Biggest Africa Bond Manager’s Staff Flee Fire on Office Roof

The offices of Futuregrowth Asset Management, Africa’s biggest fixed-income money manager, were evacuated after a fire broke out on the roof of a building housing their Cape Town headquarters.

The fire at the Great Westerford building in the suburb of Rondebosch was extinguished after about two hours and all personnel and data were safe, Andrew Canter, Futuregrowth’s chief investment officer, said by phone on Thursday. Futuregrowth’s offices on the third floor of the building were shielded from the fire by a thick concrete slab, and comments by fire-fighting authorities that they had been damaged were incorrect, he said.

“People were working on the roof and seem to have started some sort of electrical fire,” he said. “The initial damage report is the fire did not get into our offices.”

Futuregrowth, which oversees assets worth 140 billion rand ($12 billion), is a unit of the Old Mutual Investment Group, South Africa’s biggest private investor.

The company may be back in operation by tomorrow, Canter said.

No loss of life or injuries were reported, although fire fighters remained on the scene to assess damage, Theo Layne, fire and rescue services spokesman, said by phone. The blaze is unrelated to runaway fires that swept the Cape Peninsula since March 1, he said.

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