Satrix’s Conradie takes the fight to the market
Helena Conradie took over the reins at Satrix in November last year – a bold move at a t i me when competitors etf.co.za and newcomer EasyEquities are making an aggressive play for market share. Conradie, who has been part of the Satrix team since its inception in 2000, is very aware of the threat to Satrix dominance. That is why she’s taking the fight to market. BREAKING GROUND Back in 2000, Sanlam, in a joint venture with the JSE, launched Satrix – a passive investment product provider that kindled hopes for a democratised investment landscape. The brand’s reputation as investment champion for the little guy persists today and Conradie, who started on the Satrix asset management team, still refers to Satrix as a “cool brand”.
“I don’t think people realise just how big Satrix is,” she tells Finweek on a visit to Johannesburg. Although the Satrix brand is firmly ingrained in the direct investment consumer experience, direct investments only makes up R12bn of the company’s R40bn portfolio. Intermediary services and institutional investments make up the bulk of the company’s income.
“Yes, we manage ETFs, but we also manage unit trusts and pension funds. When you look at the brand, however, you’ll f ind its positioning ref lects the opposite. The Satrix brand rests with the client experience.”
Unfortunately, the brand’s vulnerability is linked directly to direct investors. The business’s f irst-mover advantage has long carried with it market-leader