Nowadays, financial advisors have a wide range of tools at their disposal to assist them in meeting or exceeding client expectations. With this in mind, CoreShares Investment Managers recently hosted a webinar for some of South Africa’s best investment platforms to showcase their offerings and unique selling points.

Investment platforms are playing an increasingly supportive role in the financial advice industry. They can give advisors an edge when it comes to planning, analysis, and keeping clients invested through the cycle and aligned to their long-term goals.

You can watch the webinar recording by clicking the button below, or alternatively, scroll down this page to find a summary of the key points.

Presentation Featuring
Access Recording

Panellists

Martin Riekert

Executive Head: Retail Investments at Momentum Investments
Martin started in Momentum Wealth in product development. Soon after the MMI merger, he was appointed as head of the retirement solutions team, where he focused on retirement savings and preservation products, including the trustee governance function. In 2016, Martin was promoted to head up product development and product management activities for Momentum Investments. He then became the executive head of retail investments in 2020. He is a Qualified actuary (Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa) and holds a BSc Actuarial and Financial Mathematics (UP) and a Post-graduate diploma in Actuarial Science (UCT). Martin has also been a part-time lecturer at the Actuarial Department for the University of Pretoria since 2010.

Georgina Smith

Head of Distribution and Sales at INN8
Georgina spent the early part of her career rising through finance roles across the FMCG and Pharmaceutical industries and then moved into delivering finance and leadership training across a wide variety of businesses in the UK including BP, Unilever, British Airways and Pfizer. She joined STANLIB in early 2017 as one of the pioneers helping to build the teams delivering the INN8 offshore and local platforms. She joined as Head of Training, moving into the position as Head of Distribution at the beginning of 2019. She has since built a capable, adviser inspired team of Business Development Managers serving INN8’s advisers nationwide. In 2020, she also took responsibility for the Client Servicing team at INN8 to ensure a seamless, end-to-end adviser focussed experience. She holds an honours degree in Management Science and Accounting and a post-graduate in Management Accounting. Georgina holds a strong belief that you're never too old to learn and that continual development helps people get better and stay motivated to provide an exceptional service in whatever line of work they are in. Her two decades of experience has given her a diverse, fresh and welcome outlook to getting things done. Her passion is building great teams whether it's sporting, charity or company teams. In her own words' "there's nothing you can't achieve with a good team". She subscribes to the goal of doing one thing a year that really scares her, to practise conquering fear with her thoughts and her actions – thus making anything possible.

Ferdi Booysen

Head of Client Solutions at Old Mutual Wealth
I am a qualified actuary and certified financial planner, with a passion for wealth management leadership, financial planning and digital enablement of financial planning practices. I have been with Old Mutual Wealth since 2012 in various roles, from platform migrations to business development, and currently lead our fintec development to planners and clients. I am married to Susan, and have three amazing children who keep me on my toes. I enjoy endurance sports, reading and bird watching.

Neal Sinclair

Business Development Manager at Glacier
Neal joined Glacier as a business development manager in June 2011. In his portfolio, he is the custodian for broker services in the Johannesburg region. His role involves engaging intermediaries on all aspects of the Glacier value proposition and to create opportunities to help them and enhance the services they provide through holistic financial advice. Neal’s career in financial services kicked off in 1997 when he joined Fedsure. He later moved to Momentum and then Sanlam. Neal holds an Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning (NQF Level 6).

Charles Brits

Head of Distribution at Wealthport
Prior to starting at Wealthport, I spent 15 years with the Liberty Group occupying a number of different roles ranging from a Broker Consultant, Branch Manager, Franchise Principle and later to a Senior Sales Manager in the Tied environment. I then joined PPS as a National Broker Development Manager. I have 22 years of Financial Services Industry experience and hold the CFP® designation. While I am passionate about the Financial Services/Wealth Industry, I believe in a work/family life balance and when time allows I enjoy training for endurance events and spending time with my family.

Raziq Christians

Head of Sales at PPS
Raziq Christians joined PPS Investments in January 2018 to take up the role of Regional Manager responsible for the Business Development team in the Western Cape. He has more than 15 years’ experience working in the LISP and Asset Management industries for companies such as Absa Wealth, Stanlib, Glacier and Sanlam Multi Management International. In his current role as Head of Sales for PPS Investments he focuses on sales strategy to support the positioning of all our value propositions.

Host

Michelle Noth, CFA

Client Coverage Executive at CoreShares Investment Managers
Michelle joined CoreShares in May 2019 as the Client Coverage Executive. Prior to this, she spent 13 years working in the Financial Services sector in London, where she specialised in ETFs and passive investment solutions (working at iShares and BNP Paribas among others). Michelle graduated with Honours in Business Science from the University of Cape Town in 2004, majoring in Finance and Financial Accounting. Later, she was admitted as a CFA Charterholder in 2010. Michelle is passionate about serving clients and creating cost-effective investment solutions that consistently achieve the best possible returns.

