JSE Investor Services now brings state-of-the-art share plan support to 2.5 million shareholders


When the JSE announced in mid-2021 that it was incorporating JSE Investor Services (JIS) as a wholly owned subsidiary, Group CEO Leila Fourie promised ‘new ways to innovate and to service our ever-growing client needs’. With JIS’s recent acquisition of a portion of the share plan services business of Investec Share Plan Services (ISPS), that promise is very much a reality.

The arrangement includes a licensing and support services agreement with ISPS for its share plan services administration platform. Ursula du Plooy, JSE Head of Issuer Services and Key Clients, says the deal will enable JIS to expand its BEE and employee share administration product offering. ‘It’s a beautiful fit for JIS,’ says Du Plooy. ‘The deal makes JIS South Africa’s largest share plan administrator. It also gives more than 2.5 million shareholders the support of a successfully managed, state-of-the-art, fully automated and fully South African-owned solution, so it’s a great addition to our business.’

It’s a best-of-breed system supported by the people who have been running it for the past several years. ‘It also enables us to offer executive share plan schemes, as well as BEE schemes,’ she adds. ‘From a share registry perspective, we can now handle all of our service requirements.’

JIS will assume ISPS’ relationships with more than 90 clients, supporting the JSE Group’s strategy to expand its client base and diversify its revenue. Under the terms of the deal, the ISPS platform will continue to be supported by a staff of 30 experienced professionals. ‘We are licensing the share plan administration system and incorporating Investec’s experienced team into the JIS structure,’ says Du Plooy. ‘This ensures continuity and maintenance of the relationships already in existence with clients and shareholders. Instead of shareholders approaching the company directly for actions relative to their shares, they now come to JIS.’

The share plan business enables organisations to hub all of their shareholder activities without the need for expensive systems. ‘Companies that have large numbers of shareholders – particularly employee share ownership schemes [ESOPs], where there might be limited understanding around shares – no longer have to be burdened with queries relative to bank detail changes, dividend pay-outs, or even share trading education,’ according to Du Plooy. ‘JIS already has a 35-seater call centre that has the knowledge and expertise to handle all aspects of share registry.’

The ISPS business acquisition follows the announcement of JIS’s collaboration with William Radcliffe, whereby JIS undertakes BEE scheme training, trust administration, trust financial management, and enterprise development. ‘The only side of shareholder business JIS didn’t have was executive share scheme administration,’ says Du Plooy. ‘That’s where this new acquisition fits perfectly.’

The JIS share plan business supports the JSE’s overall strategy of providing value-added services to issuers and shareholders. ‘Any listed or unlisted company can choose JIS to administrate their share schemes,’ she says, listing benefits that include increased transparency, centralised record-keeping and timeous reporting for ESOPs. We keep shareholders engaged and make it easier for them to understand the value of their investment while incentivising them to consider buying more equity. Simply, this offering aids in unlocking a company’s potential value and secures more confidence from shareholders.’

By Mark van Dijk
Image: Gallo/Getty Images