Investec Hires Sakaguchi to Grow Japanese Business Fivefold in Two Years

Investec Asset Management, a Cape Town-based money manager, aims to increase the funds it manages on behalf of Japanese investors by as much as five-fold over the next two years after hiring Makoto Sakaguchi from Citibank Inc.

The investment arm of Investec Plc wants to grow its Japanese funds under management to between $1.5 billion and $2 billion from $400 million, said John Green, director of global business development.

“We believe there are opportunities,” Green said today in a phone interview from Cape Town. “Japan has a very big savings pool. It may be stagnant, but it’s big.”

Investec, which currently manages about $70 billion, plans to attract “institutional mandates” from Japanese fund managers and won’t open offices in Japan, said Green. The company, which announced Sakaguchi’s appointment earlier today, currently manages a rand-based money market fund on behalf of Tokyo-based Shinsei Bank Ltd. as well as a South African commodity fund for Nomura Holdings Inc., he said.

The wealth manager will focus on luring Japanese pensions to invest in its global commodity and emerging market debt funds as well as its Asia ex-Japan fund, said Green.

To contact the reporter on this story: Garth Theunissen in Johannesburg gtheunissen@bloomberg.net

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