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FirstRand’s Top-Rated Analyst Kershaw Picks Asset Management

One of FirstRand Ltd.’s two top-ranked credit analysts Jana Kershaw is moving to the bank’s asset-management business.

Kershaw started Rand Merchant Bank’s credit research unit six years ago with Elena Ilkova and they have topped the rankings in South Africa’s Financial Mail analyst league tables for credit analysis for three years. Kershaw is joining FirstRand’s Ashburton Asset Management on June 3, she said.

“I want to have the ability to execute my convictions rather than just to recommend investments to clients,” Kershaw said by phone from Johannesburg yesterday.

Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Absa Group Ltd. have built research teams in the past two years, while smaller firms like RMB and Investec Plc have cut back operations. Credit Suisse Group AG South African banks’ analyst Mervin Naidoo quit in April to join fund manager Melville Douglas and analyst Naeem Badat left Deutsche Bank AG for South African hedge fund manager Visio Capital Management in January.

Team mate Ilkova is not following her to Ashburton, Kershaw said.

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