Cape Town lands JSE office

JOHN HARVEY

The new Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) office in Newlands is up and running, with the official grand opening scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

The office at 155 Campground Road, announced by the JSE last month, was opened to enhance the exchange’s service to clients, build and strengthen relationships and provide accessible support to the market.

“Cape Town is a major centre for global and local institutional investors as well as listed companies. Being the second largest economic hub of South Africa, and the head office base of many institutional clients and an increasing number of member firms and brokers, an office in the city is a logical part of the JSE’s client strategy. We also will host all JSE-related activities and events held in Cape Town at our new office,” said the JSE’s Donna Oosthuyse, director of capital markets.

Although the office is relatively small in terms of its staff numbers, Ms Oosthuyse anticipates that the growth of the office will be in line with the needs of the clients based there.

“The Claremont area already does have a concentration of financial services companies based there, especially large institutional investors. The trend globally is for service providers to follow their clients to facilitate responsiveness and service. In essence, this is what we have done. We have located ourselves where our clients and stakeholders are to build and deepen our relationships and to serve their needs better.”

Ms Oosthuyse believes the office demonstrates the JSE’s commitment to clients in Cape Town as well as its interest to understand and respond to their needs.

“Having a person on the ground with continuous interaction with issuers, member firms and investors will also support our efforts to deepen our relationships throughout the complete value chain of investing. We encourage the community to make use of the local office in as many ways as possible.”

Maryke Vreulink, a senior equity and equity derivatives markets specialist, has been assigned to head up the office. Ms Vreulink is an experienced JSE staff member and is known to most constituents in Cape Town.

The establishment of the office has excited property agents. “In the past, many have held the view that the Mother City was a sleepy hollow and that Johannesburg was the financial powerhouse of South Africa,” said Leon Breytenbach, national commercial and auctions manager for the Rawson Property Group.

“Having personally lived and worked in Johannesburg and Pretoria, this was definitely my personal view and a view shared with many I came into contact with in the financial services and banking industry. However, out of the JSE’s top 40 index, 11 have their head offices in Cape Town. Further to that, six out of the Top 10 fund managers for 2015, as per the PlexCrown ratings, have their head offices in Cape Town – namely Coronation, PSG, Prudential, Allan Gray, Old Mutual and Sanlam.

“Despite all of the above, it is only now that the JSE is going to have an actual presence in Cape Town. The great thing is that it will only boost the view that Cape Town is quickly establishing itself as a financial powerhouse in its own right with no signs of slowing down.”

Mr Breytenbach said although the impact of the JSE probably would not be immediately discernable, the fact that it has expressed an intention to grow the team, suggests “we will probably see an increasingly positive impact on the area”.