Asset Management subsidiary for Trustco?
Synonymous with legal insurance, Trustco Group Holdings has grown from being a nimble insurer to a modern day diamond miner, a bank, a property developer and is also involved in media through a weekly. It therefore came as no surprise recently that there were faint hints at its plans to venture into asset management.
While Trustco have not confirmed that it is in fact interested in asset management, a quick glance at the profile of one of its Senior Managers, suggests the investment management arena looks attractive to the legal insurer.
Trustco recently appointed former Sanlam Namibia Business Development Manager for Collective Investment Schemes Wikus Fourie as Manager for Alternative Investments. Part of Fourie’s responsibilities now include the establishment of a unit trust fund and investment subsidiary if his LinkedIn profile is anything to go by. This may have unwittingly let the cat out of the bag. Seeking clarity, the Economist questioned Trustco’s spokesperson Neville Basson on the new development brewing at the group. While Basson has stated no intention on Trustco’s part, a glance at Fourie’s LinkedIn profile tells a different story.
Responding on the matter, Basson said, “Trustco continues to seek opportunities to expand its business and will consider all opportunities that not only benefit the shareholders but also can unlock synergies and advantages to our clients further enhancing the value add of conducting business with Trustco. An asset management segment will be considered should this fit into the Group’s strategy and business model.”
Continued Basson, “Establishing any new business requires careful research and consideration as well as acquiring the right skills. It would have to pass all the relevant regulatory requirements as well. It would however be to early to say what the full process would entail as at this point in time the group is focused on the existing businesses and product offerings within the group and ensure that we remain on serving our clients and are aligned with their interests.”
Concluding he stated, “Trustco continually explores all possibilities to widen the range of services they offer as the Group has shown itself both dynamic and possessing the ability to adapt and expand the business as we continue to strive towards creating wealth.”
The Economist contacted Christopher Swart at the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority more than a week ago and got no response about an application lodged by Trustco to be registered as an investment manager.