NINETYONE Asset Management Namibia was not involved in the Fishrot scandal and its rebranding had nothing to do with former Managing Director (MD), James Hatuikulipi’s alleged involvement in the scam.
According to its MD, Eino Emvula, although the company rebranded from Investec Asset Management after Hatuikulipi’s arrest over the Fishrot scandal, the process was in the pipeline long before that. He also says the company conducted its own investigations and discovered that Hatuikulipi’s illicit activities were conducted in his private capacity. “We took the allegations very seriously and ordered an independent investigation, which confirmed that the alleged impropriety and activities were not undertaken in the remit of their employment at what was then Investec Asset Management, and they also found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of our company. We furthermore confirm that our firm in no way benefited from the alleged (Fishrot) activities,” he says.
Emvula adds his intention to demerge and rebrand as an independent investment manager was already publicly announced in 2018, as the board of Investec had decided that a separation into an independent asset management business, and a bank and wealth business, would be the best way to unlock long-term value for the benefit of clients, staff and shareholders.
He adds the demerger would separate the business from the Investec Group, and allow the firm to focus on the future of their investment management business, rather than on the wider financial services and banking group.
“It also provided us with the opportunity to rebrand and pick a name that had a strong connection to our heritage, with Ninety One being our founding year. The separation was effected on 16 March last year, when Investec Asset Management demerged from Investec and listed as Ninety One on the Johannesburg and London Stock Exchanges.”
Emvula told Windhoek Observer that the developments had no negative backlash on their clients’ portfolios and operations.
“The implicated individuals were not involved in the portfolio management of any of the money we manage on behalf of our Namibian clients, nor were they involved in any of the investment, compliance or risk management processes. All Namibian mandates are subject to our global compliance and risk management frameworks.”
“We remain firm in our commitment to Namibia and its people. We have a strong and growing business and we will continue to invest in it for the future,” he adds.
Emvula replaced Hatuikulipi, who headed the business under its former name. The rebranding came a few months after the Fishrot scandal broke. After their arrest over the Fishrot scandal, Hatuikulipi and Ricardo Gustavo, who was Client Director of Investec, resigned and they are still in police custody.
NinetyOne is a global investment manager offering active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternatives to institutions, advisors and individual investors around the world. Established in South Africa in 1991, they are an independent firm, listed in Johannesburg and London.