Top PRI­VATE BANKS & WEALTH MAN­AGERS

All the win­ners in­side

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Front Page -

As the wealthy be­come in­creas­ingly con­cerned about the creep­ing ero­sion of the value of their as­sets in SA’s dis­tressed econ­omy, the peo­ple who man­age their wealth are re­as­sur­ing them, ex­press­ing con­fi­dence in the coun­try’s fu­ture. They are also manag­ing ex­pec­ta­tions af­ter a pro­longed pe­riod of low in­vest­ment re­turns.

Their mes­sage to clients is that, while there are real prob­lems, there is also much to be pos­i­tive about in SA, and their as­sets are in good hands.

Aside from ad­dress­ing the di­rect needs and con­cerns of clients, wealth man­agers are also pre­oc­cu­pied by an un­cer­tain reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment with pend­ing re­tire­ment re­forms, a reg­u­la­tory re­view of the way re­tail fi­nan­cial ser­vices are sold that is still not fi­nalised, as well as the launch of the Fi­nan­cial Sec­tor Con­duct Au­thor­ity to re­place the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board.

Tech­no­log­i­cal changes also dom­i­nate their time.

It is in just such dif­fi­cult times that ex­cel­lence shines through. The Top Pri­vate Banks & Wealth Man­agers sur­vey puts in­dus­try par­tic­i­pants through a rig­or­ous as­sess­ment process ac­com­pa­nied by a com­pre­hen­sive in­ter­ro­ga­tion of many of their clients in the Peo­ple’s Choice sur­vey.

On both fronts, SA’s wealth man­agers and pri­vate banks come out shin­ing.

Win­ners

The 2018 Wealth Man­ager of the Year is Gra­didge-Mahura In­vest­ments.

The bou­tique firm, which cel­e­brates its 10th birth­day this year, im­pressed us in its de­but en­try in our sur­vey in 2016, im­proved dra­mat­i­cally last year and then mus­cled out the larger play­ers to win this year’s over­all award.

Gra­didge-Mahura dom­i­nates this year’s sur­vey. It is also ranked the Peo­ple’s Choice of Top Wealth Man­ager, as well as the top wealth man­ager in two client archetypes: the young pro­fes­sional and the lump-sum in­vestor.

The lat­ter two mar­ket seg­ments make up the ma­jor­ity of the firm’s client base, and the awards show that the firm ex­cels in its core mar­ket.

Gra­didge-Mahura In­vest­ments is pri­vately owned by in­di­vid­u­als and is 95% black owned and 100% black man­aged. It of­fers no dis­cre­tionary prod­ucts and op­er­ates in­de­pen­dently, but has con­tracts with all the large prod­uct providers to en­sure it can meet the full range of client re­quire­ments.

Its ini­tial ap­proach was to fo­cus on the black mid­dle- to high-in­come mar­ket, but it has since po­si­tioned it­self to tar­get all South Africans.

Stan­dard Pri­vate Bank is this year’s Top Bank­ing Ser­vices Firm, based on client feed­back. Its Wealth & In­vest­ment busi­ness takes sec­ond place in the over­all award, which it won last year. It also wins the archetype award as best wealth man­ager for wealthy ex­ec­u­tives. Stan­dard is a con­sis­tently strong per­former in this sur­vey, dis­play­ing ex­cel­lence across all mar­ket seg­ments. De­spite its size, its at­ten­tion to de­tail is im­pres­sive, as is its ex­ten­sive ex­per­tise in tax and other laws in both lo­cal and global mar­kets.

In­vestec Pri­vate Bank is the Peo­ple’s Choice as Top Pri­vate Bank, re­ceiv­ing very strong feed­back from clients, with Stan­dard Pri­vate Bank sec­ond and FNB Pri­vate Wealth third.

NFB Pri­vate Wealth Man­age­ment, which changed its name in Jan­uary from NFB Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices, is the 2018 Top Wealth Man­age­ment

The mar­kets have given up gains from last year that were quite mean­ing­ful and in­vestors are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sin­gle-digit re­turns over three and five years

Pic­ture: RUS­SELL ROBERTS/ FI­NAN­CIAL MAIL

Craig Gra­didge

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