When Hendrik du Toit set up Investec Asset Management (IAM) in 1991, he insisted that the operation be set up in Cape Town and not at the Johannesburg head office. It made sense as Cape Town has a larger pool of fund management talent. But his other consideration was to build a solid Chinese wall. This was a time when Liberty chair Donald Gordon refused to let his unit trusts sell out of their Liberty shares. And ever since, IAM has operated separately: former Investec MD Bernard Kantor once described Du Toit as "unmanageable". It was a surprising choice when Du Toit was made joint CEO in February as he has never shown much interest in the rest of the group, being completely absorbed in his own business. And it is undoubtedly a strong, globally competitive business, with £104bn under management, making it larger than many of the high-profile boutique managers in the UK such as Jupiter and Ashmore. IAM now has five sizeable client groups, in the UK, Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific...

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