Financial firm in buying mode

SPECIALIST financial services provider, Investec is confident of growing its Irish business through acquisition over the next couple of years.

The IFSC-based asset/ wealth management/ treasury and investment banking business has mainly grown by organic means over the past decade – the Irish division saw pre-tax profits grow by €3 million to €36m in the year to the end of last March.

A move towards growth through acquisition, however, would likely see Investec strengthen its existing private client business; which would see similar divisions of banks, stockbroking firms and private equity houses in its sights.

“We would be prepared to look at potential acquisitions, if they fit with the existing business. But, we haven’t set ourselves any set timeframe – it will most likely be opportunistic. We could do it next month or may not do it at all,” said Mark Daly, head of wealth management at Investec Ireland.

“This is a good time to have money, a good time to have a global offering and a good time to make acquisitions,” Mr Daly said, adding that acquisition values were beginning to correct themselves and become more realistic.

Investec, in its current guise, has been in Ireland for 10 years; since the London-headquartered/South African-originated Investec Group bought Gandon (previously the treasury arm of Woodchester Bank, and the first company to earn a licence to trade in the IFSC) for €30m.

Investec is also currently in the midst of widening its investment offerings to Irish-based customers, through the introduction of a host of new services.

One of these – its aircraft leasing fund – has been available to international customers for a couple of years but is now being widened for Irish-based pension funds and private investors.

The bank, which enters into sale and leaseback arrangements with airlines, has Qantas and Jet Air as international clients and is eyeing up Ryanair as a headline European client.


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