Michael Sassoon, Sasfin’s CEO. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Michael Sassoon, Sasfin’s CEO. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Banking group, Sasfin will acquire a significant minority stake in Saxo Capital Markets SA (SCMSA), as part of a management buyout of the trading platform from Copenhagen-headquartered, Saxo Bank.

The purchase of a stake in SCMSA for an undisclosed price follows the recent acquisition of the loan book of Absa Technology Finance Solutions for R1bn. The Saxo acquisition was not material for Sasfin’s existing clients, but formed part of plans to enhance the group’s digital platforms, said Sasfin Wealth CEO, Erol Zeki.

Following earnings declines over three successive reporting periods, Sasfin is hard at work cleaning up its credit processes and growing new business.

Last month, it launched the country’s first banking platform catering specifically to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The group is undertaking a strategic review under new CEO Michael Sassoon — the son of founder, Roland — and has made a number of senior management changes, poaching top executives from competitor banks.

SCMSA clients would continue to have access to the same product range and platforms, with no change to their legal or contractual relationship with Saxo Bank. The platform would incorporate regulatory reporting and market data management for the local financial market, said head Richard North.

"The sale is part of our strategy to go deep in certain key markets ourselves and be present in other markets through strong partnerships," said CEO of Saxo Bank, Kim Fournais. "Saxo Bank continues to work with a range of partners in SA that use Saxo Bank’s technology to service their end-clients."

Fournais said the country was an important market for Saxo Bank and it would continue to deliver banking as a service to strong partners.

Sasfin shares closednearly 8% lower at R43.20 on Tuesday.