JOHANNESBURG Jan 30 South African lender and
asset manager Investec has appointed a veteran
banker to run its Australian investment banking arm, the latest
attempt to turn around the loss-making business.
Investec has named senior corporate adviser Ben Smith to
succeed Christian Nicks, who resigned from his position as head
of the unit after four years, the bank said on Wednesday.
Investec has cut 80 jobs in Australia and closed some of its
operations at the unit, which in 2012 accounted for 11 percent
of group revenue, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Last year, the group dispatched its head of private banking,
Ciaran Whelan, to Australia as interim chief executive after the
departure of David Clarke.
Investec has said it wants to scale back its Australian
business to focus on a few areas including corporate advisory,
property funds and project finance.
It is also considering a sale of the unit's professional
finance and asset financing operations.