FirstRand Limited (FRL) is a financial services provider company with its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: company site
It is listed in the Johannesburg and Namibian Stock Exchange and it operations 9 African nations with branches in London and India. It is one of the five largest banking groups in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa.
The foundation of FRL lies in its specialist investment bank roots of 1970s established by 3 entrepreneurs: GT Ferreira, Laurie Dippenaar and Paul Harris. The founders merged their stakes into a holding company - RMB Holdings. In 1998, there was a merger of the stakes of Anglo American PLC in 2 banks (First National Bank, Southern Life) with that of RMB Holdings. It eventually led to the creation of FRL as a listed company on 25th May, 1998.
The holding company conducts its business through the 4 subsidiaries:
• First National Bank: It functions as the retail and Commercial Banking arm, offering financial products and services to retail customers, SMEs, Government entities etc.
• Rand Merchant Bank: It functions as the Corporate and Investment Banking and offers advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking and principal investing solutions.
• WesBank: It provides asset financing services and fleet management solutions for a number of market sectors.
• Ashburton Investments: An offering of non-traditional investment management products and services is provided by this subsidiary.
FRL has clearly delineated its future into 2 parallel growth strategies:
• To become a predominant player in financial services in South Africa and other markets where it is under-represented.
• Expand presence into countries exhibiting extraordinary economic growth and are poised to get investment and trade flows between Africa, India and China