Pragma expands in Europe with Dutch asset consultancy CMS

22 October 2019 3 min. read

CMS Asset Management, a Dutch consulting firm to the asset management industry, has been acquired by Pragma, a large South African asset management engineering firm.

The move is part of Pragma’s internationalisation strategy. The company already has an office in the Netherlands, but it was “a natural step for us to acquire CMS to further expand our operations in the Benelux countries,” said Adriaan Scheeres, the founder and chief executive officer of Pragma.

Pragma established a Dutch office at the start of 2017, when Henk Wynjeterp relocated from South Africa to the Netherlands. We’re mainly focussed on industrial clients and original equipment manufacturers in the food and beverage industry,” explained Ronnie Taljaard, a Managing Director at Pragma.

When CMS Asset Management approached Pragma late last year to explore collaboration potential, the firm moved quickly. “We realised it was the ideal opportunity to execute our strategy to expand our footprint. CMS had all of the business characteristics that we were looking for. It offers the right size, culture and entrepreneurial approach to complement our existing business in the Netherlands.” The team of CMS Asset ManagementIn addition, Scheeres and Taljaard describe the Netherlands as the ideal base to grow from. “We have in the past years completed a number of large projects in Europe with implementation and support from South Africa. An office in the Netherlands will enable us to follow a much more pro-active approach to business development and growth.” 

Deeper and broader capabilities

Meanwhile, for CMS Asset Management, the deal allows the firm to expand its expertise and services to existing clients, amid a period of rapid change in the asset management landscape. Luc de Laat, Managing Director of CMS, explained; “The impact of assets on the living environment is growing and in its slipstream the role of asset management and maintenance is also growing. And that while clients face major challenges, such as climate change and tightening maintenance budgets.” 

“Clients also have to deal with new technologies impacting their asset management practices. Examples include big data, sensor technology, industrial internet of things (IIOT) and Industry 4.0. This requires major investments in research & development. By integrating with a large international asset management firm such as Pragma, our customers can benefit from their vast knowledge.” 

The bolt-on further enables CMS to tap new business opportunities through Pragma’s international footprint. The South African market serves an obvious example. CMS has years of experience in asset- and maintenance management of water distribution and water purification infrastructure, skills which are sorely lacking in South Africa. “We hope to share some of that knowledge in South Africa,” said De Laat. 

De Laat has been appointed head of the combined 20-strong Dutch operations, alongside leaders Richard Gevers (Head of Consulting) and Henk Wynjeterp (Operations Manager).

Pragma has around 550 employees specialised in asset management consultancy, implementation and tactical maintenance. The company has offices in South Africa, Brazil, the Netherlands and Mexico.