Our journey is something that sets us apart — from a small finance company founded in South Africa in 1974 to an international organisation with listings on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. 

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela opening the Investec building in Johannesburg on 21 October 1998

Here is a company which stands head and shoulders above its peers — not merely because of its phenomenal growth or its sound management of assets, but because it is a trendsetter.

An icon is born, in the most unlikely of settings: Watch the story of our zebra

Investec timeline

Discover how our history of organic growth and strategic acquisitions lets us offer clients both local expertise and a global perspective, and uniquely combines modern thinking and nimbleness, with tradition and trust.

  • 1974

    Investec Bank Limited (“IBL”) originated as a small finance company in Johannesburg.

  • 1980

    Investec acquired a banking licence. This enabled it to expand its activities beyond leasing and installment finance into such areas as corporate and professional banking, treasury, corporate finance and project finance. Regional offices  opened in Durban and Cape Town and a network of international contacts were established.

  • 1986

    Investec merged with Metboard, a trust company established in 1937. This added portfolio management, a participating mortgage bond scheme and an in-house unit trust to the range of products and services offered by Investec.

    Investec Holdings Limited (“Inhold”) listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

  • 1988

    In a major restructuring, Investec Bank Limited, later Group Limited (“IGL”) listed. This listing placed control of the Group in the hands of Investec management and staff.

  • 1990

    Investec acquisition included property management company I. Kuper & Company (Pty) Limited, Corporate Merchant Bank Limited (formerly Hill Samuel Merchant Bank Limited).

  • 1991

    Investec forged a strategic alliance with life assurance company Fedsure Holdings Limited, through the creation of significant cross-shareholdings. This alliance resulted in an increase in the capital and extension of the range of financial products and services of both groups

  • 1992

    Investec acquired London- based Allied Trust Bank Limited (“ATB”) – the first international acquisition by the Group.

  • 1993

    Investec acquired South Africa’s oldest confirming house, Gerber Goldschmidt Finance (Pty) Limited.

  • 1994

    Investec acquired control of the listed securities trading group, Sechold Limited (Sechold).

  • 1995

    Investec acquired London-based Clive Discount Company (“Clive”), further enhancing its capability within the UK securities market and supporting its ability to distribute South African financial instruments nationally.

    Investec acquired the money broking operations of Cazenove & Company, subsequently merged into Clive.

    Investec acquired stockbroking company Solms & Company Inc. and became an active member of the JSE.

  • 1996

    Investec acquired local South African stockbroker, Fergusson Bros. Limited. This was then integrated with other trading activities to form Investec Securities Limited.

    Investec Bank (Jersey) Limited, a private bank based in Jersey, was established, motivated by the need to give clients greater offshore advantages.

    Investec acquired a controlling interest in Israel General Bank Limited, the eighth largest bank in Israel.

    Investec acquired London-based stockbroker and private client portfolio management company, Carr Sheppards Limited.

  • 1997

    ATB was renamed Investec Bank (UK) Limited (“IBUK”).

    The Group restructured with all banking operations falling under Investec Merchant Bank Limited. Investec Bank Limited was renamed Investec Group Limited and Investec Merchant Bank Limited was renamed Investec Bank Limited.

    Investec established an operation in Australia.

    Investec acquired the Mauritian-based bank, Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild (Ocean Indien) Ltee.

    Investec opened a representative office in Hong Kong.

    The Group established asset management operations in Botswana and Namibia. Listings on the Namibian and Botswana Stock Exchanges followed. Investec Securities (Botswana) (Pty) Limited was registered and a licence to trade was approved.

  • 1998

    Investec acquired New York-based registered broker-dealer Ernst & Company.

    All trading operations of Clive Discount Company were merged into Investec.

    Investec acquired, from the Bank of Yokohama, Guinness Mahon Holdings PLC (Guinness Mahon). The purchase included 44% of Guinness Flight Hambro Asset Management Limited (GFH).

    Investec acquired Hambros Plc, which included a further 44% of GFH.

    Investec sold Investec Fleet Management (Pty) Ltd to ABN Amro Lease Holding N.V.

    Investec acquired management’s remaining stake in GFH.

    GFH merged with Investec Asset Management and was renamed Investec Guinness Flight Limited.

    Ernst & Company acquired New York retail broker Stuart Coleman & Company.

    Investec opened representative offices in Hong Kong and established an effective gateway into South East Asia.

    Investec established asset management operations in Botswana and Namibia. Listings on the Namibian and Botswana Stock Exchanges followed. Investec Securities (Botswana) (Pty) Limited was registered and a licence to trade was approved.

