How an emerging-market bank goes global

Investec''s Hugh Herman advises patience.

Hugh Herman, chairman of South Africa-based Investec, was in Hong Kong recently checking up on the business and meeting clients. Taking a break to meet with FinanceAsia, he noted that Investec is the first bank from an emerging market to achieve a listing in London, and that it is the most international bank that was founded in an emerging market. The firm's story, therefore, should have some resonance for Asian financial institutions seeking regional or even global glory.

One thing we've learned is that you can't be on too many fronts at one time, Herman says. Patience is valuable. We're a niche bank and we intend to stay in our niche....

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