At various times most of the components that make up the MMI group have been market leaders. At least one, Guardrisk, is still there, though unfortunately in a sector known as cell captives, which few understand. But MMI became an also-ran in what used to be its core businesses, its linked investment platform and its investment manager. It must have been a shock for new CEO Hillie Meyer and his deputy Jeanette Marais, veterans of the group in its heyday, to see how much it had been allowed to rot. It was up to Risto Ketola, the flying Finn, to deliver the year-end results. It was a Nordic noir scarier than anything on Netflix. Don’t make the mistake of calling him Bisto as there isn’t much gravy to give away. Core earnings were down 28% for Momentum Retail, though R920m profit looks quite good compared with Liberty. MMI’s Metropolitan is in the high-growth end of the market, where Old Mutual Mass and Sanlam Sky have shown real profit growth. Yet Metropolitan’s profit fell 14%. It is...

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