Investec’s Koseff, Kantor Step Down After 40 Years at Helm


Investec Plc Chief Executive Officer Stephen Koseff and Managing Director Bernard Kantor will step down in October after 40 years of building a small leasing company in Johannesburg to one managing more than 154 billion pounds ($215 billion) in assets.

Glynn Burger, group risk and finance director and also one of the “founding members” of Investec, will retire at the end of March next year, the Johannesburg- and London-based specialist bank and asset manager said in a statement on Tuesday. Fani Titi, who has been a non-executive director since January 2004 and chairman since November 2011, and Hendrik du Toit, the founding CEO of Investec Asset Management, will be appointed as CEO designates on April 1.

Both are “highly competent, with Titi having a fantastic record and Du Toit having built a global asset management business from scratch,” Adrian Cloete, a banks analyst at PSG Wealth said by phone on Tuesday. Investec has long had a joint-leadership structure with Kantor as MD and it worked well, he said, adding that what’s needed for the joint CEOs to succeed will be clearly defined responsibilities.

Expansion Drive

Koseff, 66, took over in 1996 after being the No. 2 executive for eight years. He oversaw the bank’s expansion into the U.K. and Australia, helping to drive an almost five-fold gain in the share price in South Africa and more than three-fold in London. From its South African base, Investec widened its business to lending, money management and property, providing private-banking services to high-net-worth clients and offering companies services including lending, structured finance, foreign exchange and advisory support.

Kim McFarland will take over as finance director in April next year. Ciaran Whelan, who has held various senior positions globally with Investec over the past 30 years, will be appointed to the Investec group’s board as an executive director and will succeed Burger as director of risk, Investec said. During the transition period Koseff, Kantor and Burger “will work closely with the new executive designates to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.”

Titi, who will likely remain South African-based, will oversee Investec’s banking operations, while Du Toit will stay in the U.K. and focus on asset management and “capital-light” operations, Koseff said on a conference call. Whelan will be the seasoned banker on the team, while Titi and Du Toit have both been involved in managing the group’s strategy “for a very long time,” Koseff said.

‘Complementary Skills’

“We are confident that the complementary skills of the new joint CEOs and their deep existing knowledge of Investec put us in an excellent position to continue the strong momentum at the group,” Koseff said. The joint CEO role is needed to manage what is a complex business in several countries with a dual listing, while also spurring racial and gender diversity, he said.

“I’ve still got lots to do at Investec,” Koseff said, adding that he will stay on some of the company’s subsidiary boards and also with some of his civic roles, such as being part of Business Leadership South Africa. “I’ve been here my whole life and I don’t intend to run away and join the competition.”

Koseff and Kantor, 68, will remain as non-executive directors. Perry Crosthwaite will become chairman of the group, while Zarina Bassa will be appointed as the group’s senior independent non-executive director. Titi will step down as chairman of Investec Bank Ltd., with Khumo Shuenyane taking over as chairman of Investec Bank Ltd. and Brian Stevenson chairman of Investec Bank Plc. John Green and Mimi Ferrini will become deputy CEOs of Investec Asset Management in April and from October 2018, joint CEOs of the business.

Investec declined 1.1 percent to 532.40 pence as of 8:42 a.m. in London amid a global stock market rout that sent the FTSE 350 Banks Index down 2 percent.

This article was originally published on viewed 6th February 2018.

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