Acta Holding refines its strategy, reorganizes and focuses on more professional clients
(Oslo, 15th August 2012) Acta Holding undertakes extensive strategic
initiatives and refocuses its business to secure an improved offering
for wealthy individuals, corporations and institutional clients. As a
part of this move Acta Holding changes its name to Agasti Holding and
relocates the head office to Oslo. As of today Alfred Ydstebø will take
the role as CEO of the holding company. Jørgen Pleym Ulvness is hired as
deputy CEO of the holding company and CEO of Agasti Capital Markets.
Capital Markets becomes a new business area in Agasti Holding. Amongst
others, the commitment to Capital Markets will be backed by an exclusive
strategic alliance with Wunderlich Investment Company, Inc. in the US.
The strategic alliance will contribute to strengthened capabilities,
improved efficiency and an enhanced service offering to wealthy
individuals, corporations and institutional clients.
Both the name change and the relocation of the head office are
conditional upon the approval by the holding company's general meeting.
After these initiatives Agasti Holding will have three business areas:
Wealth Management, Capital Markets and Investment Management. A common
factor in all three business areas is a strong dedication to expertise
and quality in internal processes and control systems while also
providing valuable services and products for its clients.
The Group will explore a new business opportunity through the strategic
alliance with Wunderlich Investment Company, Inc., the holding company
for the full-service brokerage firm Wunderlich Securities, Inc. in the
US. The brokerage firm has 420 employees spread over 24 offices in 14
states, and offers a comprehensive range of financial services within
corporate finance, brokerage of bonds and equities, equity research and
wealth management. The company serves both individual investors as well
as corporations and institutions and has approximately 26,000 private-
and 1,500 institutional clients. The firm has USD 5 billion in assets
Agasti Capital Markets acquires 50% of Wunderlich Securities AS for NOK
6 million, with an option to purchase the remaining 50% next year.
Wunderlich' Norwegian operations have 7 employees, growth in revenue and
increasing earnings. Revenue for the first six months of 2012 was NOK
8.5 million with a pre-tax profit of NOK 0.4 million. The company has a
presence within real estate, the energy sector and private equity.
Strategically, these are all areas and capabilities which fit very well
with the communicated goals of Agasti Capital Markets.
In addition to the share purchase Agasti Capital Markets will invest USD
2.5 million in Wunderlich Investment Company, Inc. in the form of a
convertible subordinated debenture as part of an overall move to
strengthen the alliance.
The reorganization and transactions are done in accordance with the
previously agreed and communicated strategy.
- The hiring of Jørgen is an important step in the Group's new
initiatives. Together with his experience and leadership these
initiatives will boost our presence in some of the most profitable
sectors of the financial market. This will in turn create a strong
foundation for a knowledge-driven, professional and profitable financial
group," says Alfred Ydstebø, CEO of Agasti Holding.
The strategic alliance is expected to strengthen Agasti Holding in the
fields of real estate, private equity, energy, and oilfield services.
Consequently, this will make a strong contribution to the recruitment of
the desired professionals and expertise needed to build the new Agasti
group. In addition to the research and capital market functions,
synergies in the alliance will also include best practice sharing within
wealth management in such areas as compliance, operations, IT, customer
service, and product and concept development.
Mr. Ydstebø holds a majority position in Wunderlich Investment Company,
Inc. He has not participated in the negotiations of the transaction or
in its consideration by the board. The investments in Wunderlich
Securities AS and Wunderlich Investment Company, Inc. are expected to be
completed within two to three months and are conditioned upon approval
from the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway.
The Wealth Management business area will comprise the companies Navigea
Securities AS, Navexa Securities AB and H&P Fondförvaltning AB, with
initial assets under management of approximately NOK 26 billion, 100
advisers spread between 20 offices, and a broker desk serving the more
In the future, Navigea Securities and Navexa Securities will focus on
advising the 15,000 wealthiest clients. The Group's remaining
approximately 30,000 clients will be maintained through a separate
company to ensure that they receive the best and most suitable services.
This company will seek a partner which can assist in its development,
either alone or together with Navigea Securities, and will subsequently
not be a part of the core business of Agasti Holding.
The Capital Markets business area will consist of Agasti Capital Markets
AS and 50% of Wunderlich Securities AS, offering capital market services
with a particular emphasis on real estate, private equity, energy and
The Investment Management business area will consist of Obligo
Investment Management AS, which has assets under management of about NOK
46 billion and focuses on management of real estate, private equity,
infrastructure and shipping. A commitment will be made to build a robust
and knowledge-driven institutional management platform, where new
resources will be recruited in addition to the existing Obligo
Further information from:
CEO Alfred Ydstebø
Mobile phone: (+47) 908 32 828
CCO, Mirja Herrdin
Mobile phone: (+47) 948 82 370
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to
section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act