Financial services company, BFS Capital (Boland Financial Services Capital) has changed its name to Mettle now that Boland Bank no longer owns a majority stake. The Board of Executors, which replaced Boland Bank as shareholder, now owns 30of Mettle. Management holds 40and black empowerment group HCI has 30 BFS Capital was started less than three years ago by a small team of financial specialists with the support of businessman Christo Wiese. MD Ian Matthews said it had completed transactions totalling more than R7bn since then and lifted attributable profit to R11,9m for the year to March, from R1,2m in the comparable period ending in 1996. Matthews predicts an attributable profit of R24m for the financial year ending March next year. “We are pretty much on the track, we will make it comfortably,” he said. Plans for Mettle’s future include an application for a banking licence, continuing offshore expansion and ultimately a listing in the second half of next year. Matthews said that as a bank Mettle would be capitalised at between R250m and R300m. It would focus on short-term trading and bridge transactions rather than long-term funding. “A banking licence would not fundamentally change our business but rather, much like our newly formed treasury, give us additional tools to leverage our intellectual capital,” he said. Mettle has a presence in Namibia and is expanding to Zimbabwe. Matthews said a London office was in the pipeline. “Internationalisation is a strong priority for Mettle (although) we will not lose our focus on the SA market. In five years we would like to generate 50of our revenue in foreign markets.” A Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing would enable Mettle to raise capital to fund investment banking opportunities and acquire interests which complemented and supported Mettle’s objective of operating as a specialist finance house across all financial markets, he said.

Source: Business Day