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Business Day: Sasfin stays in the fold of the Sassoon family

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28 Nov 2017

In a move that keeps Sasfin under the watchful eye of the Sassoon family, Michael Sassoon, executive director at Sasfin Holdings, will soon succeed his father and founding CEO of the banking group, Roland.

"Roland Sassoon has, over the last five decades, led the transformation of what was a small family textile-trading business into Sasfin Holdings as we know it today," chairman Roy Andersen said on Monday.

Today, the group is a specialised financial services group, focusing on small businesses and high-net-worth individuals. It has a market value of R1.5bn.

Roland would step down as group CEO in January but would continue as CEO of Sasfin Bank and a group director, which would "allow for a smooth transition", Andersen said.

Roland joins Erol Zeki and David Edwards, respectively CEOs of Sasfin Wealth and Sasfin Capital, as a divisional head.

With the Sassoon family holding a 40% stake in Sasfin, analysts said they had expected the handover. "It was clear that this was part of the succession planning, so it hasn’t come as a surprise," said Samantha Steyn, a portfolio manager at Cannon Asset Managers.

Black-owned Women Investment Portfolio Holdings has a 25.1% stake in Sasfin.

Michael had recently been moved out of an operational role, indicating that he was being groomed to take over, said Wessel Badenhorst, an analyst at 36One Asset Management, which holds 5.68% of the stock.

"Michael knows the business well and is likely to make a positive contribution to its strategy."

Michael joined the group in 2009 and was appointed an executive director in 2013. He headed Sasfin Wealth until Zeki, founder of SIPP Investments and a former FNB Securities CEO, succeeded him in October.

"While Sasfin Bank is the largest of the three pillars, we see great potential across all pillars. As group CEO, Michael is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the overall business and will be actively engaged in the three pillars of the group," Sasfin said.

Published in Business Day

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