Khaya Gobodo. Picture SUPPLIED
Khaya Gobodo. Picture SUPPLIED

Old Mutual has appointed Khaya Gobodo, well-known in the asset management industry for his boutique investment expertise, as MD of its wealth and investment business.

This comes at a time when traditional investment houses and asset managers are under pressure to attract more black talent to executive and management roles. 

Last week, the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (Absip) slammed Absa’s investment banking division for “perpetuating a lack of ethnic diversity” when it appointed two white males to top executive positions. 

Old Mutual described its appointment of Gobodo as “significant progress towards winning the war for talent”. Gobodo will take office on January 1 2019 and will head one of the biggest private wealth and investment management businesses in Africa with assets under management in excess of R664bn.

The wealth and investment business consists of Old Mutual Wealth Management, which services high income and high net-worth clients; asset management business Old Mutual Investment Group; Old Mutual Alternative Investments; as well as Old Mutual Specialised Finance.

“Khaya’s credentials have enabled him to play a critical role in crafting and executing a strong asset-management strategy. I am confident the wealth and investment business will be in very capable hands and that he will transition in his new role smoothly,” said Old Mutual Group CEO Peter Moyo in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Boutique investment experience

Gobodo, is the deputy MD of Old Mutual Wealth and Investments and MD of Old Mutual Investment Group. He is going to succeed current MD, Dave Macready who will be retiring early next year. He previously worked at Investec Asset Management and was a founding partner of Renaissance, which was later renamed Afena Capital.

Old Mutual recruited Gobodo in January this year for his boutique investment expertise, hoping that he would help the company unlock further value in its complex, multi-boutique business model, which consists of businesses such as Marriot Income Specialists, Future Growth Asset Management, and actively managed MacroSolutions business.

Karl Gevers, head of research at Benguela Global Fund Managers said Gobodo’s s experience makes him a great appointment. “He has experience of starting and running an asset management business — Afena Capital — as well as having been on the corporate side at Investec and Old Mutual. Bottom line, I think he is a good appointment for the company.”

Chartered accountant and commentator Khaya Sithole said Old Mutual most likely had this position in mind when it recruited Gobodo, as his expertise warrants this kind of promotion.

“The problem is that the market for top black talent remains limited. [Gobodo’s] previous employers were probably disheartened to lose him. What this appointment does is open up a big conversation on why Old Mutual had to go out and poach someone. It raises a question on whether they are doing enough to cultivate talent within the organisation,” he said.

The executive changes at Old Mutual’s unit come just weeks after competitor Sanlam increased black ownership of its asset management business to 51% as part of the new empowerment deal struck with Ubuntu-Botho.

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