeholder Network

Sanlam’s strategic intent is to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.

While we operate in an extended universe of stakeholders, we identify and select material stakeholders on the basis of their impact on Sanlam’s business and the successful execution of our strategy. Sanlam’s ability to create mutually beneficial financial resilience and prosperity is reflected in RoGEV, our primary performance target for measuring shareholder value creation.

Governance of Stakeholder Relationships

The Sanlam Board and executive management are responsible for managing Sanlam in a sustainable and stakeholder-inclusive manner. This includes overseeing the strategic risks that relate to the interface between Sanlam and its stakeholders, and balancing the needs, interests and expectations of all material stakeholders in the best interests of Sanlam over time. Read more about governance responsibilities to stakeholders in the Governance Report.

Stakeholder Relations

Sanlam’s stakeholder strategy guides engagement with material stakeholders. An approved stakeholder communication policy is in place. Stakeholder engagement is continuous and depends on the needs of the various stakeholders and business clusters.

Each business cluster manages stakeholder engagement according to the specific focus in their operations. The clusters report to the Sanlam stakeholder hub on a quarterly basis on all stakeholder engagement activities and concerns raised.

The stakeholder hub is a centralised stakeholder database that serves as an issue log. The information in the stakeholder hub is collated and reported to the Social, Ethics and Sustainability (SES) committee on a quarterly basis. Group Market Development in the Group Office provides a support function for managing stakeholder relationships through face-to-face and client-centric engagement. This includes established relationships with multiple tertiary institutions in South Africa, trade unions, government departments, private sector institutions and affinity groups such as churches. Group Market Development further facilitates cross-selling and collaboration between clusters to execute on market opportunities.

No significant other issues were raised by stakeholders during 2018.

Read more about our transformation initiatives for suppliers and communities in the online sustainability portal.

The package of BBBEE transactions was the topic of most intense stakeholder engagement during 2018, as it involved investors, regulators and business partners. Sanlam conducted roadshows and distributed information through presentations, circulars and shareholder letters to address queries and concerns. The latter related mostly to the role of the Independent Committee of Non-Executive Directors in managing potential conflicts of interest, the review process followed in recommending the transaction to shareholders and the anticipated process to select the broad-based beneficiaries of the new share issuance.

Case Study: Increasing Broad-based Financial Literacy

More than 16 000 economically vulnerable employees in South Africa gained financial literacy skills over the past three-and-a-half years. This was because their employers deployed the Saver Waya Waya WageWise programme offered by the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) Foundation. Economically vulnerable employees are defined as those who earn less than R20 000 a month.

Sanlam partly funds the programme, which has grown to benefit an average of 1 200 employees a month across a variety of sectors. Programme outcomes include understanding payslips and retirement fund benefit statements. Innovative teaching methods such as educational videos are used to teach financial literacy. Post workshop support includes handouts such as budgeting templates and SMS reminders of key learnings.

Every project delivered by the Foundation is monitored and evaluated by an independent service provider to ensure that programmes achieve their objectives.

At Santam, consumer financial education is funded through the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) and by focusing on individual and commercial clients in Santam’s emerging client market. Activations for the year included Money Smart week in Soweto, Alexandra, Tembisa, Mamelodi as well as retail learning hub partnerships with The Box Shops in Soweto.

Santam currently offers 24 insurance access products verified by the Financial Sector Transformation Council (FSTC).

Our Stakeholders: Key Touchpoints

Client engagement occurs at various touchpoints during the course of the client transaction process and all stages of the product life cycle. Client satisfaction is measured regularly.

Employment engagement is ongoing and supported by the connectivity pillar of Sanlam’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Each year, Sanlam conducts employee engagement surveys in its largest operations. The results of these surveys inform Group-wide programmes that aim to enhance employee inter-connectivity and engagement.

Shareholders can access information on Sanlam’s performance via its Annual Reporting Suite, website and SENS announcements. Information sharing with shareholders and investors is also facilitated through biannual results presentations, operational updates, the Sanlam investor conference, the Annual General Meeting, and through ad hoc meetings.

