Shareholders of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI) shareholders will cast their last votes on 8 November, set to authorise the changing of the group's name on the JSE to OUTsurance and closing the book on nearly five decades of history as a holding company. The firm, which was instrumental in founding JSE-listed giants like Discovery and Momentum, hopes it will leave on a high, having delivered 453.5% in total shareholders return since listing in 2011.
While there's an element of nostalgia knowing it cannot create another Discovery or OUTsurance, RMI CEO Herman Bosman said the company has achieved what its founders set out to achieve. Since the firm believes it would be impractical to establish another wave of financial services startups with potential to be giants given the current regulatory environment, it is time to accept that its job is done.
"Whether there will be another wave of investment holding companies in financial services, I'm not sure," he said. "When you look at how the regulators think about the fact that they want a more open and inclusive economy, maybe, for the time being, the role of investment holding company is somewhat limited."