Old Mutual Bursaries

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Old Mutual offers extensive bursary programmes for students who want to do great things in the Accounting and Actuarial fields.

Old Mutual is the oldest mutual life assurance company in South Africa. Since its beginnings in 1845, the company has grown into a multinational investment, savings, insurance and banking giant operating in more than 30 countries with close to £330 billion of assets managed, 18.9 million customers served, and a workforce of 64,000.

The company was founded by John Fairbairn, a Scotsman living in the Cape of Good Hope. Back then, it was known as the Mutual Assurance Society and its capital funding came from the premiums of 166 of its original policyholders. As other companies entered the life assurance market, Mutual Assurance began to be referred to as the “old” Mutual, and by 1885, the name had been formerly adopted by the company.

The group’s emblem of interlocking anchors, symbolising mutual strength, has been a part of Old Mutual’s brand iconography since 1870 and has recently been modernised.

Old Mutual began its expansion by opening an agency in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) in 1895, with Namibia (South West Africa) following 25 years later. By the 1950’s, Old Mutual was issuing its millionth policy and had the largest office block in the southern hemisphere at the time. The 1970’s saw Old Mutual making two large acquisitions with Mutual & Federal and Nedcor Bank. By the time the political transition took place in South Africa, the company had business interests in the UK and US. Old Mutual is listed on the London Stock Exchange, having achieved this in 1999. Since then, the company has continued to restructure for growth.

The Old Mutual Group currently has four core business areas. The Emerging Markets and Nedbank business units provide the African, Latin American and Asian markets with financial services for retail and corporate customers, while the Wealth Management and Asset Management units provides service to customers the US, UK and other European markets. Old Mutual’s future plans include the unbundling of these businesses into four standalone entities.

The company has a strong commitment to educating customers about their personal well-being. To this end, one of its goals is to reach 50 million people with its financial education programmes by 2020.

Old Mutual Bursary Program Overview

As one of South Africa’s leading employers of chartered accountants and actuaries, Old Mutual offers a bursary programme that provides more than technical training, but offers critical business training to prepare students for the world of work.

The requirements for the bursary programmes are similar in that they are targeted exclusively to South African citizens, with priority given to students who come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds (Black, Coloured, Indian and Chinese, as designated in the Employment Equities Act).

For the Accounting Bursary Programme, applicants are required to have achieved a minimum 70% or Level 6 in all their matric subjects, specifically Mathematics (not Maths Literacy) and English. By applying for the bursary, applicants commit themselves to joining the CA Training Program after their undergraduate studies. The purpose of the programme is to guide graduates through the process of qualifying as chartered accountants by providing on-the-job training in technical competencies such as Financial Management, Accounting and Internal Auditing. Furthermore, the CA programme also equips candidates with the soft skills required to succeed in the business world, and academic support is provided throughout board exam preparation.

The Actuarial Bursary Programme is targeted towards students who possess exceptional aptitude in maths and statistics. Applicants must have passed Mathematics with distinction and achieved mostly A’s and B’s for the remainder of their matric subjects. In addition, applicants must have demonstrated abilities in interpersonal communication, time management, and leadership. Creativity and integrity are also highly valued.

Bursary Benefits

Old Mutual’s bursary programmes are robust, covering tuition fees and accommodation in full as well as providing an allowance for books and general expenses.

Students who are not studying in their hometown also receive a return flight home once a year. From their second year of study, bursary recipients will have the opportunity to gain real-life working experience at Old Mutual during university vacations. Academic and emotional support are provided throughout the duration of the studies to help students to cope with the workload required to complete their qualification successfully. As an added bonus, bursary recipients will be offered other incentives for outstanding academic performance and results.

The Accounting Bursary is awarded to students who have been accepted to the University of Cape Town (UCT), while the Actuarial Bursary is granted to successful applicants from UCT and Stellenbosch.

Qualifications Covered

Accountants and actuaries are integral to Old Mutual’s business, and the bursaries that the company offers are strictly for these disciplines.

Application Process

Application for both programmes open on the 1 March 2017 and close on 30 May 2017.

This stage of the application process serves as the initial screening of applicants. Candidates who are interested in applying must complete an online form on Old Mutual’s website – postal or emailed applications will not be considered. Students are requested to provide only their personal details and certified copies of their Grade 11 results at this point. If these are found to be satisfactory, the applicant will be contacted to take the application further, and will be sent a more comprehensive application form.

Following the receipt of these applications, candidates will be shortlisted and invited for an interview at Old Mutual’s offices or at a suitable location in their hometown. The final decision is made by the end of October and successful applicants are notified accordingly.

Old Mutual was ranked number 1 in the financial services and insurance categories of the Top Employers survey for 2016. This was the sixth consecutive year that the company held this position.

boat anchor

Application Due Date
30 May 2018


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