Sanlam faces objections over voting time limits
SEVERAL Sanlam policyholders objected this week to the life assurer's proposed demutualisation.
Last week the Financial Services Board (FSB) appealed to the public to come forward if they were opposed to Sanlam's proposal.
During this week, 25 policyholders phoned the FSB to complain about, and question, aspects of the demutualisation. The most frequent queries were about the number of free shares allocated, and the fact that policyholders had less than a month to get their votes to Sanlam.
These were some of the public objections, to which Money asked Sanlam to respond:
A Cape Town policyholder of 15 years said he was unhappy with his allocation of 317 free shares, since a Sanlam employee and new policyholder was promised 600.
A Sanlam spokesperson explained that free shares were allocated by the value and type of policy, while the amount of time the policy had been held played a lesser role. She said Sanlam employees were allocated 300 free shares each plus a minimum of 300 shares if they were also a policyholder.
A foreign policyholder asked why he would receive cash instead of shares. Sanlam said it would give foreign policyholders the equivalent of their shares in rands because of legal and actuarial restrictions. They should provide a South African address to Sanlam if they would prefer to be allocated shares.
Another frequent objection was that Sanlam had not given policyholders enough time before their postal vote was due on Thursday.
"We sent out voting forms on September 9 and policyholders received them within a week," said the spokesperson.
Sanlam will go ahead with demutualisation only if more than 75% of votes are for it. Eligible policyholders who did not vote on time will still receive their free shares. They can also vote at the extraordinary general meeting in Paarl on Thursday.