Sanlam is a diversified financial services company founded in South Africa, with presence in 33 countries on the African continent, as well as presence in India, Malaysia and selected developed markets. It has four business clusters and offers several financial products, including life insurance, general insurance, savings and investment, asset and wealth management, retail credit, financial planning and advice and healthcare. The financial institution has 154,675 employees and has more than ZAR 900 billion of assets under management. It aims to have more than 50 million customers across Africa to access it financial solutions by 2025.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, the responsibility for sustainability issues within Sanlam lies with the Board of Directors. The financial institution also publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Sanlam discloses the key industries it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change and the rationale for choosing these priorities. As a member of Climate Action 100+, the financial institution discloses that it collectively engages with its clients on the topic of climate change. Moreover, it discloses nature- and biodiversity-related impacts as one of its engagement topics/priorities with companies to which it provides financial services.
Sanlam has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers, external individuals and communities to raise human rights complaints or concerns. It also has a publicly available policy statement which shows it is committed to respecting the health and safety of workers. The financial institution has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption. Besides, Sanlam discloses a public commitment to protect personal data and that an executive-level individual has responsibility for its global tax strategy.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, Sanlam has an opportunity to link the remuneration of its executive and management teams to sustainability performance criteria. In terms of female representation in leadership positions, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only 6 out of 18 board members are women. In terms of gender equality, the bank also has an opportunity to reach at least 40% female representation in senior leadership positions. It could disclose the ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category. There is no evidence that the financial institution discloses the actions taken to address any pay gaps. Sanlam has an opportunity to describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with investees.
There is no evidence that Sanlam discloses a target to reach net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It could disclose alignment with the Paris Agreement as one of its engagement priorities with companies to which it provides financial services. Sanlam has an opportunity to disclose that it requires companies to which it provides financial services to have a strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement. It could also disclose its financing activities devoted to climate solutions. Regarding nature and biodiversity, no evidence was found that the financial institution is committed to minimising its negative impacts or financing regenerative solutions.
There is no evidence that Sanlam has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights laid out in the UN Guiding Principles and the ILO declaration on fundamental rights at work. Therefore, it has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its investment activities. The financial institution could disclose the age, the proportion of women, and the breakdown of race for each employee category. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, Sanlam has an opportunity to disclose the amount of finance directed towards, for example, women-owned businesses, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or low-income developing countries.
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Net income: ZAR 200.13 billion; AUM: ZAR 563.03 billion