Hendrik du Toit on Investec Asset Management's new name and rebrand

It will rename itself Ninety One following its separation from Investec.

While in the throes of a split from its parent company, Investec Asset Management has revealed a name it will adopt once its demerger from Investec Group is complete early in 2020.

Investec Asset Management, a global asset manager, which intends to list on the London Stock Exchange, announced that it will rename itself Ninety One following its separation from Investec.

The name represents the year the business was started in 1991 – meaning that Investec Asset Management has been part of the Investec group for the past 28 years. 

“Back in 1991 when we started in South Africa change was coming. Along with its challenges came the chance to invest in a better future. Being part of that change made us who we are. It taught us to be bold, resilient and agile; to believe that active investing can be a force for good,” said co-founder and CEO Hendrik du Toit (pictured).

“Our journey taught us to see the world differently, to recognise and react to change and uncertainty. Today, that’s what sets us apart. Now we're changing our name, but not who we are.”

Hendrik founded Investec Asset Management and helped it morph from being a start-up asset manager to now having offshore investments worth £118.9 billion (R2.26 trillion) and has offices in the UK, South Africa, Australia, and the US. 

In an interview on Investec’s website, Hendrik said he first encountered Investec in the late eighties. 

“They were running a very small investment banking business and they wanted to start an asset management division. I had a friend from school working there, who convinced me that it was quite an interesting place to work.”

He then resigned from his job at Old Mutual to join Investec, which had less than R200 million under management, after he was hired by Investec co-founders Stephen Koseff and Bernard Kantor

“When I arrived, I was shown to an empty desk in the middle of the corporate finance team in Johannesburg. There was no one from HR to welcome me; there was no computer, but that was life at Investec and it was fantastic. It’s a ‘can-do’ place. This business was built bottom-up by people who were given opportunities and I think that philosophy is so important.

“At the time, they didn’t understand how asset management differed from corporate finance and trading. I had to explain what it meant to manage other people’s money, and the need for independence, and thus the reason for setting up shop in Cape Town.”

Investec announced in 2018 that is spinning off its asset-management unit after a strategic review found there is little synergy with its banking and wealth and investment divisions. 

Investec said the demerger process of the global asset manager is on track to take place in the first quarter of 2020. The company will shortly approach shareholders for approval now that its asset management division has received all regulatory approvals.