Sa­trix’s Con­radie takes the fight to the mar­ket

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE -

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

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