South African financial services company FirstRand has agreed to acquire brokerage firm Barnard Jacobs Mellet (BJM), to offer new stockbroking products to its wealthy clients.

FirstRand has offered to buy all of BJM’s shares for ZAR4.50 each, valuing the firm at ZAR450m. The deal is part of FirstRand’s strategy to expand its stock broking presence through its FNB Wealth unit by offering BJM products to customers wanting to execute their own equity and bond trades.

The deal is expected to help BJM expand its client base, which currently has approximately 11,000 clients. FNB Wealth which consists of FNB Private Clients and RMB Private Bank, has around 40,000 customers.

In May 2010, BJM sold its securities business to Russian private investment bank Renaissance.

Michael Jordaan, CEO of FNB, said: “Our clients should immediately notice the added depth in talent and delivery arising from the transaction. FNB will incorporate the businesses and skills of BJM into its wealth segment.

“There will be little change for the 11 000 existing clients as the BJM brand is to remain, along with the current business model and operations.”