Investec’s seminal announcement that its formidable asset management business, IAM, will be carved out of the specialist bank and separately listed was no bolt from the blue. The question is, will the standalone business (a midsized asset manager by world standards) become a consolidator under its energetic CEO, Hendrik du Toit, or will it ultimately be acquired? Peter Armitage worked at Investec Wealth & Investment for seven years before leaving to start Anchor Capital in 2012. He thinks the relative underperformance of the specialist banking group was a factor in the split. "It’s no secret that [Du Toit] has wanted to do this for a long time. Investec hasn’t grown its earnings in pounds for years, and I think he was dissatisfied with that, as, from a share price perspective, he and his staff were not benefiting." In 2013, in a precursor to last week’s transaction, Investec agreed to sell 15% of IAM’s equity to its management team in a R2.5bn deal with a view to giving them direct ...

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