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Investec CEO signals recruitment drive for UK wealth arm

Investec CEO signals recruitment drive for UK wealth arm

Stephen Koseff, chief executive of Investec, has committed to expanding the group’s Wealth & Investment business in the UK.

‘We are selectively recruiting investment professionals to try to capture flows,’ he stated. ‘There is a cost attached to that, but that is something we believe is strategically important for us as we continue to build a very strong organisation and a strong brand.’

In a recent example of Investec’s ambitions, the firmhired nine investment managers from Deutsche and Barclays for its Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.

However, Investec has also suffered losses; Wealth Manager revealed this month that three had defected from its Guildford office to join Rathbones.

That trio all formerly worked at Williams de Broë, which was taken over by Investec in 2012, and it is understood that lock-in periods are now expiring after the deal.

In a pre-close briefing to analysts, Investec also announced that Wealth & Investment had enjoyed net inflows of £1.1 billion between 31 March 2013 and the end of February.

Wealth & Investment’s assets under management now stand at £40.6 billion, an increase of 10% on a currency neutral basis through the period.

Koseff (pictured) noted that margins in the division were improving too, although they had yet to recover to their peaks before the acquisition of Williams de Broë, which was part of the Evolution Group.

‘In the UK business, prior to the acquisition of Evolution we had an operating margin of above 25%,’ he said. ‘We’re now seeing that margin migrate back to that level, but it is still not quite at that level yet and there is still some way to go.’

Koseff added that Investec Wealth & Investment would also focus on its online offering in the months ahead.

‘We have been enhancing and evolving our online platforms. I think that’s important as another distribution channel.’

Koseff concluded: ‘We believe that that business is going particularly well and hopefully we can maintain the momentum we have seen over the past while.’

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