Our business model, especially in SEM, relies on partnerships and collaboration. We rely on the local knowledge and infrastructure of our partners in the markets in which we operate and invest. Engagement with these stakeholders is supportive and not intrusive. Engagement is formalised through service level agreements, governance structures, reporting requirements and personal engagement. Business partners are essential in achieving our vision of becoming a leading Pan-African diversified financial services player.

The Sanlam Foundation is Sanlam’s primary corporate social investment (CSI) vehicle and is focused on shared-value initiatives that fulfil the needs of society and business.

Various CSI initiatives that are aligned with the Group’s priorities are also conducted in-country by SEM. In support of Sanlam’s purpose, all business clusters pursue a set of outcomes that build financial resilience and prosperity for society. These outcomes include, among others, development of entrepreneurship, consumer financial education and skills development.

Sanlam engages with government through industry associations and various business chambers. These include the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in South Africa through the Group’s Blue Ladder Schools Programme, which are aligned with government’s National Development Plan (NDP).

The Group Office and cluster businesses engage on a regular basis with industry regulators to assist in creating a trusted financial services environment.

Sanlam actively engages all stakeholders and appreciates that being a responsible corporate citizen entails being responsive to stakeholders’ needs and expectations. The Sanlam Board noted the matters raised by shareholders during the engagements around the package of BBBEE transactions. In line with the commitments made at the 12 December 2018 general meeting of shareholders, the Sanlam Board approved the following additional measures to strengthen independence:

  • We provide more specific personal detail in the Board profiles in the Governance report.
  • We disclose more of our reasoning on why some members are regarded as independent despite long tenure.
  • The rotation cycles of Board members are reduced, which means that more Board members will stand for re-election every year, enabling shareholders to have regular opportunities to vote on Board memberships.

Comprehensive information in respect of the process to be followed to identify the broad-based beneficiaries of the BBBEE share issuance is provided here.

Case Study: What is the Omni-channel Client Approach?

At Sanlam, omni means that the client is at the centre of what we do. They are serviced through various channels that collaborate and are familiar with each other. Interaction with the client is managed in a coordinated way to provide a better and more comprehensive service according to the client’s needs.

Based on research, clients continue to desire much of the value traditionally provided by a broker or adviser: information, explanation, insight, record keeping and transactional support. This means that the future is less about channels and more about enhancing the delivery using digital technology.

Creating an omni-channel capability is a key competitive priority and it is based on understanding client experience through different touchpoints and channels. This should be seamless and context appropriate. It has shifted the focus from transactional interaction to contextual engagement, with the intermediary remaining essential. We enable intermediaries with data and tools while sharing information and experiences between them, clients and Sanlam – all in full adherence to regulatory directives.

To drive Group-wide collaboration, we created an omni-channel board, which acts as a forum for communication and alignment on priorities.

Case Study: Clients rate Sanlam Reality

According to the latest SAcsi South African Consumer Satisfaction Index, Sanlam’s Reality rewards programme scored highest on the satisfaction index. The survey focused on rewards programmes offered by the country’s top insurance providers namely Sanlam, Discovery and Momentum. According to the index, South African consumers scored Sanlam Reality a satisfaction average of 71,9, compared to an industry average of 69,6.

Sanlam Reality emerged highest for overall customer satisfaction and value for money. Although Sanlam Reality clients are the most satisfied, they also experienced the most service problems, and the rewards programme had the highest complaint incidence. Information from the survey informs further development of the service model.

According to SAcsi there are approximately 70 active loyalty programmes available in South Africa. The best performing ones are those that offer a positive overall service level and make earning points and redemption as efficient as possible. SAcsi is an independent national benchmark of customer satisfaction with international comparability. 1 400 loyalty programme members were surveyed.

Case Study: Blue Ladder Benefits for Communities and Schools

The Blue Ladder Schools (BLS) programme is Sanlam Foundation’s flagship project. It has reached 71 170 learners in 75 South African schools, with the focus now on empowering school leaders. Improvements to 75 disadvantaged schools’ infrastructure, maintenance and facilities, as well as customised maths programmes, have already made a huge difference to schools and communities. The school leaders programme focuses on four main themes:

  • Complexities of schooling, including political, economic and social forces
  • The essential role of school leaders in taking ownership of change
  • Refocusing on the instructional core of school
  • Technical and adaptive change management, including management skills

The Sanlam Foundation has invested R74 million in this programme since 2016.

