EUROPE – South African financial services firm FirstRand has announced it will be looking to sell or part-sell Ansbacher -though it will retain the multi-manager subsidiary.

FirstRand said that its “international strategy needs to be focused on areas that are complementary to its South African strategy, as well as areas where it has a sustainable, competitive advantage”. Both organisations are now looking at a range of possibilities that may include strategic alliances or the sale of Ansbacher.

FirstRand will, however, retain Ansbacher Investment Services, Ansbacher Alternative Investments, Ansbacher Multimanagers and Ansbacher Trade Finance Services. These businesses currently operate as divisions within the Ansbacher Group and will over time be transferred to separate entities for which appropriate regulatory frameworks will be put in place, and rebranding will be considered.

Similarly, FirstRand’s interests in UK based RMB Resources and Jersey based Ashburton Group will also not form part of this initiative.
The part of Ansbacher that may be sold of will focus on international wealth management and private banking.

Richard Spilg, Ansbacher Group chief executive, commented: “We are committed to a strategy of developing and expanding our international wealth management business which is premised on providing added value solutions to a global high net worth client base.

“This reassessment gives FirstRand and the Ansbacher management team the opportunity of finding the best possible solution in taking our business forward in a meaningful way”.

A spokesman at Ansbacher Multimanagers said that multi-management would become one of the core international focuses for FirstRand. Ansbacher began a push into the growing European multi-manager market earlier this year, hiring Jeremy Beswick to spearhead the offensive.