The bro­ker scores

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Cover Story -


Absa’s wealth man­age­ment and pri­vate bank­ing of­fer­ing cov­ers the full spec­trum of prod­ucts and ser­vices, in­clud­ing an im­pres­sive fam­ily of­fice. De­spite the sale by Bar­clays Plc of its Africa op­er­a­tions, the group’s ac­cess to Bar­clays’s global ca­pa­bil­i­ties and all part­ner­ship agree­ments re­main. The Wealth, In­vest­ment Man­age­ment and In­sur­ance unit is the in­te­grated non­bank­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices provider to Bar­clays Africa and other part­ners across the con­ti­nent, in­clud­ing life in­sur­ance, non­life in­sur­ance, in­vest­ment man­age­ment, and fidu­ciary. It uses a com­bi­na­tion of in-house prod­ucts and “open ar­chi­tec­ture so­lu­tions”.

What we say

Absa’s per­for­mance has to be taken in the con­text of the mar­riage to and di­vorce from Bar­clays Plc, a dif­fi­cult process that has dis­tracted it for years. In that light, its un­der­per­for­mance in these awards given its size and mus­cle is un­der­stand­able, but it should be con­cerned by the rank­ings given to it by its clients in the Peo­ple’s Choice sur­vey.


Absa Pri­vate Bank­ing: R750,000 an­nual salary, with ex­cep­tions. Absa Wealth & In­vest­ment: R10m/year net in­come; fam­ily of­fice: R200m net as­set value.


Bren­thurst Wealth is a medium-sized in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory com­pany fo­cus­ing on high net worth clients. It uses pre­dom­i­nantly ex­ter­nal prod­ucts, but re­cently has started in-house funds. The firm has been on a mar­ket­ing drive and says this is pay­ing off, re­sult­ing in ex­pan­sion, par­tic­u­larly in the West­ern Cape.

What we say

The com­pany is en­joy­ing a no­tice­able pe­riod of suc­cess, re­flected in its ex­pan­sion and de­vel­op­ment of new prod­ucts to meet client de­mand. MD Brian Butchart says a strong mar­ket­ing drive has been in­stru­men­tal to the firm’s growth. Client com­mu­ni­ca­tion is at the core of that, with reg­u­lar news­let­ters and sem­i­nars fo­cus­ing on top­i­cal is­sues. The firm has never had min­i­mum el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria but weighs the cost of tak­ing on a new client so that it makes busi­ness sense, and the new funds were pri­mar­ily launched to cater for the smaller client mar­ket. The firm has im­proved markedly since its de­but par­tic­i­pa­tion in 2015 to win the award for Top Wealth Man­age­ment Bou­tique this year.


No cri­te­ria.


An ef­fi­cient, com­pe­tent all-round of­fer­ing from FNB/RMB, span­ning bank­ing and wealth man­age­ment ser­vices with strong ca­pa­bil­i­ties at the top end of the wealth spec­trum cater­ing for in­ter­na­tion­ally wealthy fam­i­lies. It goes be­yond tra­di­tional ser­vice ar­eas to fo­cus on en­trepreneurs (in con­junc­tion with FNB Busi­ness), non­metro and agri­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties. The group has been in­ten­si­fy­ing its client-cen­tric ap­proach with in­creased fo­cus on bank­ing and ad­vis­ing across the fam­ily struc­ture, man­ag­ing in­ter­gen­er­a­tional wealth trans­fer. It has also launched of­fer­ings for the wealth mar­ket, one no­table de­vel­op­ment be­ing its Pri­vate Wealth Acad­emy in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Gor­don In­sti­tute of Busi­ness Sci­ence and The Acad­emy of Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets to help build fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy among its client base.

What we say

The FNB/RMB group won the 2015 Top Pri­vate Bank award. Its sub­mis­sion to the judges didn’t carry as much de­tail as top-ranked firms. Client rank­ings for the group have also fallen from pre­vi­ous high lev­els. In part, the drift has oc­curred as the cen­tre of grav­ity in the group has moved from RMB to FNB.


FNB Pri­vate Wealth: Salary of R1.5m or NAV of R15m. RMB Pri­vate Bank: Not dis­closed.


