Investec sells its Rensburg funds division

INVESTEC, South Africa’s fifth-largest bank, is selling Rensburg Fund Management (RFM) for £45m, it said yesterday as it unveiled a six per cent hike in underlying operating profit.

Franklin Templeton has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire RFM from Investec, which manages about £880m in UK equities, and is a small part of Rensburg Sheppards, which was bought earlier in the year by Investec.

RFM chief executive Alex Brotherstone said the deal would give the firm’s fund managers global distribution opportunities.

But he was unable to give details of his own future: “I’m keen to stay around and will work very closely with Jamie to see how we can expand. At the moment I remain joint chief executive until the group is integrated”.

Meanwhile, Investec said operating profit totalled £228.15m in the six months to 30 September, up 5.6 per cent from £215.9m a year earlier. Excluding a £46m profit made in the same period last year on the repurchase of debt, profits were 34 per cent higher. It added net interest income totalled £321.17m, compared with £297.36m a year earlier. Meanwhile, bad debt charges totalled £122.85m, compared with £134.29n a year earlier.

The investment bank and asset manager said the regulatory environment remained challenging, but activity levels were starting to improve.