HEARD on the street



San­lam Global In­vest­ment So­lu­tions (SGIS) has launched a fund which is solely man­aged by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI). San­lam says its Man­aged Risk Ucits Fund is now the first bal­anced fund in the world fully driven by AI and ma­chine learn­ing (ML).

David Itzkovits, head of in­vest­ments for SGIS, said: “The goal at SGIS was to find a solution that can adapt as quickly as the mar­kets change. Our AI ca­pa­bil­ity does this by ap­ply­ing the lat­est ML tech­niques that have mul­ti­ple years of live oper­a­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and a real, im­pres­sive track record.

“The AI in­vest­ment en­gine de­rives its de­ci­sion mak­ing in a dif­fer­ent way to other in­vest­ments and should be viewed within a client’s over­all in­vest­ment strat­egy as a di­ver­si­fier of ex­ist­ing hu­man man­ager risk.

“Be­cause, in to­day’s world, it’s not man vs ma­chines, it’s man with ma­chines vs man with­out.” The launch of the fund comes af­ter the launch of in­de­pen­dent robo-ad­vice plat­form itrans­ac­tGo in South Africa ear­lier this year.


Statis­tics from Deloitte’s lat­est an­nual Global Mil­len­nial Sur­vey re­veal that 71% of South African mil­len­ni­als (those reach­ing young adult­hood in the early 21st cen­tury) be­lieve they’ll be better off fi­nan­cially than their par­ents.

Ac­cord­ing to Nico Coet­zee, ex­ec­u­tive of PPS Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning, mil­len­ni­als can be char­ac­terised as eter­nal op­ti­mists and value the abil­ity to man­age their own fi­nances by us­ing tech­nol­ogy, es­pe­cially from their mo­bile de­vices.

“In ad­di­tion, they are open to fi­nan­cial of­fer­ings from non-fi­nan­cial brands and they are very likely to visit a fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany’s so­cial plat­forms for rel­e­vant con­tent and ad­vice. This gen­er­a­tion is also very hungry for ed­u­ca­tional in­for­ma­tion and in­flu­en­tial con­tent, such as cus­tomer re­views, ex­pert com­men­tary, thought lead­er­ship and prod­uct or service in­for­ma­tion.”

How­ever, Coet­zee points out that the young still make money mis­takes, in­clud­ing not pur­chas­ing in­come pro­tec­tion, post­pon­ing sav­ing for re­tire­ment till when they reach their 30s and over-re­ly­ing on friends and tech­nol­ogy for ad­vice, which could lead to fi­nan­cial losses.


Fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board (FSB) found that cer­tain Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning In­sti­tute (FPI) em­ploy­ees and can­di­dates were in­volved in a dis­hon­est scheme that re­sulted in the fal­si­fi­ca­tion of their ex­am­i­na­tion and or qual­i­fi­ca­tion re­sults and the is­suance of fraud­u­lent cer­tifi­cates.

The qual­i­fi­ca­tion and ex­am­i­na­tion fraud was ini­tially dis­cov­ered and in­ves­ti­gated by the FPI, which re­ferred the mat­ter to the FSB to take ac­tion against a large num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als. Fol­low­ing the FPI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, crim­i­nal charges were laid against im­pli­cated FPI em­ploy­ees.

The FSB was in­formed about the scheme in 2014 and launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to gather ev­i­dence against 120 rep­re­sen­ta­tives and key in­di­vid­u­als. De­bar­ment ac­tion com­menced in 2015 and is on­go­ing with at least 60 cases still un­der way, said the FSB in a state­ment.

The FSB added that it au­dited the FPI ex­am­i­na­tion body’s in­ter­nal se­cu­rity mea­sures, sys­tems and pro­cesses. It then rec­om­mended ad­di­tional se­cu­rity pro­to­cols to pre­vent this type of fraud from re­cur­ring.

The rec­om­men­da­tions have been adopted and im­ple­mented by the FPI.

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