This eight-year old bou­tique has es­tab­lished it­self as a force in our sur­veys and takes sec­ond in the Top Wealth Man­age­ment Bou­tique cat­e­gory. The group does not of­fer dis­cre­tionary in­vest­ment ser­vices, with op­er­a­tions man­ager Cyril Chetty say­ing the pri­or­ity in the first few years was to build up as­sets and en­sure a sus­tain­able busi­ness. It is pri­vately owned by in­di­vid­u­als, with 95% black own­er­ship and 100% black man­age­ment. Chetty says the ini­tial ap­proach was to fo­cus on the black mid­dle- to high-in­come mar­ket in SA, but the com­pany has since po­si­tioned it­self as a wealth man­age­ment busi­ness to all South Africans in its tar­get mar­kets. Its fo­cus is on the first three of In­tel­lidex’s archetypes.

What we say

A par­tic­u­larly strong show­ing in the up-and-com­ing pro­fes­sional archetype along with be­ing the sec­ond-ranked bou­tique re­flects the strength of this firm within its tar­get mar­ket. This is the sec­ond year it has par­tic­i­pated in this sur­vey and it con­tin­ues to im­press. How­ever, this year its clients gave it lower rat­ings than last year.


Re­tire­ment clients: R500,000 preser­va­tion and R1,5m re­tire­ment cap­i­tal. Young pro­fes­sion­als: four-year/hon­ours de­grees. In­vestible as­sets of R500,000 and/or house­hold as­sets of R20m. Se­nior man­agers: earn­ings of R700,000/year.

MAIT­LAND Over­all

Mait­land fo­cuses on the top end of the wealth mar­ket with strong in­ter­na­tional and full fam­ily-of­fice ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It is pri­vately owned by staff and man­age­ment, and runs in-house funds de­signed to pool the cap­i­tal of smaller clients. These are not sold to clients but used “where the ef­fi­cien­cies of pooled port­fo­lio man­age­ment are very cer­tain”. It’s a means to ac­com­mo­date clients who don’t fall squarely into its tar­get mar­ket, though it doesn’t cater for our first archetype, the lump-sum in­vestor. It is on a global ex­pan­sion drive.

What we say

Mait­land falls into a slightly un­for­tu­nate po­si­tion in our sur­vey be­cause it is too big to qual­ify for the Top Wealth Man­age­ment Bou­tique award, so has to com­pete with the big banks and San­lam for the main award. Fur­ther­more, not enough of its clients com­pleted the Peo­ple’s Choice sur­vey for it to be ranked for that award. How­ever, the judges were im­pressed by the qual­ity and scope of its of­fer­ings and the depth of its ex­per­tise in its re­sponses to our archetype clients. It stands out for its so­phis­ti­cated think­ing on mul­ti­juris­dic­tional tax and le­gal think­ing.


Dis­cre­tionary port­fo­lio man­age­ment: R25m.

Fam­ily of­fice ser­vices: R250m.



Ned­bank’s wealth of­fer­ings op­er­ate through Ned­bank Pri­vate Wealth SA and Ned­bank Pri­vate Wealth In­ter­na­tional. It has of­fices in SA, the UK, Isle of Man, Jer­sey, Guernsey and the United Arab Emi­rates, with SA clients hav­ing full ac­cess to its in­ter­na­tional ser­vices. It of­fers the full spec­trum of ser­vices and prod­ucts across the wealth spec­trum. NPW pro­vides dis­cre­tionary in­vest­ment man­age­ment ser­vices di­rectly, in con­junc­tion with third-party prod­ucts/in­vest­ments in client port­fo­lios. That is to pro­vide di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion by in­vest­ment man­ager, style, man­date, as­set class and ge­og­ra­phy. It of­fers clients a con­sol­i­dated view of their fi­nan­cial po­si­tion, re­gard­less of where their money is man­aged.

What we say

Ned­bank is get­ting more com­pet­i­tive ev­ery year in our sur­vey. This year it wins two archetypes, up-and-com­ing pro­fes­sional and wealthy ex­ec­u­tive, and is sec­ond in the lump-sum in­vestor cat­e­gory. In its re­sponse to our archetypes we were par­tic­u­larly im­pressed with the de­tail — it spelt out all im­pli­ca­tions of all op­tions. It’s also very pop­u­lar with its clients, fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the Peo­ple’s Choice award.


R1.5m/year or R5m in­vestable as­sets.

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