Picture: Denis Farrell / AP

DURBAN - The Financial Times of London has recognised the Investec Private Banking and Wealth & Investment as the best private bank and wealth manager in South Africa for the fifth time in a row at the Global Private Banking Awards. Investec first scooped the award in 2013 and over the years it has made it its own property.

Last week’s awards sought to honour excellence in private banking and wealth management, where winning institutions are those that illustrate the ability to best grow new business and profits while adapting portfolios, asset allocation and products to clients’ changing needs and attitude to risk.

Yuri Bender, editor-in-chief of Financial Times UK, said in a competitive South African wealth management market, what gives Investec the edge is its use of technology and data to enhance the client experience while offering personal service in private banking and wealth management. It said Investec has shown consistent innovation to anticipate and fulfil client needs in a shifting economic landscape.

The Investec Private Bank Account was the first to combine the benefits of credit card and transactional accounts. The company was an early adopter of app-based banking and gives clients the benefits of its analyst insights to inform self-directed stockbroking capabilities.

The Global Private Banking Awards made specific mention of the Investec One Place philosophy as an example of innovation that best delivers on client needs. Deon Katz, head of Investec Private Bank South Africa, said One Place philosophy of providing local and international access to banking and investment services has consistently appealed to clients and evolved over recent years to meet the needs of clients in a global marketplace.

“One Place allows South African clients to open a sterling-based transactional account in the UK. “The innovative solution enables clients to receive and make payments in the UK, or simply to use the facility as an offshore account,” Katz said.

Investec Private Banking has continued to increase profitability through increased activity and by improving scale and efficiency through investment in systems and operations.

The lending books increased by 11percent, the number of Investec Private Bank Accounts increased by 10percent and the number of UK private bank accounts increased significantly by 59percent in the past few years. “In addition, the Investec Youth Account was launched. Investec Wealth & Investment currently manages £55billion (R1.02trillion) for clients around the world,” the group said.

Henry Blumenthal, head of Investec Wealth & Investment South Africa, said: “We are humbled by the recognition of this global award and it is a testament to our efforts to constantly and consistently provide meaningful and lasting value to our clients.”