Financial Mail

A number to bet on


A new listing should be a time for celebratio­n, but Ninety One’s maiden voyage as a stand-alone entity came just as the world was piling into the Covid-19 lockdown, and breaking out the champagne might have been a bit inappropri­ate.

Instead of reflecting on its 29 years of success as Investec Asset Management and looking forward to a future free of the mother ship, Ninety One was faced with markets collapsing around its ears and the need to pivot to remote working at speed.

In his CEO’S review, Hendrik du Toit points out that the company was able to grow in the year, get the demerger, listing and rebranding away on schedule, and move more than 1,000 people to working from home without a major hiccup, which demonstrat­es that this is a robust, experience­d and well-run operating platform.

Its numbers were looking strong at the end of the calendar year, but took a beating in the three months to

March as the impact of the pandemic hurled markets into turmoil.

Du Toit emphasises that his investment teams have been around the block a few times, and with 21% employee ownership Ninety One’s people have plenty of skin in the game. He believes they will be able to take full advantage of the opportunit­ies for alpha generation that the unpreceden­ted volatility is bound to offer in the coming year.

The company has an excellent reputation, which has led to strong and lengthy client relationsh­ips, and this should put it in great shape to emerge from the crisis in rude health.

With 21% employee ownership Ninety One’s people have plenty of skin in the game

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