GOING FOR BROKE

Which sock­bro­kers went the ex­tra mile for clients?

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Front Page - writes Colin An­thony

Re­tail in­vestors are be­ing driven off­shore by SA’s hos­tile po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment, cou­pled with flat mar­kets, in search of lower risk and bet­ter re­turns. Stock­bro­kers are adapt­ing ac­cord­ingly — beef­ing up their off­shore ca­pa­bil­i­ties and fine-tun­ing other ar­eas to meet clients’ evolv­ing de­mands.

These fac­tors are also ac­cel­er­at­ing the trend, high­lighted in last year’s Top Stock­bro­kers sur­vey, of the in­te­gra­tion of stock­broking and wealth man­age­ment ser­vices. Clients’ angst over their in­vest­ments is driv­ing de­mand for more guid­ance and plan­ning in long-term in­vest­ment strate­gies.

These market dy­nam­ics, high­lighted by stock­bro­kers in our sur­vey, en­sure a fluid, ever-chang­ing in­dus­try that is prov­ing ca­pa­ble of adapt­ing to the low-re­turn market of the past three years.

Stan­dard On­line Share Trad­ing/Stock­broking is the Top Stock­bro­ker of the Year. Over the eight years that we have been con­duct­ing this sur­vey, it firmly es­tab­lished it­self as the one to beat. It won our maiden award in 2010 and was again the over­all win­ner in 2014 and 2016, while fin­ish­ing sec­ond ev­ery other year. That is tes­ta­ment to its en­dur­ing qual­ity and its agility, de­spite be­ing such a large or­gan­i­sa­tion, in be­ing able to meet clients’ ever-chang­ing needs. Stan­dard uses its mus­cle well, draw­ing on the vast re­sources of the wider bank when needed to present an of­fer­ing un­matched in terms of scope and breadth of prod­ucts and ser­vices, backed up by at­ten­tion to de­tail and an abil­ity to main­tain client sat­is­fac­tion.

In the two main cat­e­gory awards, FNB Se­cu­ri­ties is the Top Ad­vice Bro­ker and IG SA wins the Top On­line Bro­ker Award. These are par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for re­tail in­vestors seek­ing a bro­ker to meet their

Stan­dard uses its mus­cle well, draw­ing on the vast re­sources of the wider bank to present an of­fer­ing un­matched in scope and breadth

par­tic­u­lar needs.

FNB Se­cu­ri­ties has been putting in a lot of hard work to adapt to the chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment, par­tic­u­larly to the trend of merg­ing re­tail in­vest­ment and wealth man­age­ment needs. Early this year it con­sol­i­dated its in­vest­ment of­fer­ings un­der one roof. FNB Se­cu­ri­ties and its Share In­vest of­fer­ing now fall un­der the wealth & in­vest­ment di­vi­sion, with clients hav­ing ac­cess to var­i­ous ex­perts who can help them with wealth man­age­ment, fidu­ciary ser­vices and trans­ac­tional bank­ing, along­side stock­broking.

While the firm has al­ways ex­celled at the up­per end of the market, it has beefed up its of­fer­ings at the lower end, and its con­sol­i­dated of­fer­ing now caters strongly to all seg­ments.

IG’s award as Top On­line Bro­ker recog­nises its ex­cel­lence in its area of spe­cial­i­sa­tion. It trades only in CFDs, of­fer­ing them on a range of in­stru­ments from lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional shares to bonds, cur­ren­cies, in­dex fu­tures and com­modi­ties. It even of­fers CFDs on crypto cur­ren­cies, pro­vid­ing rare ac­cess to bit­coin and oth­ers for re­tail in­vestors.

It does not of­fer ad­vice but does pro­vide clients with com­pre­hen­sive market anal­y­sis and re­search tools, and has beefed up its ed­u­ca­tional of­fer­ings. It is also im­ple­ment­ing a new trad­ing plat­form glob­ally, with lo­cal im­ple­men­ta­tion due in Oc­to­ber.

The Peo­ple’s Choice award, cov­eted be­cause it is based purely on client feed­back, goes to 28E Cap­i­tal, with DWT Se­cu­ri­ties, the win­ner of the past two years, now sec­ond.

GT247/EasyEquities/GT Pri­vate Broking is ranked third, and it re­ceives a spe­cial men­tion as the best-ranked provider of tax-free sav­ings ac­counts. It is also rated as the best value bro­ker.

While 28E caters to clients from novices to so­phis­ti­cated in­vestors, it spe­cialises in ac­tive day traders. CFDs and all de­riv­a­tive in­stru­ments listed on Safex are of­fered and 28E is this year’s top-ranked CFD provider. It also pays close at­ten­tion to young savers, re­cently in­tro­duc­ing its 28E Sa­trix sav­ings plan with no ad­min­is­tra­tion fees.

28E was sec­ond in the Peo­ple’s Choice sur­vey in the past two years and, like all the topranked bro­kers in this sur­vey, has been work­ing hard to im­prove. Clients have recog­nised that, with two-thirds say­ing it has im­proved over the past year. More than half its clients be­lieve they re­ceive ex­cel­lent value for money.

In the over­all rank­ings the sec­ond- and third-placed firms, Unum Cap­i­tal and Rand Swiss, are rel­a­tive new­com­ers to the market. Unum Cap­i­tal, how­ever, has been around for some time as part of the Vu­nani Group, though re­cently sep­a­rated from it. Its big­gest client base is the tra­di­tional in­vestor, with ad­vice form­ing a core part of its of­fer­ing, backed up by wide-rang­ing re­search. But it im­pressed with its com­pre­hen­sive range of of­fer­ings — it is able to cater to all client archetypes and of­fers full on­line and tele­phone-based trad­ing. Be­sides the stan­dard of­fer­ings, it pro­vides ac­cess to Kenyan, Nige­rian and Zim­bab­wean stock mar­kets. Unum was also rated the most im­proved bro­ker.

Rand Swiss, formed only in mid-2015, has put in an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance to take third place. The firm im­pressed in its de­but par­tic­i­pa­tion in our sur­vey last year but was ham­pered be­cause too few of its clients com­pleted the Peo­ple’s Choice sur­vey — and we high­lighted that it was one to watch. This year, with suf­fi­cient clients vot­ing, Rand Swiss — which is not a reg­is­tered stock­bro­ker but holds li­cences from the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board — scored well across all cat­e­gories.

Stan­dard is the only big player in the top five of the over­all rank­ings, while FNB

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.