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It can’t be coincidence that just as Discovery prepares to open a bank, Investec has gone into life insurance. Given the cultural similarities between the businesses, there is a substantial client overlap. It hasn’t been such a drawn-out process for Investec as it did not have to apply for a new licence — it had a dormant licence it inherited from Fedsure. Harry Botha, an analyst at Avior Research, says the product will initially be sold to the 75,000 clients of the SA wealth and investment business. But he says building up the life business will take time, as it usually doesn’t make sense for clients to switch out of existing life policies, especially if new underwriting is involved. Investec Life will form part of the One Place offering, Investec’s more sophisticated version of the Alexander Forbes one-stop shop. It will be interesting to see how the relationship between Discovery and Investec will develop. As the two leading entrepreneurially founded groups in Sandton they have b...

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