Investec’s new CEO, Fani Titi, is banking on the group’s "high-quality" clients to sail through the turbulent political climate and weak economic growth in SA, which dampened its financial performance locally. Investec posted a 5% increase in operating profits of its Southern African operations in the six months to September. In contrast, the UK and other regions (Switzerland, Republic of Ireland and Guernsey) posted a 40.2% increase in operating profit. Though Investec has an established presence in these other markets, SA, which contributes more than half of its profits, remains an important market for the group. Notwithstanding low activity in its biggest business in SA, the specialist banking division, Titi says Investec’s client base allows it to be more resilient than ordinary banks.

"We bank the high end of the market. We pick our clients properly. We understand their needs. They are not vanilla," he says. The financial services group has three operating divisions: spec...

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