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Belt Tightening and Acquisition Hunting

With an eye on cutting costs at the small fund family, Investec has recently made adjustments to its outsourcing, allowing the firm to cut seven of its positions in Pasadena, Calif. Besides switching teleservicing from Providence, R.I.-based BFDS to Firstar, Brennan said the firm has also started using the marketing services of Merrill Corp. through Firstar, rather than contracting directly with the firm.

"We reduced our cost base significantly, which indicates how expensive the structure was that I inherited," said Brennan.

However, Investec is doing more than trimming. The firm is prepping for another acquisition (the firm previously took over the Guinness Flight fund family) and then a concerted expansion effort.

"We will do an acquisition again. We're getting closer and have three targets we've narrowed it down to," said Brennan who, bound by confidentiality agreements, declined to elaborate further.

He did say Investec is looking more for a good fit in terms of the overall business strategy rather than scrutinizing products or investment style. "We didn't have to be that intellectually purist about it," he said. Rather, Investec is looking for "long-term sustainable investment capabilities" coupled with weak business skills.