CAPE Town seemed an odd place for mutual insurers to be talking about raising their profile. The mutual business model has been all but abandoned in this country.But this is where the International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation’s chief executive Shaun Tarbuck said his organisation had to raise the profile of mutual insurers and push their agenda at the G-20, where worldwide financial industry strategy decisions are taken.Mr Tarbuck was speaking at the federation’s biennial conference earlier this month. This was the federation’s first conference in Africa.South Africa’s biggest mutual insurers, Sanlam and South African Mutual Life Assurance Society (now known as Old Mutual) demutualised in the late 1990s.Mr Tarbuck was unequivocal about demutualisation. “A few mutuals are still going to the stock market, but it’s difficult to justify. It’s often motivated by greed, not a business decision. It adds no value to the customers. It just enriches a few.”He also argued that ...

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