Building a relevant pan-African brand in the digital era

Old Mutual


Old Mutual group is Africa’s largest insurance and investment company, with billions of funds under management and operations in 13 markets across Southern, East and West Africa.

Its purpose is to help our customers to thrive, through enabling them to achieve their lifetime financial goals through responsible investments.


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business landscape and world of work. It has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted supply chains, created significant volatility in global financial markets and paralyzed economies. Two-thirds of the world’s population has been asked to stay at home and most have stopped traveling. To succeed in the new world of work requires openness and transparency, based on trust, common objectives and shared values. Organisations require employees who are digitally savvy, proactive and team players than ever to able to work and contribute remotely without a major impact.

Old Mutual recognized that to stay relevant in this digitally-led new reality, its marketing leadership across 13 diverse African markets needed to be equipped with new cutting edge skills to deliver on its business plan, and support an integrated business, brand and culture across Africa.

Programme Design

As a core component of the Old Mutual Marketing Way philosophy focused on building capabilities and a way of working, ABLA designed a custom programme to inspire and empower the diverse Africa marketing leadership team to sharpen and harmonize their capabilities to build an integrated, consistent, relevant and profitable world-class responsible brand that enables and supports the OML group strategy in a digital era.

The programme design and content were informed by several pre-diagnosis sessions with targeted Old Mutual Africa marketing leaders, category and global insights and thought leadership, trends, best practices and the core principles of building a global African brand. Rooted in real world practical learning, the programme was designed to balance the business requirements, individual needs and skills gaps. To maximize opportunity for an engaged learning experience, the programme was presented virtually and scheduled at a convenient time to accommodate the different time zones while delivering.

The programme was presented in 6 modular live lecture sessions delivered by subject matter experts selected from ABLA’s network of respected practitioners, thought leaders and academics across disciplines and industries.

It was anchored on our ABLA LMS e-learning platform to facilitate both independent learning and live instruction and supported by ABLA’s digital library.


Assessments are an integral part of instruction to evaluate comprehension and application of the content. Incorporating Forums for participants to engage with each other and the lecturers between sessions, assessments at the end of every module to gauge comprehension of the content, and group activities based application of the core programme to specific Old Mutual business and brand challenges and opportunities. The group activities were designed to facilitate collaboration among Old Mutual Africa teams. Participants had to attain at least 75% mark in the assessments and participate and contribute to the group activity, attend at least 4 live sessions, complete all compulsory reading to earn an ABLA Certificate of Completion.

The programme closed with group presentations to invited exco members and a first of its kind AI virtual graduation that featured and recognized every participant that successfully completed the programme.

The programme engaged participants across diverse geographies and built a common brand building capacity for Old Mutual participants.

“Thank you for the engaged and exciting lessons. Thank you for your support through the past 7 weeks. Thank you for one of its kind virtual graduation ceremony,”
Sonia Umwari – Rwanda

“Amazing how you made participants tackle and re-imagine real Old Mutual brand cases. It was so enlightening. Our work is made much easier, as the graduandi did so much that feeds into our focal areas. The wisdom shared has to be extended to others at Old Mutual. It was a lovely continental experience,’
Fikile Kuhlase –
Head, Old Mutual Foundation and Social Investment