Investing

Ninety One’s Hendrik du Toit a world-class asset manager

FNB Wealth and Investments’ Wayne McCurrie says Ninety One founder and CEO Hendrik du Toit is one of the best asset managers he has ever met.

Du Toit entered the asset management industry in 1988 and joined Investec Group in 1991, founding Investec Asset Management.

He has stayed with the business throughout his career, including when it rebranded to Ninety One on 16 March 2020.

The company showed exceptional growth under his leadership and currently has R2.8 trillion in assets under management.

Ninety One’s results for the six months to 30 September 2023 were not its best. Assets under management were down 5% from March 2023.

Its basic earnings per share decreased by 5%, and adjusted earnings per share decreased by 9%.

The asset management company was impacted by net outflows driven by the limited appetite for risk-on strategies, a challenging market, and foreign exchange issues.

Ninety One said rising interest rates and increased geopolitical uncertainty have also contributed to continued investor caution.

Despite the tough local market, there were net inflows into the South African Fund Platform and Alternatives, reflecting healthy demand.

Despite the difficult market conditions for asset managers, Ninety One’s share price still increased by 6% year-to-date.

Commenting on the performance, McCurrie said Du Toit is one of the finest asset managers he had ever met, without any qualification.

He said Du Toit and Ninety One performed well, considering the United States and United Kingdom have had the highest interest rates in thirty years.

“It is misguided to expect good results from an asset manager when countries experienced the steepest interest rate increases in living memory,” he said.

He explained that asset managers are cyclical companies tied to the performance of the stock market.

Sasfin Securities’ David Shapiro said because asset managers have had such a tough time, it is worth considering investing in Ninety One now.

“Things are going to change fast for Ninety One. Money is going to flow in, markets will go up, and returns will be higher,” he said.

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