Stephen Cranston Writer & columnist

Thank goodness that in a sea of blandness, a fund manager such as Denker Capital is around to fly the flag for the mavericks. It was founded in 2015 when SIM Global, run by legendary banking analyst Kokkie Kooyman, merged with the ponderously named SIM Unconstrained Equity shop run by Claude van Cuyck and Ricco Friedrich.

Denker is still 49% owned by Sanlam and it is puzzling that it allowed so many aggressive and talented managers to leave the nest. However, Van Cuyck argues that Sanlam made a far-thinking move. It was unlikely that many of the team would stay at the Bellville life office for the rest of their careers, and Sanlam provided the administrative infrastructure and capital to make Denker successful and still enjoy the benefit of a 49% holding when it grows to scale. At the current size of R5.5bn under management the partners aren’t getting rich, but at least they have the Sanlam safety net...

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