History of Mutuality at Equitable Life

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 06:53 PM

A small team has started independently of any established action group to undertake a Terms of Reference for a  Mutuality study, with the assistance of both ELAS and the Institute of Actuaries.

"The Team is looking for further assistance with its work.  Anyone with experience of historical or legal research would be most welcome.  We also need one or more volunteers to conduct a newspaper search at the British Library for the years 1891-93, and other volunteers to organise an internet survey of policyholder and ex-policyholder perceptions.  Here is your chance to make an impact for the benefit of all policyholders. For further information contact Michael Joseph  mikeruti@netvision.net.il 

History of Mutuality at Equitable Life


Study Terms of Reference




¨       Equitable Life was constituted as a mutual association from its foundation in 1762, and remained such after it was incorporated in 1893 as a Society with unlimited liability.

¨       The majority of policies partook in the rights and obligations of Membership, even if the holders of those policies or schemes of insurance were not technically Members of the Society.

¨       A majority of recent Members were not aware of their liabilities under these arrangements, and the Memorandum and Articles of the Society are not clear as to these matters.

¨       Accordingly, a study team has been constituted to establish the factual basis of Mutuality at Equitable, as far as that is possible in a limited time.

¨       The study has already received significant documentary help from the Company Secretary of Equitable.

¨       There are three active team members and two legal advisors, but more assistance would be welcome.




¨       To establish a picture of Members expectations of Mutuality during the period 1990 to the present, by means of an internet survey.

¨       To establish the present perceptions of the Society in this regard by means of direct discussions with confirmations in writing.

¨       To analyse the available historical documents, particularly the 1762 Deed of Settlement and the Memorandum and Articles as they have developed, and to set out the formal changes to the concepts of Mutuality up to the present time.

¨       To compare the situation at ELAS with the accepted norms for a Mutual, and to highlight any significant differences.  To indicate where such norms derive from legislation and legal precedent, and where they are simply ‘custom and practice’.

¨       To indicate briefly how the normal conventions for a With Profits fund derive from Mutuality (or otherwise).

¨       To identify those issues which are important in regard to ELAS current situation and which are still open to debate.




Michael Josephs

Email: mikeruti@netvision.net.il

Phone: +972 67 82 9191

Correspondence:       115A Moriah Avenue

                                    HAIFA, 34617


For further information contact Michael Joseph  mikeruti@netvision.net.il