South Africa: An Investor Unshackled Has Wings to Fly

analysis

A year ago Investec announced it would unbundle its asset management business. It has begun this process, announcing a new name and brand for the firm, as well as alerting investors to timelines, rights and responsibilities.

The chips are down, and the game is in play - Investec Asset Management will be demerged from Investec Bank and listed on the London Stock Exchange, with an inward listing on the JSE, by March 2020, assuming shareholders approve the unbundling.

From there the mid-sized asset manager, which manages assets worth £121-billion, will fly or flounder.

For CEO Hendrik du Toit this is the culmination of a dream he has long nursed, to unshackle the asset manager from its bigger stablemate and be allowed to fly independent and free - a global firm with South African roots and a unique emerging market focus.

"The world around us is changing... this is not a time for conglomerates, it is a time for simplicity and focus. I believe more focused businesses do better than broad giants that try to grow laterally," he says.

As a result of the demerger, Investec Asset Management (IAM) - to be renamed Ninety One in March - will see its...

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