Pre-tax operating profit in the asset management business was 5% higher at £133.7m, compared to £127.3m a year earlier.
Net inflows of £5.2bn were recorded for the business, taking the total funds under management to £61.5bn at the end of March, up from £58.8bn in 2011.
Meanwhile, specialist banking profit fell a whopping 30.2% from £266.7m in 2011 to £186.2m and wealth and investment revenue dropped a more subdued 4.2% to £38.7m for the year.
Investec said the wealth and investment division had benefited from higher average funds under management and from the acquisition of Rensburg Sheppards, but results were adversely impacted by restructuring and sales of certain operations in the UK and Europe.
Stephen Kosseff, chief executive officer of Investec, said: "These results are disappointing but reflective of very challenging market conditions. Asset management continued its strong momentum. Our main businesses have continued to deliver with the overall picture being masked by legacy issues and a weaker performance from our investment activities."
Asset management and wealth management businesses accounted for 48.1% of the group’s operating profit for the year, compared to 38.6% in 2011 and third party assets under management jumped by 8.9% to £96.8bn.