is no longer actively seeking to acquire a U.S. based investment manager to build its American business. Rather, the firm is focusing on building up its offshore business instead. Investec entered the U.S. in May 1998 when it acquired Guinness Flight Hambro Asset Management along with seven Forty Act funds. Investec has since trimmed back the lineup to four funds and relocated the group's offices to Stamford, Connecticut from Pasadena, California.
"For a lot of companies to come into a new country it is very important to gather intelligence and see where you want to be," explained Ross Reuvers
, vice president and head of business development and marketing. "We found after our move to Connecticut that there is a big off-shore market here that is a much better fit to our business," he added.
The firm runs offshore funds out of Investec Bank in Guernsey (part of the British Channel Islands) that offer a broader range of investment styles and are not as niched as the Forty Act products in the United States, said Reuvers. He added that the firm continues to work with a limited number of distributors for its mutual fund products.
As part of the effort to build the offshore business, Kristy Wilkinson
is relocating from the Investec headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa to take the newly created post of national sales manager in Connecticut. She will make the move in either February or March, said Reuvers. At this time, he left open whether the firm would add more sales people in the U.S. besides Wilkinson.
"We have taken one of our very good sales people from South Africa and brought her here to help build out the offshore business," elaborated Reuvers. "We are going to take it [whether to hire additional sales staff] on month-by-month basis. When demand starts and picks up we certainly would look for people," he added.
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