Ashburton (Jersey) Limited is to form the international arm of a new asset manager that will become the fourth financial services franchise of FirstRand Limited alongside existing brands FNB, RMB and WesBank.
The new business takes its name from Ashburton, which has a long established track record of providing traditional products in developed and emerging markets, and which will now form part of Ashburton Investments.
These traditional offerings – currently managed on behalf of both international and Southern African investors – will be supplemented by the integration of the investment management businesses of BJM, RMB Private Bank and RMB Global Market Funds Solutions, all part of the wider FirstRand Group. Total assets under management of the combined business exceed USD10bn.
FirstRand group chief executive Sizwe Nxasana (pictured) says: “By accessing the origination capabilities of our existing franchises, we can bring new investment and asset classes to retail and institutional investors. This will be in the form of both alternative and traditional products, which will provide investors with a far wider investment choice than currently exists, offering more sources of return and making it easier to save.”
In addition to providing traditional, long term investments in single manager, multi manager and offshore funds, Ashburton Investments will differentiate itself by offering sources of return in its core markets that are not readily available to individual and institutional investors. It will begin by offerering investors the chance to co-invest in debt financing, private equity and credit investments alongside Ashburton Investments and on the same terms. Product providers to Ashburton Investments will be RMB and Ashburton.
Boshoff Grobler, head of Ashburton Investments in South Africa, says the objective is to become the leading new generation investment manager in Africa offering South African, African, Asian and Chinese investment opportunites.
“We are a new player but come to market with the backing of FirstRand which brings a strong balance sheet and a track record of meeting peoples’ needs with innovative offerings,” he says. “The financial crisis has shown the fault lines in a very traditional, single-minded approach. We are designing products tailored directly to the individual needs of institutional, HNW and private investors.”
Peter Bourne, managing director of Ashburton International, headquartered in Jersey, says: “We recognise that investors require access to more sources of return, broader investment capabilities and increased focus on risk management. As part of Ashburton Investments and the wider FirstRand Group, we will be able to access and deliver new and differentiated solutions for clients.”
Ashburton Investments will be hosting an event in Jersey on 4 July to outline the new strategy and discuss how to meet the challenges facing investors in global markets. A panel discussion, to be chaired by financial journalist Anatole Kaletsky, will include: Boshoff Grobler, head of Ashburton Investments; Tristan Hanson, head of asset allocation, Jonathan Schiessl, head of equities; and Paul Clark who leads the Ashburton Africa Equity Opportunities Fund.