Japie van Niekerk, MD Bidvest Bank. Picture: TREVOR SASMSON.
Japie van Niekerk, MD Bidvest Bank. Picture: TREVOR SASMSON.

Bidvest Bank can offer clients investment management services with Bidvest Financial Services’s acquisition of Adrian Saville’s Cannon Asset Managers for an undisclosed sum.

“Our acquisition of Cannon is a key building block in the expansion of our financial services business,” Bidvest Financial Services and Bidvest Bank MD Japie van Niekerk said on Thursday.

Bidvest will now own 100% of Cannon as a result of buying just shy of 70% of Cannon from Peregrine Holdings-owned Citadel, a wealth management business.

Cannon would retain mandates for Citadel funds it now managed. The companies said founder and CEO Adrian Saville would continue to serve, as an independent strategist for Citadel Investment Services.

“When we had a conversation with Bidvest Financial Services, it became quickly apparent that it was a much more obvious home for an investment firm,” said Saville. Cannon would operate as a separate business within Bidvest, working closely with the banking and insurance units.

There were a number of cross-sell opportunities among Bidvest’s existing customers and within the group itself, which had an investment portfolio in its insurance business and a sizeable staff pension fund, Van Niekerk said. The Cannon team would have to “sing for their supper” and would not have group business handed to them.

The Bidvest Group employs 130,000 people across nine divisions, including freight management and property.

Bidvest Financial Services and Bidvest Bank have together made four acquisitions in less than six months, purchasing majority stakes in FinGlobal and the Fulcrum Group, and buying the local arm of payment company First Data, renamed Bidvest Merchant Services.

Cannon would continue to build its global capacity and low-cost asset allocation solutions, Saville said. The equity funds of Cannon, which is a value investor, underperformed their respective benchmarks in 2017, although they have delivered considerable outperformance in previous years. Bidvest spun out its food services unit, Bid Corporation, in 2016.

Bidvest’s share price had eased 0.72% to R207 at close of trade on Thursday.

ziadyh@businesslive.co.za

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