• News 15 March 2023

Apis Growth Fund I Announces Planned Sale of Efficient Group to Apex Group

London, 15th March 2023 – Apis Growth Fund I (the “Fund”), a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP (“Apis Partners”), a UK-based asset manager that supports growth-stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses, announces today the planned sale of Efficient Group (Pty) Ltd (“Efficient” or the “Company”)  to the Apex Group Ltd (“Apex”), a global financial services provider, (the “Transaction”). Completion of the Transaction is subject to the approval of the Competition Commission of South Africa.

Efficient is a leading asset management and advisory firm providing a range of solutions to the investment management industry, including asset administration services, asset management services, financial products distribution, and professional financial advice to both retail and institutional investors in South Africa. It operates the largest co-branded asset administration platform in South Africa, Boutique Collective Investments (RF) (Pty) Ltd (“BCI”), and a suite of leading independent financial advisory businesses with a network of more than 200 registered financial advisors servicing almost 100,000 clients across South Africa.

The Fund acquired its interest in Efficient in October 2019 and subsequently facilitated its delisting from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (“JSE”) via a minority shareholder buyout in June 2020. Over the period of the Fund’s ownership, Efficient’s Profit After Tax (“PAT”) increased by more than 400%, whilst Apis has supported the management team in making several acquisitions that have bolstered the Company’s product portfolio. Upon completion of the Transaction, the Fund will have exited its entire stake in the Company.

Prior to completion of the Transaction, Efficient will undertake an internal reorganisation which will result in the formation of two independent companies under the control of the current shareholder group. Efficient will retain ownership of BCI, Boutique Investment Partners (Pty) Ltd (“BIP”), and two other entities, while a newly created holding company will own all the remaining entities, including the market-leading independent financial advisory franchises which will continue to function under the Efficient brand.

Apex is one of the largest asset management service providers in the world and the acquisition of BCI and BIP will add US$19 billion of asset under administration to the Apex Group platform. BCI and BIP clients will benefit from access to Apex’s local hedge fund solutions, offshore fund solutions, fintech, data solution and tech-enabled services, in addition to its expanded team of more than 12,000 people worldwide. The acquired businesses will join Apex’s expanding African footprint following the recent acquisitions of Sanne and Maitland, further reinforcing Apex’s commitment to the region.

Peter Hughes, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Apex Group commented: “The strategic addition of the unit trust management company adds greater product depth and expanded reach, particularly for our ManCo services offering, and further reinforces our commitment to South Africa, a key hub for our global business. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues from Efficient  who are aligned with our commitment to delivering an exceptional client experience with local service delivery.”

Heiko Weidhase, Chief Executive Officer of the Efficient Group, stated: “Efficient has always followed a very successful growth strategy in the Wealth, Risk, and Investments segment of the financial services market, ensuring that the Company has expanded into a leader in the financial services industry. This transaction allows the Company to continue expanding the business by focusing on partners that align with the overall expansion of the retail client base strategy and value proposition.”

Matteo Stefanel, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Apis Partners added: “When Apis invested in Efficient in 2019, we were impressed by its strong position in the co-branded collective investment schemes administration and management space. Consistent with our strategy to facilitate access to appropriate financial products, we supported the growth of BCI’s market-leading co-branded offering, and are confident that this positive impact on customers’ financial wellbeing will continue to expand under Apex’s ownership.”

Udayan Goyal, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Apis Partners commented: “Financial inclusion is at the heart of Apis’ origin story. By providing growth capital and expertise to exceptional businesses like Efficient, we endeavour to democratise access to financial services, in this case through savings and asset management. We wish the BCI and BIP teams all the best as they continue empowering independent wealth managers to offer customized products to their clients.”

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About Apis Partners
The Apis Group (“Apis”) is an ESGI-native global private equity and venture capital asset manager that supports growth-stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses by providing them with catalytic growth equity capital. Collectively Apis, through its team of approximately 40 professionals with deep industry expertise, manages or advises on total committed capital from investors (including drawn and invested capital) of US$1.2 billion. Including its headquarters in London, Apis has representation in seven countries across Europe, North, East and West Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.
Apis is highly conscious of the developmental impact that the provision of growth capital for financial services and financial infrastructure businesses in growth markets can achieve, and as such, financial inclusion is a core tenet of Apis’ approach and investment mandate. Apis became a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) upon inception of the firm in 2014. https://apis.pe/

About Apex
The Apex Group Ltd (“Apex”), established in Bermuda in 2003, is a global financial services provider. With more than 80 offices worldwide and 12 000 employees in 38 countries, Apex delivers an expansive range of services to asset managers, financial institutions, private clients, and family offices. Apex has continually improved and evolved its capabilities to offer a single-source solution by establishing the broadest range of services in the industry; including fund services, digital onboarding and bank accounts, depositary, custody, super ManCo services, corporate services (including human resources and payroll), and a pioneering ESG ratings and advisory solution.
Apex’s purpose is to be more than just a financial services provider. It is committed to driving positive change to address three core areas, namely the environment and climate change, women’s empowerment and economic independence, and education and social mobility. https://www.apexgroup.com/

About Efficient Group Limited
Efficient Group (www.efgroup.co.za) was established in 2002 and is a diversified financial services group focused on professional advice, quality services and tailor-made investment products across the financial services value chain. It provides these through a three-pillared organisational structure, namely a financial services cluster, a solutions cluster and an investments cluster. Efficient serves has more than 200 registered advisors who serve more than 100 000 clients via offices throughout South Africa.
Efficient’s asset administration unit, Boutique Collective Investments (RF) (Pty) Ltd (“BCI”), is a leading large independent Collective Investments Scheme (“CIS”) service provider in South Africa. As an independent CIS manager, BCI provides own-brand and co-branded CIS portfolios to wealth managers and to its boutique partners. BCI’s core business is to support its boutique partners in growing their AuM by providing high-quality products, administration, and distribution services. BCI holds ZAR 285 billion in assets under administration spread across more than 450 CIS portfolios.

Media Contact
Francesca Rossi | francesca.rossi@apis.pe | +44 (0)20 3653 0500