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Grindrod Asset Management and Plexus Group merge interests

07 May 12          

A press release from Grindrod Asset Management and the Plexus Group has announced that agreement has been reached to merge their respective asset management businesses, including Plexus Global Asset Management domiciled in Hong Kong.

The merger has been agreed in principle, subject to signing of agreements and obtaining regulatory approval, and will see each business bringing in excess of R4 billion of assets under management or advice to the consolidated investment management business. The new entity will operate under the Grindrod Asset Management brand.

Dr. Prieur du Plessis, chairman of the Plexus Group, said that the merging of the two boutique entities will create a strong player in the asset management industry.

‘We have identified many synergies over the past few years and it became clear that a formal merger of the complementary Plexus and Grindrod Asset Management investment teams and supporting services would be beneficial to both shareholders and clients alike,’ he said.

Grindrod Asset Management brings a wealth of knowledge in the private client and listed property management field, while Plexus brings its asset allocation experience, enhanced fundamental index® and PIMCO distribution licences to the business. The merged Grindrod Asset Management will incorporate institutional asset management, private client wealth management, investment products including unit trust distribution, and a stock broking business.

Senior executives from both Grindrod Asset Management and Plexus will fill the leadership positions in the new entity. Dr. du Plessis will be the non-executive chairman, with Mark Logan of Grindrod Asset Management and Paul Stewart of Plexus Asset Management as executive directors. Grindrod Asset Management’s Ian Anderson will take the role of Chief Investment Officer, while Ian Pallot of Plexus will head up finance and operations.

An important milestone was reached when Grindrod Collective Investments, established in 2011, incorporated the Plexus collective investment scheme (CIS) funds into its CIS range on 1 March 2012. ‘The mutual working relationship established by merging the fund ranges highlighted some obvious advantages of combining these businesses and paved the way for creating a consolidated investment management business,’ said Mark Logan, executive director.

‘The merger will give the Plexus team access to the additional proprietary research of the experienced Grindrod Asset Management investment team and wide coverage of broader aspects of the investment markets, which we believe will lead to excellent investment outcomes over time,’ said Paul Stewart, executive director.

‘A larger asset base will afford the merged business the opportunity to enjoy certain administrative economies of scale and more competitive fees with related service providers. Grindrod Asset Management further has an existing national distribution team which is competent to service  various distribution channels.’

‘The combination of the individual strengths of the two businesses creates a strong platform from which Grindrod Asset Management will be able to grow and add real value to clients,’ said Chief Investment Officer, Ian Anderson. ‘Going forward, the business will provide a suite of investment products which will be focused on particular needs and outcome requirements of investors while continuing to deliver exceptional and personal client service.’

Grindrod Asset Management forms part of the wider Grindrod Financial Services business. It provides a suite of unit trust and other investment products which are focused on particular needs and outcome requirements of both individual and corporate investors. It also offers private clients a complete wealth management service, as well as discretionary investment management services to institutional clients looking for exposure to the South African and global listed property sector.

The Plexus Group was founded in 1995 and specialises in providing innovative, unique and holistic financial solutions for both corporate and individual clients. Plexus has a strong culture of being research driven and has distinguished itself as a pioneer in the financial services industry.

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