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Laurie Dippenaar is a South African banker and co-founder of the prestigious banking group First Rand. With two other holdings, Rand Merchant Insurance and RMB Holdings, 64 year old Dippenaar has attained a seat at the elite table of billionaires due to the 37.1 percent rise in the stock value of his 3 major ventures.
The new billionaire owns a 2.28 percent stake in FirstRand valued at R4.96 billion ($526 million), a 5.75 percent ownership in Rand Merchant Insurance valued at R2.19 billion ($232 million) and a 6.05 percent shareholding in RMB Holdings valued at R3.47 billion ($368 million). The three companies which are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, have a combined value of R10.6billion. At the R9.11 to a dollar exchange rate, Laurie Dippenaar is now worth $1.16billion.
Dipenaar’s success story started in 1977, when he and two other partners, Paul Harris and GT Ferreira combined visions, assets and strengths in setting up a financial structuring house in Johannesburg. They called their firm Rand Consolidated Investments (RCI) and the startup company was a structured-finance house which specialized in leveraged leasing and off-balance-sheet financing.
RCI recorded impressive financial returns from their deals, and before long, the company grew swiftly, diversifying into an assortment of boutique financial services. The unrelenting drive and vision of the founding trio put the business in a state of evolution, and thus it became South Africa’s leading Investment banks.
By !984, they had acquired Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), which was a small investment bank, and merged it with Rand Consolidated Investments. In 1992, they made another strategic move by the acquisition of an ailing life insurer called Momentum Life, which was a very large insurance company listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. In further operations, RMB Holdings was formed and Momentum Life became a full-fledged subsidiary which Laurie Dipenaar himself was managing.
Within half a decade, Dipenaar had gained massive profits and by 1998, they acquired control a huge bank in the country First National Bank and also Southern Life, which was the country’s fourth largest insurance company. This new organization was christened FirstRandBank.
Laurie Dipenaar sponsors a scholarship program available to South African citizens for study outside South Africa in any discipline at any internationally recognized university of their choice for a post graduate degree.