When former Old Mutual boss Mike Levett, who died in Cape Town on August 30 at the age of 81, demutualised the insurance and investment entity in 1999 and headed to the UK to launch its primary listing in London, he famously described the controversial move as a "win, win, win" situation for Old Mutual, for its policyholders and for Southern Africa.

In fact it was a value-destroying disaster for all three. The only clear winners were the group's executives, who received generous sterling-denominated remuneration packages...

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