Despite a turbulent start, 2014 should be a rewarding year for investors in South African fixed interest assets, according to Coronation Fund Managers. Emerging markets were hit by an extended selloff in January as global investors reacted to the US Federal Reserve’s decision to scale back its massive stimulus programme. The exodus of capital highlighted […]
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- Q: How did you get involved in financial services – was it always on your career path?
- A: Well, not really – I actually wanted to be a teacher. At school I particularly enjoyed Economics and the Life Sciences, especially Biology. That led me to a Business Science degree at UCT. However, after graduating, I found that teaching posts were scarce and I started working in the Actuarial department at Old Mutual and I really loved that role. It made sense at that stage to do a B.Com degree to further my business knowledge. I majored in Economics and Business Management, with a Marketing focus.
- Q: Are financial services too complex for the consumer – have we come to terms with plain language?
- A: I think that financial services, in general, can be complex for the average investor. But the industry has recognised that and we’re on a journey to ensure that both the solutions on offer as well as the marketing communications are easily understood. The awareness of the need to change is huge. As an industry, we’re making significant progress but we still have a way to go. At Glacier, Treating Customers Fairly is something we think about all the time.
- Q: What is the best aspect of financial services in SA and what needs more work?
- A: Financial services as an industry, is well-regulated in South Africa and we were largely insulated from the recent global financial crisis. We recognise that there is a drive towards consumerism and the solutions we develop are transparent and targeted at a specific market segments and specific needs within that market. I think we can do more in the area of financial education. We need to continually educate around the need to save, to save more, and to start saving early. Financial independence and security is the bedrock of dignity in retirement. Technology is another area where we can constantly innovate. We need to ensure clients and their financial intermediaries have easy access to our solutions and our support services. This will also free up time for financial intermediaries to focus on giving advice and servicing their clients.
- Q: Consumers are bombarded with consumption and spend-now messages – how do financial services companies send equally attractive and compelling messages?
- A: I think we have a duty to educate and to highlight the consequences of not focusing on achieving financial independence. The simplest message to consumers is to focus on the longer term. Ignore the ‘noise’ in the markets and let compound interest work its magic.
At its heart the Budget is like any other budget – about money coming in and money going out. The Budget, says Conrad Wood of Momentum Asset Management, is a best guess forecast at what will happen in the future. There will be some surprises and some numbers that don’t meet the expectation. For […]
Lucky Pane from the University of Johannesburg and Joshua Budlender from the University of Cape Town were announced by Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan as winners of the 43rd Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Competition. The competition seeks to stimulate and reward the country’s brightest young minds in order to create a pool of thought […]
A Sixpack of Pointers from the Budget Speech by Soré Cloete, legal manager at Old Mutual: 1. As part of the National Development Plan, government is strongly encouraging capital investment and infrastructure growth. 2. Good news for individual tax payers, particularly lower income earners: R9.25 billion in tax relief. 3. To encourage South Africans to […]
In his 2014 Budget speech, the Minister of Finance made a number of proposals that are relevant for the employee benefits industry. Retirement reform The Finance Minister indicated that Government will seek to improve coverage and preservation of retirement funds and lower costs in the system. They are currently consulting with NEDLAC on measures to […]
By Arthur Kamp, economist, Sanlam Investments Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered a tough Budget bang in line with the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement he read in October last year. In recent years, the Minister has stuck closely to his expenditure budgets, while the revenue overrun in 2013/14 allowed the him to show a smaller Budget […]
For the retirement industry, one of the core positive take outs from the 2014 Budget address by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is the announcement of an increase in the tax-free lump-sum amount to be paid out of retirement funds at retirement. “The increase in the tax free amount, from R315 000 to R500 000, is […]
The 2014 Budget Speech delivered by Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, reinforced the National Treasury’s intention to encourage retirement savings through retirement reform proposals which have been discussed over the past few years. Arno Loots, Head of Umbrella Fund Solutions at Liberty Corporate says, “We support the government’s efforts to improve retirement savings in South Africa, […]
By the SAIT As expected, the nation received a static budget speech today from Minister Gordhan. With reports of inefficiencies and wasteful expenditure in the media of late, Prof Smulders, Head of Tax Technical and Policy at the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT) states that “it was disappointing that no quantitative feedback on […]
This year marks the 43rd Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition. Since the very beginning, the competition has invited university students from around the country to submit insightful essays that address the most pressing issues currently facing the South African economy. This year those students who have best applied their razor-sharp young minds stand […]
The upcoming 2014/2015 Budget is unlikely to bring any groundbreaking news, following the Medium-term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) in October 2013, but measures to impose fiscal discipline are anticipated to dominate, while no major revenue-generating tax hikes are expected at this stage. This is according to Chief Economist at Old Mutual Investment Group, Rian le Roux, […]
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Inevitable change to retirement landscape
In today’s newsletter we share some thoughts on the South African retirement landscape. This weekend […]
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