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Bridge Fund Managers media statement:
Bridge Fund Managers (Bridge), a well-established player in the financial services sector has combined its business with specialist investment manager Counterpoint Asset Management (Counterpoint), to form a multi-strategy investment management company with both the retail and institutional offerings.
The transaction sees Counterpoint acquiring Bridge from Infinitus Holdings (Pty) Limited. This is Counterpoint’s second acquisition in 2020, after merging with value manager RECM earlier this year. The combined businesses will manage assets of nearly 12 billion rand once the transaction is concluded. This transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to be effective 1 September 2020.
Counterpoint’s major shareholders include successful Johannesburg-based financial service group Merchant West. Merchant West Holdings is one of SA’s biggest independent financial services providers with a history of over 20-years in the financial services sector. Counterpoint CEO, Linda Eedes says, “The asset management industry in South Africa is highly fragmented, and consolidation makes sense. This transaction provides both scale and synergies to the combined entity, as we continue to build a robust investment manager offering compelling investment propositions across the full asset class spectrum.”
Paul Stewart, CEO of Bridge says, “The aim of this transaction is to provide a growth platform for the intellectual property and innovation that Bridge has created over the last eight years, to be combined with the experienced and skilled investment team at Counterpoint. Having a long-term strategic shareholder like Counterpoint with the backing of Merchant West, that is committed to growth and accessing the opportunities that lie ahead, is very exciting.”
Says Eedes, “Bridge adds investment skills, product innovation and a national distribution capability to our core investment management offering at Counterpoint. We are confident that both Bridge and Counterpoint clients will benefit greatly from the combination of the complimentary skill sets within our respective investment teams and diversified product ranges”.
Paul Stewart and Linda Eedes will act as joint CEOs to ensure a smooth transition of their respective teams and clients. Bridge and Counterpoint will continue to operate separately for the next couple of months but will gradually integrate until fully merged by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Sam Houlie, Counterpoint’s Chief Investment Officer, will lead the combined investment teams. Ian Anderson, who currently leads the Bridge investment team, will continue to play an integral role in the investment process heading the real estate research team and he will continue to manage the Bridge Payers and Growers® and listed property funds. Bridge’s key institutional clients have indicated support for the transaction.
As a specialist asset manager operating in the retail, institutional and private client markets, Counterpoint is committed to building an active asset management offering that is differentiated from the existing participants in the market, by offering innovative, cost-effective and true-to-label investment products that solve client needs.
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