Cadiz Asset Management CEO Quits as Blackstar Director Steps in

Frank Cadiz, who co-founded Cadiz Holdings Ltd. more than 20 years ago, is stepping down as head of the South African firm’s asset management unit after it underperformed.

Cadiz, who became chief executive officer of the asset management arm in 2004, is leaving at the end of March and will be replaced by Blackstar Group SE’s Brian Wootton, according to Fraser Shaw, CEO of the parent company. “Frank’s been a loyal part of the business, we just need someone new to look at it differently and Blackstar will provide that,” Shaw said by phone Thursday.

Blackstar, a South African investment company, started buying shares in Cape Town-based Cadiz last year and now holds more than 12 percent of the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In November, Cadiz appointed three Blackstar executives to its board, while two directors resigned.

“The changes in November were a result of the board chatting to shareholders about the performance of the asset management business,” Shaw said. “We undertook a review and thought it needed new management. We need to look at outsourcing some functions and have cut costs where we could, so 11 permanent staff are leaving. The investment philosophy stays the same.”

Cadiz remains a shareholder in the business, Shaw said.

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