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Col­lec­tive in­vest­ment schemes in hedge funds

The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board (FSB) re­cently ap­proved the first col­lec­tive in­vest­ment schemes in hedge funds. The schemes, one a qual­i­fied in­vestor hedge fund and the other a re­tail in­vestor hedge fund, are reg­is­tered un­der the No­vare Col­lec­tive In­vest­ments man­age­ment com­pany.

The schemes com­prise 35 port­fo­lios be­tween them, and have been reg­is­tered with ef­fect from Novem­ber 27. This rep­re­sents a mile­stone be­cause it is the first time that a reg­u­lated hedge fund will be mar­keted as a prod­uct of­fer­ing.

The FSB has re­ceived and is con­sid­er­ing a fur­ther 20 ap­pli­ca­tions from man­age­ment com­pa­nies want­ing to reg­is­ter col­lec­tive in­vest­ment schemes in hedge funds. The FSB has em­ployed a team of fi­nance and in­vest­ment pro­fes­sion­als to over­see the reg­is­tra­tion of the man­age­ment com­pa­nies, and the hedge fund in­dus­try at large. The team will be led by Udesh Naicker, the head of hedge funds at the FSB.

New kid on the block

MMI Hold­ings, along with key in­di­vid­u­als from Mo­men­tum As­set Man­age­ment and BEE part­ners, will soon cre­ate Aluwani Cap­i­tal Part­ners, one of the largest black-owned as­set man­age­ment com­pa­nies in South Africa with an ini­tial R62 bil­lion of as­sets un­der man­age­ment.

Aluwani, which means “pros­per” in Tshiv­enda, will hold 40% eq­uity, fi­nanced by MMI Hold­ings and Aluwani Cap­i­tal Part­ners man­age­ment. BEE part­ners have also been se­cured and hold a 20% stake in the as­set man­age­ment com­pany, with MMI Hold­ings hold­ing the re­main­ing 40%.

Aluwani Cap­i­tal Part­ners will fo­cus on in­sti­tu­tional busi­nesses of­fer­ing fixed in­come, eq­uity, mul­ti­as­set class and fron­tier mar­ket ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and is geared to be­gin op­er­a­tions this month.

BrightRock of­fers trauma cover

In­no­va­tive life in­surer BrightRock has launched a new prod­uct called Trauma IQ, which is a new way of as­sess­ing and cov­er­ing the ad­di­tional ex­penses that may arise from a trau­matic event.

Ac­cord­ing to BrightRock’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Schalk Malan, the new as­sess­ment ex­pands pol­i­cy­hold­ers’ cov­er­age sub­stan­tially, “as­sess­ing and pay­ing out trauma claims that no other crit­i­cal ill­ness ben­e­fit in the mar­ket would cover”.

There are a num­ber of im­prove­ments to tem­po­rary ex­penses cover for ill­nesses or in­juries you can re­cover from. Another prod­uct en­hance­ment is the in­tro­duc­tion of an ad­di­tional oc­cu­pa­tional un­der­pin for per­ma­nent ill­ness and in­jury claims, pro­vid­ing un­par­al­leled trans­parency to the as­sess­ment of oc­cu­pa­tional dis­abil­ity claims.

Absa in­tro­duces iPad bank­ing

Absa has in­tro­duced a pi­lot of­fer­ing in se­lected Gaut­eng branches that will see con­sul­tants us­ing iPads and other de­vices ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing bank­ing op­er­a­tions that were pre­vi­ously con­fined to teller-based ser­vices.

The iPad of­fer­ing brings four stand-alone in­sur­ance prod­ucts that make le­gal, life and fu­neral cover ac­ces­si­ble to more peo­ple. It is cur­rently be­ing pi­loted in 17 of the bank’s branches across Gaut­eng.

The man­ag­ing ex­ec­u­tive of Absa’s north­ern re­gion (Pre­to­ria, Mpumalanga and Lim­popo), Os­car Siz­iba, ex­plains that the le­gal cover, known as Absa Law For You, gives pol­i­cy­hold­ers free le­gal ad­vice, me­di­a­tion on any le­gal mat­ter and cover for court pro­ceed­ings.

Clas­sic Life and Flexi Funeral are the bank’s life and fu­neral cover op­tions, while the Per­sonal Ac­ci­dent Plan from Absa cov­ers fam­i­lies in the event of death, per­ma­nent or tem­po­rary dis­abil­ity, and in­cludes emer­gency res­cue and trans­porta­tion, med­i­cal and hos­pi­tal ex­penses.

Banie Claasen, man­ag­ing ex­ec­u­tive of Absa in Gaut­eng south, says: “The use of iPads in a branch also al­lows us to carry out tra­di­tional branch trans­ac­tions, in­clud­ing the switch­ing of cus­tomers’ debit or­ders, trans­ac­tional and sav­ings ac­count open­ings, and per­sonal loan ap­provals of be­tween R8 000 and R150 000 for qual­i­fy­ing Absa cus­tomers in min­utes.”

Both the Verdi Cen­tre and Irene branches have ex­tended their op­er­at­ing hours dur­ing the week and on Satur­days.

Siz­iba says the move to ex­tend trad­ing hours in these par­tic­u­lar branches was an easy de­ci­sion for the bank be­cause this was a clear way in which to adapt to cus­tomers’ chang­ing bank­ing be­hav­iour.

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