  • 1999

    IBUK merged with the banking business of Guinness Mahon. IBUK now incorporated Investec Henderson Crosthwaite (“IHC”), Investec Private Equity and Investec Insurance.

    The private client portfolio management and stockbroking activities of Henderson Crosthwaite merged with Carr Sheppards and the company was renamed Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite Limited (“CSC”).

    Investec sold Securities Investment Bank Limited into Saflife Limited (subsequently renamed SIB Holdings Limited).

    Investec acquired the Johannesburg Retail Stockbroking division of HSBC Simpson McKie (Pty) Limited.

    Ernst & Company was rebranded Investec Ernst & Company.

    Israel General Bank was rebranded Investec Bank (Israel) Ltd.

    Investec purchased Gandon Capital Markets, based in Dublin, Ireland, from GE Capital. The acquisition provided a link into the Irish corporate and institutional market and further enhanced Investec’s international structured finance and treasury capabilities.

    IBUK expanded its private banking services with the acquisition of part of the banking business of Kleinwort Benson Private Bank.

    Investec Ernst & Company acquired the retail broking firm of the Royce Investment Group on Long Island, United States.

  • 2000

    Investec bought the professional banking advances book of Mercantile Bank Limited in South Africa.

    The private and corporate stockbroking businesses of Investec Securities and Investec Integrated Investments (formerly HSBC Simpson McKie Johannesburg Retail) merged, creating one of South Africa’s largest private and corporate client stockbroking and investment management businesses. The combined entity operates under the “Investec Securities” brand.

    Investec Guinness Flight was rebranded as Investec Asset Management.

    Investec acquired certain of the assets of Global Capital Limited (including a controlling stake in SIB Holdings Limited).

    Investec bought the private client portfolio management business of Quyn Martin Asset Management in South Africa.

    Investec acquired the private client lending book of McCarthy Bank in South Africa.

  • 2001

    Investec Clali Bank Ltd was rebranded Investec Bank (Israel) Limited.

    Investec Bank (UK) Limited acquired Radcliffes Trustee Company S.A. based in Geneva and Theodores Trust and Law Group based in Jersey. This augmented Investec’s trust and fiduciary capacity as well as its international private client structuring capabilities.

    Investec Bank (UK) Limited acquired a 35% stake in Hargreave Hale, a private client stockbroker.

    Investec Ernst & Company acquired the private client and clearing arm of Herzog Heine Geduld Inc in the USA.

    Investec Ernst & Company acquired Vilas & Hickey from Merrill Lynch in the USA providing inter-dealer services for broker-dealers in corporate and convertible bonds, as well as preferred stocks.

    Investec Ernst & Company acquired the Unit Investment Trust business from ING Funds, a subsidiary of the ING Group.

    Investec Australia Limited acquired Wentworth Associates Pty Limited, an investment banking boutique, thereby providing a strong platform for the development of Investec’s specialised banking activities in Australia.

    Investec expanded its investment banking capabilities in the USA through the acquisition of PMG Group Inc.

    Investec acquired the insurance and financial services businesses from Fedsure Holdings Limited.

    Investec Bank (UK) Limited bought European Capital providing financial advisory and capital raising services in the fields of project and corporate finance for the capital goods, infrastructure and utility sectors.

    Taking advantage of the ongoing consolidation in the financial services industry, Investec acquired Merrill Lynch South Africa private client operation in Cape Town (subject to regulatory approval).

  • 2002

    Investec implemented a Dual Listed Companies (DLC) structure with listings on the LSE and JSE.

    Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite recruited most of the international team from the Gerrard Group.

    Investec acquired European Capital Company Ltd, and its team of project finance advisers and arranges, thereby enhancing the Group’s project advisory and finance capability in the UK.

    Investec acquired Melbourne-based Wright Financial Planning, providing retirement and superannuation planning and private client portfolio management services.

    Investec acquired Melbourne-based Chronworth Pty Ltd, a corporate finance advisory boutique.

    Investec acquired the Unit Investment Trust business from ING Funds in the US.

    Investec recruited a Life Sciences team and a TMT team in the US from Tucker Anthony Sutro Capital Markets and UBS Warburg, respectively.

    Investec decided to exit the private client stockbroking business in the US and sold it to its management on 10 May 2002.

    Acquisition of Merrill Lynch’s (South Africa) private client business in Cape Town.

    Acquisition of debtors book of Regal Treasury Private Bank Ltd.

  • 2003

    Empowerment partners acquired a 25.1% stake in Investec Limited.

