Sanlam unit eyes UK acquisitions

SANLAM Private Investments (SPI) yesterday said it was on the prowl for acquisitions in Europe where consolidation in the stockbroking and wealth management business was creating opportunities to buy companies.

The company has already completed the purchase of leading UK stockbroking firm Merchant Securities Group through Sanlam Private Investment Holdings UK.

Last year it also bought two UK private client investment management businesses, Principal Investment Management and Border Asset Management, and a trust business in Switzerland.

In an interview yesterday, the CEO of SPI, Daniël Kriel, said while Sanlam was focusing on “bedding down” the transactions, it would continue to be on the lookout for possible acquisitions.

He said there had been consolidation in the UK stockbroking market where up to 15 small firms had “disappeared from the market” through mergers or outright purchases, or closed down because of tough business conditions. “That in itself has created opportunities for us,” he said.

“But the focus for the next six months will be to bed down the acquisitions we have made so far and integrate them fully into the Sanlam wealth cluster.

“We are (however) not closing the door on further acquisitions in order to build a client proposition for our high net worth clients in SA and Europe. (The intention is to) offer an integrated service that is based on a seamless offering,” Mr Kriel said.

He said Sanlam chose the UK as the market from which to make acquisitions because its South African clients were more comfortable with a UK-based stockbroking and securities business. This was probably due to common business practices and language.

“Historically, most high net worth clients like dealing with London ,” said Mr Kriel.

He said Merchant Securities would continue to focus on small institutional clients and high net worth clients.

“We have got a very good model because we have a team which includes highly respected analysts,” he said. “We are already very much on budget of what we want to achieve by the end of this financial year … and have a good pipeline of business,” he said.


Friday, January 27th, 2012 EN

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