FNZ, a leading global wealth management platform with over €700 billion in assets under administration, has agreed to acquire South African third-party administration firm Silica from Ninety One.

Silica was established by Ninety One (then Investec Asset Management) in 1999 and provides third-party administration and related technology solutions to asset managers and investment product providers (including Ninety One) throughout South Africa.

Silica employs more than 400 people and services some 1.3 million active investor accounts, with more than R1.85 trillion (approximately €100 billion) in assets under administration.

The acquisition supports FNZ’s long-term strategy of expanding the accessibility of wealth management services in the South African market.

This transaction provides Silica and its clients with an independent owner, solely dedicated to asset and wealth management infrastructure, with international scale. Silica’s employees join a rapidly growing global platform business, with a long-term sustainable focus.

For Ninety One, the transaction enables an opportunity to simplify and focus on its core business areas, which includes its investment platform, a key part of its offering to financial advisors and their clients in South Africa.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and its value is not being disclosed. We are excited to be making a substantial investment in the South African asset and wealth management sector with the acquisition of Silica. We admire the strong client franchise that Silica has created over the past 20 years and look forward to building on this excellent foundation to continue the evolution of wealth management in South Africa.

Adrian Durham
FNZ Group Chief Executive Officer

Garth Smith, Chief Executive of Silica, said: “We believe that there is a strong culture and value fit between Silica and FNZ, which presents significant opportunities for our clients and employees."

“We thank Ninety One for their support to date, and look forward to continuing to work with them as a client.”

Kim McFarland, Finance Director, Ninety One, and Chair of Silica said: 
“We are proud of the business we have built in Silica over the last 20 years and are excited by this next chapter in its journey. We wanted to find a strong, reputable partner to take Silica forward and in FNZ, we believe we have found a leader in service and innovation that will support the continued growth of this important business. We look forward to continuing our good relationship with Silica as one of our outsourcing partners following the transaction."

“This transaction is a vote of confidence in the South African market, which has huge potential in business process outsourcing, by an established global player. We are confident that Silica’s large customer base will continue to benefit from the highest standards of service under FNZ’s ownership.”

About FNZ

FNZ is a global platform-as-a-service provider, transforming the way financial institutions serve their customers by making wealth management digital, personalised, high-quality and low cost.

FNZ is responsible for more than €700 billion (R12.8 trillion) in assets under administration in 15 international markets across Europe, Asia Pacific, South Africa and North America, and employs around 3,000 people worldwide.

About Ninety One

Ninety One is an independent active investment manager, managing more than R2.5 trillion in assets (as at 30 June 2020), which is dedicated to delivering attractive outcomes for its clients.

Established in South Africa in 1991 (as Investec Asset Management), the firm started offering domestic investments in an emerging market. In 2020, almost three decades of organic growth later, the firm demerged from Investec Group and became Ninety One. Today the firm offers distinctive active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternatives to institutional and advisory clients around the world. The business employs more than 1,000 people worldwide.

About Silica

Silica is a leading provider of administration and technology solutions to asset and investment managers throughout Southern Africa and the United Kingdom, with more than R1.85 trillion in assets under administration. It services some 1.3 million active investor accounts and employs more than 400 people in South Africa.