    Continued rationalisation of the businesses of IEB with Capital Alliance Holdings Limited.

    Reinsurance and transfer of some of the businesses of IEB to Liberty Group Limited.

  • 2004

    Exited the life assurance business through a further reinsurance agreement with Capital Alliance Holdings Limited.

    Sold 80.28% stake in Investec Bank (Israel) Limited to the First International Bank of Israel Ltd.

    Wound down UK Traded Endowments business.

  • 2005

    Sold the remainder of the US business.

    Sold the UK Private Client Stockbroking operation, Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite Limited to Rensburg plc.

    Retained 47.7% interest in the combined entity, Rensburg Sheppards plc.

    Acquired HSBC's private client business in South Africa.

    Sold associate investment in Capital Alliance Holdings Limited.

  • 2006

    Investec Bank (Australia) Limited, acquired N.M. Rothschild & Sons (Australia) Limited.

  • 2007

    Investec plc acquired Kensington Group plc.

    Investec sold South African property fund management and property administration business to Growthpoint Properties Limited.

    Investec Bank Australia Limited acquired Experien (Pty) Ltd.

  • 2010

    Investec plc acquired Leasedirect Finance Limited, an asset finance company in the UK.

    Investec plc acquired the remaining shares in Rensburg Sheppards plc.

    Investec acquired 75% of Leasedirect Finance Limited, an asset finance company in the UK.

  • 2011

    Investec completed the acquisition of Access Capital Limited and changed the name to Investec Capital Asia Limited. Investec Capital Asia Limited is a licensed entity regulated by the Hong Securities and Futures Commission that has been providing investment banking services to clients based in greater China since 2000.

    Investec acquired 100% of the Evolution Group plc, a private client and securities business based in the UK.

  • 2012

    Investec plc acquired the entire issued share capital of Neontar Limited (parent of the NCB Group (NCB)). NCB is one of Ireland's leading corporate finance and wealth and investment firms with approximately €1.3bn of private client funds under management.

  • 2013

    Sold Lease Direct Finance Limited and Investec Trust (Switzerland) SA, Investec Trust (Jersey) Limited and Investec Trust Mauritius Limited.

    Completed the sale of 15% of the Asset Management business, owned by Investec plc and Investec Limited, for a consideration of £180m in cash to the senior management of the business.

  • 2014

    Sold Investec Bank (Australia) Limited’s Professional Finance and Asset Finance and Leasing businesses and its deposit book to Bank of Queensland Limited. Continued presence in Australia, focusing on core activities of Specialised Finance, Corporate Advisory, Property Fund Management and Asset Management (non-banking subsidiary of Investec group).

    Sold Irish intermediated mortgage business Start Mortgage Holdings Limited (Start) together with certain other Irish mortgage assets to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds.

  • 2015

    On 1 July 2015, Investec Bank Limited concluded transaction agreements with the management and shareholders of the Blue Strata group for the acquisition of the remaining 51.5% of the Blue Strata group, not already owned by it. Investec and Blue Strata have had a fruitful partnership over the past 13 years since Blue Strata’s founding in 2002. Blue Strata has since been renamed Investec Import Solutions. 

    Sold UK intermediated mortgage business Kensington Group plc (Kensington) together with certain other Investec mortgage assets to funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Advisors L.L.C. and TPG Special Situations Partners.

  • 2016

    In South Africa, an investment vehicle, Investec Equity Partners, was created on 11 January 2016 in which Investec holds a 45% stake alongside other strategic investors who hold the remaining 55%. Investec Principal Investments transferred certain portfolio investments to the value of R7.6 billion to Investec Equity Partners. In exchange, Investec received R2.5 billion in cash and 45% of the shares in Investec Equity Partners (R5.1 billion).

  • 2018

    On 14 September 2018, following a strategic review by the Investec Group board, Investec announced its intention to demerge and separately list the Investec Asset Management business (IAM). The Board believes that this transaction simplifies the Group and focuses IAM and the remaining Group on their respective growth paths, which will enhance the long-term prospects and potential of both businesses for the benefit of their shareholders, clients and employees.

  • 2019

    In October 2019, Investec sold its Irish Wealth & Investment business to Brewin Dolphin. In light of changes in Investec’s Irish business model brought about by Brexit planning and the ongoing consolidation taking place in wealth management in Ireland, Investec Ireland took the decision to consider approaches for the Irish Wealth & Investment business.

  • 2020

    In March 2020 the Investec Asset Management business was demerged and separately listed as Ninety One. Investec shareholders received one Ninety One share for every two Investec shares held.

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