The move by Sanlam to increase black ownership of its asset management business to 51% is a smart one. The unit may now find itself better accepted in asset management circles where tensions are high between the traditional players and black-owned companies, who receive less than 10% allocation of the country’s trillions of rands in assets under management. Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk says the change of ownership, which came as part of the new empowerment deal struck with Ubuntu-Botho (UB) will see Sanlam’s unit compete with black asset managers. While black control will certainly open more doors for Sanlam in the retirement funds and employee benefit space, there is still a question of transformation at the management level. Kirk says it’s a challenge that the company is pushing ahead to win but it’s a balancing act. Temba Mvusi, Sanlam’s CEO for markets development — the man tasked with persuading trade unions and pension fund trustees to invest with Sanlam — says clients are demanding mo...

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