Investec's asset management division to drop zebra as it rebrands
Companies / 13 December 2019, 10:30am / Martin Hesse
CAPE TOWN - Investors in Investec unit trust funds may feel a pang at bidding farewell to the group’s distinctive zebra branding in the next few months, as the asset management division detaches from the parent group and rebrands to Ninety One.
Chief executive Hendrik du Toit said the investment team would remain and there would be no changes to its active management approach.
Du Toit told journalists from Investec Asset Management’s London headquarters in Joburg and Cape Town that the company would only change its name and positioning.
He said its purpose would, however, remain the same: “Active investing for a better tomorrow.”
He believed that the new company would thrive in an environment that favoured smaller, highly focused independent operators over corporate giants that grow laterally.
In 28 years, Investec Asset Management has grown from a small start-up manager in the local market to a global operation that manages about $145billion (R2.1trillion) for individual and institutional clients across the world.
About a third of assets under management are in Africa, with the rest spread across four regions: the Americas, UK, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Ninety One refers to the year that the group was born.
Two of its flagship domestic funds, the Investec Equity Fund and the Investec Managed Fund, have become icons in the local unit trust industry.
In January 2017, they won special Raging Bull Awards for top performance over 21 years to the end of 2016.
After the unbundling, which is still to receive final approval from shareholders, Ninety One Plc will have a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE, while Ninety One Limited will be listed on the JSE.
The Ninety One branding will be phased in over three months, with the final break with Investec planned for March.
The Investec group will retain 15percent ownership of the company, with 20percent owned by staff and 65 percent held by current and new public shareholders in a free float.
The holding by staff was important, Du Toit said. A business model in which the investment team was incentivised through their part-ownership of the company “is highly correlated with success”.
Such a model was ideal for attracting and retaining talent, he added, but it also aligned with long-term outcomes and was better able to withstand short-term shocks.
In line with other global active managers, there was a strong sustainability focus. “Sustainability is a key part of our purpose as an active asset manager, with ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors embedded in our investment decision-making.”