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JOHANNESBURG - Newly-listed Quilter Plc made its debut into the JSE top 40 index yesterday as investors snapped up shares to lift its market capitalisation to R50.98billion.

The company rose as much as 9percent in early trade before settling at 3.55percent higher at R26.80, as it began its separate journey as the break-up of Old Mutual Plc into four parts reached a significant milestone.

Quilter announced that the offer price was R25.88 or £1.45 per share before the listing.

Corporate finance director Mark Satchel said the company’s secondary listing on the JSE was a significant step. The JSE, said Satchel, was a bigger share register for Quilter compared to the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

“We have more investors here by number and value than what we expect in the LSE,” Satchel said. “The JSE is extremely important to us. More than 50percent of our shareholders by value will be based here. It is very important for us to have a good presence here.”

Quilter’s listing on both the JSE and the LSE marked a significant milestone in the firm’s transition in the past six years from effectively a closed life book business to a full-service wealth management business.

Newly-listed Quilter Plc made its debut into the JSE top 40 index as investors snapped up shares to lift its market capitalisation to R50.98bn. Photo: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

In London, the group has £112bn (R1.99trillion) in assets under management and a £3bn market cap.

Satchel said the company, formerly Old Mutual Wealth Management Limited, was eyeing growth in the UK wealth management market, which was currently fragmented and needed consolidation. He said, through its recent acquisition such as that of financial advisory network Intrinsic, Quilter “in some ways” contributed towards the market consolidation within the wealth management market in the UK.

“There is a definite sense of the market moving a more consolidation play and scale does matter. The cost of regulation and the ability to support advisers and investment managers is much easier when you have infrastructure behind you. We want to continue growing in the UK market. We announced in the prospectus that we will continue to make small bold-on acquisitions on the distribution side.”

Satchel said the mooted “bold-on acquisitions” were similar to the small acquisitions that the company has made in the past three years. “These are small businesses that we acquire on the advisory side. They hardly make any noise in the market, because they are so small. We are talking a few million pounds. These are not big acquisitions.” He said the company had committed approximately £20million of capital expenditure on the planned acquisitions each year for the next two to three years.

He said the company’s South African institutional investors were supportive of the company’s strategic direction. “They have been on the journey with us. We meet regularly. They understand our business very well.”

The Public Investment Corporation holds 9.4percent of Quilter’s issued share capital, while Coronation Asset Management and BlackRock hold 5.3percent and 5.2percent respectively. Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway, holds 3percent of the stock.

He said the company was pleased with its current shareholder base.

- BUSINESS REPORT