Our Employee Approach

Our employees are one of our key stakeholder groups as we are reliant on specialised skills to execute our strategy. At Sanlam our approach to employees is the same as our approach to clients: we want to enable them to live their best possible lives. We recognise that our employees are in different life stages and that we employ a multi-generational workforce in different business units and geographies.

Our employee value proposition is agile and fit for purpose, built on core values and an ethical culture. It consists of the following pillars:

Sanlam is committed to be as relevant today as it was almost 100 years ago. Over time we have built a reputation of a leading financial services company that can be trusted to act in the best interest of all stakeholders.

Balance is crucial to the well-being of Sanlam’s employees. Sanlam attempts to make life a little easier by offering flexible working hours, access to convenience services and the Sanlam Be Well programme.

Sanlam takes leadership seriously. Through diverse initiatives, we invest in nurturing leaders who engage and empower, are open to new ideas, and are driven to create an environment in which Sanlam’s employees can excel.

Sanlam’s Wealthsmiths™ culture is rooted in sincerity, respect and consideration for one another and for our extended communities. We are focused on doing things right and doing them together.

Sanlam rewards exceptional performance and recognises excellence. To attract the best talent and secure continued high performance, we offer our employees more than just a market-related package.

There is always room for growth. In addition to contributing to South Africa’s economic growth, we are committed to the growth of our employees through various training and development opportunities.

We pride ourselves in helping employees realise their worth and strive to provide challenging, stimulating work and development opportunities. Career mobility within the Group forms part of our talent management strategy. It ensures we appoint, retain and develop key talent.

In 2018 we focused on activation around the growth pillar by creating plans that are supplementary to each employee’s growth strategy. The plans encourage employees to tap into the intranet where we provide a variety of tools and applications for development.

We are also increasing investment in wellness clinics on site. These have been piloted successfully at Santam and MiWay as a more affordable and time-saving alternative to meet their healthcare needs.

To provide the next-generation employee experience, enhance our engagement with employees and implement standardised and leading human resources (HR) practices across Sanlam, we started implementing a Group-wide fully integrated talent suite, SuccessFactors. This is a cloud-based, human capital management (HCM) solution designed to attract top-quality talent, develop talent, motivate people, and retain top talent.

Key Employee Facts

In South Africa:

Invested in training and development initiatives

R344,4 million* (2017: R312,8 million*)

Percentage of employees that received training

77% (2017: 84,9%)

Percentage of employees who received training who are black

73,4% (2017: 71,4%)

Percentage of employees who received training who are female

59,9% (2017: 59,9%)

The percentage of black middle management

increased to 49% (2017: 46%)

The percentage of black senior management

increased to 36% (2017: 34%)

Total SA-based employees (including advisers):

20 120 (2017: 19 163)
* This figure includes all associated management expenses.

Sanlam was recognised as a top employer in 2015, 2016, 2017 and again in 2018. The Top Employers Institute is a global certifier of excellence in people practices.

Read more about remuneration as an enabler for talent attraction and retention in the Remuneration Report.

Case Study: Paying Attention to the Gender Pay Gap

Sanlam has operations in the UK and therefore started measuring the Group gender pay gap in line with new disclosure developments in the UK.

We differentiate between the gender pay gap and equal pay: the former is the difference in average earnings between men and women employees (without distinguishing for level of seniority and job size), whereas equal pay (or ‘Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value’ as the legislation is known in South Africa) requires that men and women doing the same job are paid the same.

Sanlam and its underlying businesses adhere to ‘Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value’ principles and where shortcomings are recognised these are addressed to ensure pay equity.

Measures taken by Sanlam to advance women and address career growth and opportunities are:

  • Talent mapping
  • Leadership development courses/exposure
  • Gender representative/equity recruitment practices
  • Flexible work policies/practices accommodating families
  • Leadership diversity targets measured with relevant accountability
  • Ongoing review of gender-based policies to ensure they facilitate development and retention
  • Increased positioning in key events/publications/platforms
  • Refinement of unconscious bias programmes to ensure key focus on gender-related issues

Key Human Capital Risks and How We Manage These

Inadequate transformation of the demographic profile of Sanlam at top, middle and senior management levels in South Africa. This includes an insufficiently inclusive organisational culture, from a race and gender perspective.

