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As a central knowledge portal to the retirement and related industries, EBnet publishes a range of daily articles submitted by a range of industry organisations, experts and contributors. Readers can also comment on and contribute to articles.

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Sanlam-Dutch venture to combat climate change tops expectations, closes at $850m

Cooperatief Climate Fund Managers U.A. (CFM) is proud to announce the final close of Climate Investor One's Stichting Development Fund and Cooperatief Construction Equity Fund U.A. at a combined USD 850 million. Climate Fund Managers is a joint venture between Sanlam InfraWorks and the Dutch Development Bank FMO and invests in climate-related projects in emerging markets. Climate Investor One, with an emerging markets renewable energy mandate, is the inaugural facility managed by CFM and the first of an intended series of 'blended finance' investment vehicles focused on providing capital to climate mitigation and adaptation sectors in developing countries. After a successful two-year fundrai

Keeping abreast of changes in the retirement fund industry essential for financial advisors

Despite the fact that contributing towards a retirement fund is compulsory for many employees in the private sector, there was a concerning decline in total contribution towards retirement funds recorded in 2018. According to the 2018 Sanlam Benchmark Survey these reverted to pre-2013 levels. Of equal concern is the expert opinion that in South Africa, 85% of retirees who leave employment will not be able to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle. “Financial planners need to stay abreast of industry changes while providing the best possible solutions to their clients ensuring their comfortable retirement,” says Kobus Hanekom, editor of The Manual on Retirement Funds and Other Employee Benef

Institutional DFMs - an excellent solution for retirement funds

With the aim of ensuring fair outcomes for financial customers, South African regulators are advocating for a greater separation of financial advisory and investment management activities. Consequently, financial advisors are increasingly partnering with Discretionary Fund Managers (DFM). DFM services are not only useful to advisors for their retail clients — they’re also an excellent solution for advisors with institutional clients like retirement funds. Every retirement fund is unique, with a distinct member profile and benefit regime that often requires a customised investment strategy. Institutional DFM services focusing on retirement funds allows advisors to provide appropriate advice t

FSCA warns the public: Cypres SEC impersonated in a fraudulent scam

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the financial services industry and public of a scam where individuals claiming to be officers or appointed representatives of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) are soliciting investors for fees in exchange for settlement of fake compensation claims. These claims are related to the conduct of several firms under CySEC’s supervision. A sophisticated online campaign targeting investors of online trading firms that offer speculative investment products is used as part of the scam which typically involves: Individuals claiming to be CySEC officers, appointed representatives of CySEC (e.g. legal advisors), other Cypriot super

FSCA warns the public against Ekasi Bucks Insurers, a Division of Ekasi Bucks Ecosystem (Pty) Ltd.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) warns the public against doing any financial business with Ekasi Bucks Insurers, a Division of Ekasi Bucks Ecosystem (Pty) Ltd, who is not authorised, in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (“FAIS Act”), to render any financial advice and intermediary services. It was brought to the attention of the FSCA that Ekasi Bucks Insurers is purporting to be authorised financial services provider (“FSP”). Additionally, Ekasi Bucks Insurers use FSP number 43259 which belongs to a registered financial services provider; PAL Life, and purport to be affiliated with it, whilst that is not the case. According to the FSCA’s reco

FSCA warns the public against YES Money Loans

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) warns the public against doing any financial business with Yes Money Loans, who is not authorised, in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (“FAIS Act”), to render any financial advice and intermediary services. It was brought to the attention of the FSCA that Yes Money Loans is purporting to be an authorised financial services provider (“FSP”). According to the FSCA’s records, Yes Money Loans is not an authorised financial services provider and is not a juristic representative of any FSP, therefore, it is not authorised render financial services as contemplated under the FAIS Act. The FSCA again reminds consumers

FSCA warns the public against Bitcoin Investment

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public against doing any financial business with Bitcoin Investment, who is not authorised, in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act), to render any financial advice and intermediary services. It was brought to the attention of the FSCA that Bitcoin Investment purports to be an authorised financial services provider (FSP) with licence number 16798 and displays a certificate in its office, which it alleges was issued by the Financial Services Board (FSB). The FSB has since been replaced by the FSCA. According to the FSCA’s records, Bitcoin Investment is not an authorised financial services provider

Allan Greenblo awarded the Sanlam Financial Journalism Award For Lifetime Achievement

Allan Greenblo has been awarded the Sanlam Financial Journalism Award For Lifetime Achievement. Allan has been writing on developments the financial services industry since entering the field as a journalist in 1967 for the Financial Mail and ultimately ending up as their financial editor. He was the co-founder of Finance Week in 1978 and was the deputy editor from the magazine’s launch in 1979 and editor from 1982 until 1995. He served simultaneously as executive director. This is Allan's second Sanlam Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism having won Financial Journalist of the Year 1993 previously . Allan filled the role of Managing Director of BDFM (publisher of Business Day and Fi

Pension funds – should performance fees be retired?