Neal Sinclair, Business Development Manager at Glacier Financial Solutions, highlighted the firm’s “game changer” moments in recent years, including the launch of Glacier International in 2010 and the firm’s appointment in 2016 as the custodian of all of Sanlam’s single life investments.

Glacier now has assets under administration worth R357 billion and assets under management, through Glacier Invest, of R48 billion.

This is partly thanks to the platform’s wide product range, including Sanlam’s life insurance offerings, Sinclair said, adding that Glacier Invest is also starting to offer alternative investments to retail clients, including private equity.

Glacier leverages the different product sets at its disposal to create unique solutions for retirement and income planning. These tools can be used to ensure longevity of income into retirement, as well as flexibility, tax efficiency and legacy considerations.

In addition to its extensive intermediary support network, Glacier offers advisors thought leadership services in partnership with industry experts.

Georgina Smith, Head of Distribution and Sales at INN8, noted just how important it is for investment platforms to fully embrace digitisation.

Just eight years ago, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios of advisor firms in the UK were sitting at around 2 times. Now, thanks to “re-platforming”, P/E ratios have moved up to 8 times. In other words, those that have taken digitisation seriously have quadrupled in value.

INN8 was “born digital” and its re-platforming process is already complete, Smith said.

Among the platform’s key selling points is its intuitive simplicity. Only five key pieces of information are needed from a client to put a robust investment proposal together.

Aggregated platform pricing is also a drawcard for INN8, with offshore assets contributing to local pricing. Smith said the platform allows for same-day fund pricing, while same-day withdrawals are possible.

Furthermore, INN8 allows clients to achieve 100% offshore exposure.

Martin Riekert, Executive Head of Retail Investments at Momentum Investments, spoke about the firm’s impressive turnaround.

Its net promoter score in September 2021 was 21% better than a year before, and new business support volumes were up nearly 50%.

Momentum Investments offers “arguably the most comprehensive” local and international capability sets, with most of South Africa’s renowned discretionary fund management offerings featured.

The firm also provides specialist, on-the-ground support to advisors, Riekert said, adding that financial advisors are demanding more from platforms than ever before.

Momentum Investments is accelerating its platform transformation in an effort to become the most automated and digitised solution in the country. It is eradicating administration frustrations and focusing on seamless client onboarding, Riekert said.

Ferdi Booysen, Head of Client Solutions at Old Mutual Wealth, said independent financial advisors can use the platform for administrative purposes, or can partner with the firm on “specialist capabilities”.

Old Mutual Wealth offers a range of solutions, including life funds, in-house discretionary fund management, and asset management.

The local platform is backed by a team of developers who release new features roughly every two months, and the Old Mutual Wealth app makes approvals seamless.

Meanwhile, the firm takes a non-traditional approach to pricing, with minimum and maximum fees. Fees are capped at R655 per month across a client’s total portfolio.

Booysen said Old Mutual Wealth’s key differentiator is its specialist skills. It provides access to fiduciary specialists, offshore specialists, fund specialists, and a research and investment management team. It was also first to market with financial planning coaching.

The firm’s advice tools include the Wealth Integrator – a flagship tool that plans for life, death and disability. It also offers a personal goal planner – an investment planning tool – and a single-goal planner that facilitates planning for education and other activities.

Raziq Christians, Head of Sales at PPS Investments, highlighted the company’s member-owned model as a key selling point.

PPS distributes profits amongst its members as it does not have external shareholders. Even though the group is 80 years old, it is still growing quickly.

PPS Investments, started in 2007, now has 45,000 clients and R50bn in assets on the open-architecture platform, which offers multi-manager, discretionary fund management and offshore capabilities.

Christians noted that PPS Investments is accessible by non-members, including spouses.

Moreover, members can boost profit share by including a spouse or affiliate’s investments or by incorporating their other PPS products. Its family network structure allows for increased savings and profit share.

Charles Brits, Head of Distribution at Wealthport, said the firm remains independent, with no distribution agreements with asset management or fund management companies.

Wealthport is owned by Telesure Investment Holdings, the largest privately held financial services group in South Africa. Its offshore partner is Swissquote.

The firm offers unit trusts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), hedge funds, structured products and other products all on a single platform, which allows advisors and clients to create more than one model portfolio.

The platform includes comprehensive planning tools, including intuitive retirement gap calculators. New tools are in the pipeline.

Wealthport partners with financial advisors and financial services providers to grow their businesses together, Brits said.


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