Mitigating actions

We have an accelerated transformation programme driven by the clusters, including targeted recruitment strategies. The monitoring and reporting of progress against contracted targets have been improved and incentives have been linked to targets. Senior appointments are approved by the Group Chief Executive or head of Group HR. On-boarding activities and career planning processes have been reviewed and improved. We have created greater flexibility with employment contracts, for example in work location.

Significant numbers of specialised and experienced employees are experiencing excessive working demands due to increased regulatory pressure, expansion demands, new role demands and scarcity of skilled and experienced resources.

Mitigating actions

We are providing additional support through the upskilling of existing and approval of new resources and have increased the use of consultants.

We use the graduate and academy programmes to build a future supply of scarce skills and have developed an actuarial resourcing strategy. The Sanlam Information Technology Academy was launched at the end of 2018 to focus on the development of skills in new technologies. The academy augments similar programmes in the fields of finance, actuarial and investment management.

We have increased participation in industry bodies to share the regulatory burden. We have a focused talent mobility strategy, especially within SEM as part of their transition strategy for the new operating model and resourcing approach.

Inadequate supply and quality of leaders, including an inability to attract, develop and retain leaders with the required capability.

Mitigating actions

We have a Group-wide and business level succession planning process in place with increased ownership of top talent by the Group Exco. An Executive Leadership programme through the Gordon Institute of Business Science started at the end of 2018. The graduate recruitment programme serves as a leadership pipeline. We continue funding a range of other leadership development programmes. We are developing a team-based approach to leadership to reduce dependency on individuals.

Case Study: A Legacy Culture of Client-centricity

At the annual general meeting in 1926, the Chair, Willie Hofmeyr, stated that Sanlam did not regard itself as a company whose main aim was to become rich, but as an institution that had a responsibility to serve the nation: “We fully subscribe to the view that the interests of policyholders should be the first consideration in a business of this nature. That is why we always try to be fair rather than technical towards policyholders.”

This approach resulted in a large number of death and disability claims being approved because the Board’s decision was based on empathy and humaneness rather than on technical correctness or the letter of the law.

This culture of client-centricity still exists in Sanlam today and is one of the key drivers of our success for the past 100 years.

In 2012, Sanlam expanded the mandate of the Policyholders’ Interest committee of the Board and renamed it the Customer Interest committee. This preceded South African legislation aimed at protecting customers – evidence of Sanlam’s inherent client-centricity.

The committee reviews and monitors all client-related decisions made by the Group. From a product and services governance perspective, the committee ensures that Sanlam’s client-centricity standards are maintained across the Group. New products are subject to a pre-approval and sign-off process that includes a review from the Sanlam Customer Interest committee and an appointed statutory actuary.

Today, our client service and support capability is extensive, mature and sophisticated across most of the markets where we operate. For example, the SPF Client Care Centre (CCC) handles at least 16 000 client interactions daily through various channels. Apart from operations at Head Office, SPF has more than 100 CCC offices throughout South Africa.

Over the past seven years, we performed consistently in terms of complaints resolved by the office for the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance. The Ombudsman mediates in disputes between members of the long-term insurance industry and policyholders regarding insurance contracts.

We continuously focus on innovation and efficiencies to improve client experience. Initiatives in this regard, for example, enables Sanlam Sky to pay some 80% of its claims within 24 hours. Similarly, Saham Assurance pays small vehicle claims within 90 minutes. This significantly reduces waiting time and the administration burden for clients. Saham Assurance’s Check Auto Express centres were the first to be launched in Morocco in 2009. These centres are dedicated to the payment of small car damages (less than US$2 000), also known as ‘fender benders’. Experts at the express centres evaluate the damage and can compensate a policyholder within 90 minutes via cash or cheque. A more recent enhancement of the service enables clients to have digital visibility of the claim’s progress with the potential to reduce waiting time to only 20 minutes. Saham Assurance also offers clients on-site glass repair as an alternative to receiving a claim payment. 40% of damages are paid by the Check Auto Express centres, which recorded a 95% satisfaction rate from clients. These are just some of the many examples of how we achieve superior client service.

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