With Sanlam's demutualisation in 1998, all qualifying policy owners received free shares. As part of the validation process, each shareholder's information was verified to confirm ownership of the shares, and share certificates were only issued upon request.
The shares of individuals and private companies and entities are held in the nominee company, Sanlam Share Account. Since demutualisation, we have lost contact with a large number of shareholders as a result of their registered address and/or contact details becoming unknown, which has resulted in Sanlam not being able to deliver their share proceeds and/or unclaimed dividends due to them. Since 2013 Sanlam has elected to pay dividends and other payments only by way of electronic fund transfer resulting in dividends remaining unpaid due to shareholders details not being known.
Sanlam's demutualisation prospectus advised of the requirements that shareholders had to meet and to keep their personal particulars up-to-date. Where these requirements were not met, Sanlam can now follow a prescribed process and write back the shares. This process has been repeatedly communicated to shareholders in brochures.
Since 2001, Sanlam has undertaken various projects to keep clients' records up to date, unfortunately without much success. Costs to the company for the various internal projects, which included, among other things, a full-time call center at Sanlam's Shareholder Service from 2001 to 2011, together with annual external tracing exercises with credit bureaus, as well as the other projects and the current tracing advertising, has amounted to several millions over the years. These projects are in addition to efforts by Sanlam's Transfer Secretary, Computershare, and formerly Mercantile Registrars, to locate shareholders whose address is unknown.
Due to the high costs associated with the administration of shares and dividends, Sanlam decided in December 2019 to continue the process. The shares of the untraceable shareholders in the Sanlam Share Account, will therefore be sold and the proceeds, as well as the unpaid dividends, will be forfeited.
What is required of Sanlam shareholders:
From the end of January 2020 to 15 March 2020, Sanlam Share Account will place official notification advertisements in provincial and national newspapers in South Africa and Namibia, to give the affected shareholders a last chance to respond.
The advertisement calls on shareholders to come forward and update their share account records with the transfer secretary, Computershare, as well as claim all unclaimed dividends to which the shareholder may be entitled; or to sell their shares and claim all unclaimed dividends to which they may be entitled to.
A 90-day window period will be allowed to update and correct the records concerned, and should the untraceable shareholders' fail to respond, the shares will be sold.
Any person or entity who believes that it can legally claim the shares in the Sanlam Share Account held on behalf of an untraceable shareholder should contact Sanlam's Transfer Secretary, Computershare.
How to contact Computershare:
- South African individual shareholders: Dial *120*726526# on your mobile number and follow the prompts. [Note: USSD charges will apply at standard network rates]
- South African non-individual shareholders/private companies: Click here to complete the form and submit it online
- Shareholders in Namibia: contact the Namibian Transfer Secretary at +264-61 227647
- Namibian individual shareholders/non-individual shareholders/private companies: Click here to complete the form and submit online
Computershare will respond to the shareholders within 24 - 72 hours.