Stephen Koseff, the entrepreneur who co-founded Anglo-South African investment bank and asset manager Investec, will step down as chief executive.
JOHANNESBURG - Specialist banking and asset management group Investec yesterday announced fresh leaders to take over from long-standing chief executive and founding member Stephen Koseff.

The group said former chairperson Fani Titi and Investec Asset Management executive director Hendrik du Toit would assume the role of joint chief executives in October when Koseff retires after 40 years at the helm. It said Koseff would be joined by managing director Bernard Kantor and Glynn Burger, group risk and finance director.

Koseff and Kantor will retire in October, while Burger will follow suit in March next year. The three are considered Investec founding fathers.

Kim McFarland, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Investec Asset Management will take over as group finance director.

Investec said the move was part of its succession plan to put fresh leadership in place to move the company forward.

The company said Koseff, Kantor and Burger would not be completely lost to the group as they would serve as non-executive directors on the board.

Koseff said the group was well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

“We are confident that the complementary skills of the new joint chief executives and their deep existing knowledge of Investec put them in an excellent position to continue the strong momentum at the group,” Koseff said.

Jordan Weir, an equities trader at BayHill Capital, praised the trio and said they would leave a lasting legacy.

“Perhaps most notably, Koseff will be leaving behind a work culture that is very rare in the modern-day banking world, a culture of exceptionally driven individuals consistently seeking to go the extra mile for the client, whether through the pioneering of new financial solutions or the high levels of professionalism shown when handling client relationships,” Jordan said.

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) yesterday congratulated Investec on the new appointments.

“Mr Titi’s appointment is of particular significance to us as it shows what can be achieved when a company journeys and grows with its empowerment partner,” said BLSA chief executive Bonang Mohale.

“One of the key pillars of BLSA’s contract with South Africa is transformation and empowerment of black leadership. This appointment advances that goal,” said Mohale.

It is not the first time that South African banks will be led by joint chief executives.

When Jacko Maree stepped down as chief executive of Standard Bank in 2013, the group appointed Ben Kruger and Sim Tshabalala to take over the reins. Kruger stepped down from this role in September last year to allow Tshabalala to take over.

“Investec’s decision to have joint chief executives seems to be the best call for the business at this point, and made after careful thought,” Weir said.

Investec shares rose 3.12percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R93.99.

- BUSINESS REPORT