Chief Executive Officer Roland Sassoon’s father established his business in Norwood in Johannesburg in 1951, and Roland joined his father in the family business when he was 17 years old. By that time, the business evolved from textile importing to a small-scale trade and debtor financing company, growing steadily in stature to see Sasfin become listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1987. To continue growing the business, in 1991 Sasfin took the groundbreaking step of securitising its equipment finance book. Securitisation was not only the springboard for Sasfin, but has become also a cornerstone of the business and it is the oldest running securitisation vehicle in the country.
The next major development phase came with the granting of a banking licence – opening the doors for Sasfin to raise capital by means of direct deposits and leading to the acquisition of the reputable stockbroking firm of Frankel Pollak, which is now known as Sasfin Securities. This move injected a broad client base of high-net-worth individuals who became an additional source of significant deposits into Sasfin – and those clients remain with Sasfin to this day. In fact, in many cases, Sasfin is advising and managing wealth for the third generation within client portfolios.
Sasfin continued to grow by taking innovative steps such as injecting capital into businesses for an equity stake holding instead of merely lending money to fund a company’s development. In 2009, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, invested as a shareholder in Sasfin and partnered with Sasfin to stimulate growth in the South African economy.
EVENT TAKE AWAYS
- Sasfin poised as a challenger bank and have worked tirelessly to be so.
- Now as an established and listed Bank, they are finally backwards integrating offering transactional banking so that they become a primary bank and not only a secondary bank.
- One of the key points stressed was to be prudent and don’t always follow the crowds. Sasfin has always been conservative in their approach and banking is always about balancing risk.
- A key point mentioned was how Sasfin have always focused on their direct relationships with their clients and have expanded the client basket along that philosophy opposed to just focusing on various products and new client acquisitions.