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Ashburton Investments bolsters team in SA asset management with top new distribution hires

23 January 2024 Ashburton Investments

Ashburton Investments, the FirstRand group's trusted asset manager, is bolstering their team of investment professionals in the South African asset management industry, with key new hires under its CEO Duzi Ndlovu who joined in 2022 and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Patrice Rassou who joined in 2020.

Ndlovu communicated a number of new appointments in line with the company’s ambitious growth plans. Ashburton currently has R140 billion of Assets Under Management (AUM) and plans to grow exponentially in the next three years by scaling its equity, multi-asset, fixed income and global capabilities, while widening its distribution footprint.

“The first step in achieving our growth goal was to cement the investment team under Patrice's leadership. This included the key appointment of Charl de Villiers as Head of Equities in 2021. Charl has a stellar portfolio management track record, and his addition has added significant industry experience to the team,” says Ndlovu, who was previously CIO of Argon.

“The recent distribution focus is the second step in the growth phase ahead. We have made several important appointments to bolster the strength of our distribution teams across the institutional, corporate and commercial, retail and intermediated investment areas. A large part of our success thus far can be attributed to the fixed income investment team and track record developed. For a business that’s been around for a decade in South Africa, I’m grateful to the Ashburton employees, both past and current, who’ve built the business to what it is today. We have great ambitions to now take it to the next level and these key appointments reaffirm this.”

Vanessa Pillay was appointed as Ashburton Investments’ Head of Corporate and Commercial Distribution in October 2023. She has more than 25 years of financial markets and asset management experience across the corporate and institutional segments of the industry, and is highly regarded for her treasury, global markets and asset management expertise. Prior to joining Ashburton, Pillay was the Managing Director of First Global Asset Management and the head of corporate distribution at Stanlib. She is an Alumni at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Vuyo Mvulane was appointed as the Head of Institutional Distribution eight months ago. His experience spans manager research, portfolio management, business development and client service. Prior to joining Ashburton Investments, Mvulane was the Head of Business Development and Client Service at Mazi Asset Management.

These appointments follow the appointment of Kashif Noor to the position of Head of Retail Distribution at Ashburton a year ago. Kashif was previously Nedbank’s head of wealth management for the Cape and coastal regions. He also previously worked for ABSA Wealth, Coronation and Lloyds TSB.

Focusing on financial intermediaries, specifically independent financial advisers, Linked Investment Service Provider (LISP) platforms as well as discretionary fund managers (DFMs), Steven Amey was appointed as the Head of Intermediated Distribution at Ashburton Investments at the start of 2023. He gained his asset management, asset consulting, short-term insurance, healthcare and financial planning expertise fulfilling senior roles at Discovery Invest, Sasfin, Ninety One and Glacier. With more than 22 years of distribution experience, Amey holds an MCom in Tax and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

"We’re unique to the rest of the market in that our investment style is pragmatic, spanning across active and passive, local and offshore, traditional and alternative. We are valuation-driven and risk-aware, and our teams focus on meeting unique client needs with tailored solutions. That’s why we need quite wide demographic and cognitive diversity in our teams - to tackle investment performance from all angles,” says Ndlovu.

Ashburton recently marked its 10-year local track record, but also counts 40 years of offshore experience, from its origins in Jersey when it was acquired by the FirstRand group in 2013. Ashburton has offices in South Africa, Namibia and Jersey.

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