Charles Savage on EasyEquities roaring success

EasyEquities and Purple Group CEO Charles Savage spent time with the BizNews team unpacking their highly anticipated results. EasyEquities, the group’s crown jewel, was a standout performance. The brokerage platform now has more than one million registered accounts and is growing strongly, as well as being one of South Africa’s most loved brands. The rest of the group weighed on its performance but Savage did suggest that a rebranding of the group’s trading and asset management arms were in the pipeline. Alec Hogg recently added the Purple Group to the BizNews portfolio, generating more than a 70% return in the space of a few months, an incredible return on investment. Long may it continue. – Justin Rowe-Roberts

Charles Savage on Purple Group’s results: 

These are good numbers. I think the landmark standouts were certainly those that were inside the EasyEquities Group. You know, some big numbers there: 1.2 million registrations and over 700,000 active accounts. Profitability is growing at triple-digit numbers. Revenues of triple-digit lots. I guess delivering on the promises we made last year, that the growth we’ve experienced in the [previous] year was going to compound further into the next year. I think we’ve sort of hit slightly above expectations of what people thought we would do.

On rebranding the rest of the Group:

I think we have to. The group isn’t big enough to sit and run disparate brands and also have disparate interest groups that aren’t aligned with a single brand and a single purpose statement. So, I think the time to do that is now; to realign the group [and have] a single purpose and brand. It’ll create efficiencies for us and the operating structure, but also give us the leverage in the distribution base to push more products and services that have a very strong brand familiarity with that audience. The time to do it is definitely now.

On turning GT247 into a Robinhood equivalent: 

You know, it already is. That’s the funny thing. That is essentially what GT is. It’s more like Robinhood than it is like EasyEquities. The plans are to enable a safe destination for people to trade on EasyEquities. The service provided to those trading products will be GT, but the customer experience and the custodians of those customers will be EasyEquities. So, if you like, GT is going to become the prime broker to EasyEquities as trading aspirations and GT has got a significant amount of brand equity in the sophisticated day trading space. We’ll keep it for that fit-for-purpose vehicle, but it will continue to become a smaller part of our future aspirations.

On the progress of Easy Properties: 

It’s doing so well. At year end, we said we had 35,000 customers. I was in a meeting today and we checked in; it’s now at 51,000 customers. Last year, on average, it raised R10m a month; R120m over 12 months. This year, it’s on a run rate of R30m a month, so it’s going to raise north of R360m. We’re not really in hunting season yet. Hunting season for us is January, February, March when everyone’s looking to maximise their tax efficiency. My guess [is that] by the end of the year, it’s going to be raising R40m a month. So, it’s accelerating as expected at an exponential rate. Our investors are loving it. They are having so much fun with it. It’s such a different asset class and one that they’ve never had access to in the way that we’ve delivered. 

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