There was something sadly familiar about Old Mutual’s first annual general meeting as a primary-listed JSE company. That it was overshadowed by boardroom controversy and speculation that a senior executive might be taking advantage of his powerful position made it all feel as though not much had changed since 1999.

That was the year the recently demutualised South African insurance and investment entity headed off to launch its primary listing in London. Mike Levett, executive chairman at the time, described the move as a “win, win, win” situation for Old Mutual, for its policyholders and for Southern Africa. A key part of that winning story was easier access to capital to fund an ambitious growth plan...

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