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Investec's 60-fold leap in value

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Ghana's fleet-footed operator

A mere 22 years ago South Africa's Investec Bank was a small offshoot of a financial services company financing loans for motor vehicles and equipment. Today it is a rapidly growing, niche-market private and investment bank operating internationally, with a market capitalization of R13.2 billion ($2.7 billion) and consistent profit and dividend growth of almost 30% a year.

The bank has grown organically and through acquisitions in South Africa and internationally.

The firm was born as a result of a management buy-out in 1976 of the original financing company. Initially it continued to operate as a financing house, discounting the financing agreements into the then banking system. In 1980 the fledgling company bought a banking licence and started expanding rapidly, focusing on providing banking services to individual clients and medium-sized corporates.

In 1985 Investec merged with asset-management company Metboard. This deal provided the springboard for establishing what has become the fastest-growing asset-management company in South Africa, serving both the mutual-fund and retirement-fund businesses.

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