Bidvest Bank acquires niche financial services group, Fulcrum Group

17 August 2017 Japie van Niekerk, Bidvest Bank
Japie van Niekerk, Managing Director of Bidvest Bank.

Japie van Niekerk, Managing Director of Bidvest Bank.

Bidvest Bank has acquired a majority stake in the Fulcrum Group (Fulcrum). The acquisition of Fulcrum is another milestone for Bidvest Bank as it pursues its diversification strategy to service broader markets.

“The acquisition of Fulcrum provides Bidvest Bank with access to an expanding financial market, and allows us to diversify our banking book. Alongside a strengthened customer value proposition, the acquisition also comes with a skilled team to complement the Bank’s existing knowledge and skills base,” says Japie van Niekerk, Managing Director of Bidvest Bank. “We can now offer our customers the best of both worlds – marrying Bidvest Bank’s scale and compliance with Fulcrum’s independence and flexibility.”

This is the latest acquisition for Bidvest Bank who, over the last 10 years has diversified its largely forex- and fleet-focused customer base to one of Business and Personal Banking. This diversification strategy, combined with a prudent lending philosophy recently saw Moody’s Financial Services upgrade Bidvest Bank’s long-term national scale rating from Aa2 to A1, an increase of two notches.

Established in 2010, the Fulcrum Group is a licensed agnostic provider of niche debt capital and independent intermediary services to the insurance market. Fulcrum’s range of services include Specialist Lending to financial intermediaries, Premium Collections, Treasury Management, Broker Systems, Premium Finance, Acquisition Finance and Private Equity Partnerships.

“The acquisition by Bidvest Bank provides us with access to a diverse customer base, as well as additional capital, finance and a pipeline of opportunities for business growth,” Vaughan Jones, CEO of the Fulcrum Group explains. “Bidvest Bank’s entrepreneurial ethos and culture allows us to maintain day-to-day autonomy of the business whilst still fulfilling the Bank’s vision and objectives.”

Speaking to the point of future impact, Van Niekerk emphasizes that the acquisition will bolster Bidvest Bank’s offering significantly, whilst integration of each business’ operations will be minimal. “While the teams continue to focus on their areas of expertise, Bidvest Bank and Fulcrum will work closely to explore opportunities that will benefit our respective customer bases.”

This is the second acquisition announcement by Bidvest Bank in less than two weeks. The Bank recently announced their 100% acquisition of First Data Resources South Africa (Pty) Ltd (FDRSA), the South African subsidiary of the First Data Corporation, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, on 10 August.

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