While some pundits have argued recently that performance fees have had their day, this is an oversimplification, particularly in the retirement fund industry. In the retail space, investors are essentially price-takers, as they have no negotiation power over the fees and the fee structures that they pay to asset managers. If they are unhappy, their only option is to vote with their feet. With retirement funds, the situation is different as trustees and their advisors can influence the way performance fees are structured. Performance fees have historically favoured asset managers, were often highly complex and their calculation was not readily replicable or sufficiently transparent to invest

SA Business urged to invest in business interests that also uplift poorer communities

South Africans must tackle the triple challenge of socio-economic inclusiveness, economic growth and sustainability for the country to have any hope for a peaceful and prosperous future. This is according to Prof. Thuli Madonsela – chief patron of the Thuli Madonsela Foundation and the nation’s favourite ex Public Protector (PP) – who also appealed to business, government and society to form a strong compact to build a functioning South Africa. She was addressing a packed audience of independent financial advisers and other investment industry stakeholders at the sixth annual i3 Summit, hosted jointly by Sanlam Investments and Glacier by Sanlam at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg,

Investing through the Private Markets is changing South Africa

Private markets, which encompass investments not traded on a public exchange, help impact-conscious investors meet their goals of job creation, education and renewable energy generation. Private markets comprise unlisted sub-asset classes, which include unlisted credit, direct property, infrastructure and private equity. David Moore, head of alternative investments at Alexander Forbes Investments, offers two compelling examples for investing in unlisted assets in South Africa. Port Elizabeth – cutting-edge, affordable housing Sluggish GDP growth and depressed economic activity locally is exacerbating the already bloated housing deficit evident across the city. The lack of affordable housing

Aretha Franklin's three wills and the dangers of DIY-ing

It may be tempting to “DIY” your will in order to cut costs, but if the latest developments regarding Aretha Franklin’s estate teaches us anything, it should be the dangers of delaying or cutting corners in drawing up this vital legal document, cautions Citadel Fiduciary (Pty) Ltd Managing Director Hilary Dudley. While it was first believed that Franklin died without leaving a final testament, three handwritten wills have since been discovered in her home. The latest, written in a spiral notebook found hidden among her sofa cushions, reportedly mentions that she wished her assets to be divided equally among her three younger sons, and left instructions for the care of her eldest son, who has

10 megatrends shaping South Africans' financial resilience

“The most reliable way to anticipate the future is by understanding the present” – John Naisbitt, author of the 1982 book: Megatrends, 10 New Directions Transforming Our Lives Individualisation, cost fixation, cyber risk, technological innovation and regular reviews are five of ten megatrends that Sanlam has identified to be shaping the retirement funding industry and affecting financial resilience for South Africans. The insights originate from the 2019 Sanlam Benchmark Research – the group’s annual retirement research, which has been surveying retirement industry stakeholders for 39 years. Megatrends are the emergent dynamics shaping the future of the retirement funding industry and influe

Regulation 28 is not the problem, investor behaviours are

It’s textbook stuff that diversification is an essential element of investing that is likely to improve the risk-adjusted return. There’s a narrative on the go that retirement fund members are being done in by Regulation 28, because it condemns them to low returns. Regulation 28 limits the extent to which retirement funds may invest in individual assets and asset classes. Although the aim is to protect members from poorly diversified portfolios, some commentators maintain that the category limit on “equities” (75%) and foreign investments (30%) actually prejudices them. The argument is that equities have historically been the best-performing asset class long-term, and investors should not be

Timing the forex market – can it be done?

It’s true that the forex market never sleeps – there’s always someone trading currency somewhere around the globe at any time of the day or night – but are there optimal times when one can benefit from transacting? Absolutely! When buying or selling forex, timing is often crucial. But there are other aspects to consider as well in order to maximise operational and financial efficiency. There are certain elements that will determine the timeline of a foreign exchange transaction, including payment terms, cash flow and market conditions. However, we find that more often than not, it becomes a subjective decision based on one’s emotions, prevailing market sentiment and limited information one h

Planning for retirement in the gig economy

Millennials are revolutionising the way we work as they embrace the flexibility and independence of the gig economy, but what does this mean for their retirement planning? In the spirit of youth month, and in the interests of starting retirement saving sooner rather than later, it’s a good time to reflect on the importance of making provisions for the future. The term has been around for over a decade, but has gained momentum over the last couple of years, as people increasingly choose flexible, task-based engagements as an alternative to full-time employment. Aptly coined “the gig economy”, this way of making a living is becoming a viable option for many: from highly trained professionals o

Future of risk in the digital era

Nine key trends shaping risk in the digital era Digital technologies are ushering in a new era and driving transformative changes in every industry, as organisations adopt these technologies to redefine how they create, deliver and capture value. Identifying, understanding and addressing new risks associated with digital transformation will help businesses derive more value from their efforts in the future. What’s more, understanding how digital transformation can be applied to risk management will enable organisations to take a more balanced view of digital technologies as both a source of risk and a way to manage risk. We’re witnessing massive investment in digital transformation across in

Liberty gives 5000 learners shoes ahead of the chilly winter

To commemorate Youth Month, Liberty employees joined together as part of its staff volunteerism programme, to fund school shoes across the country. This year close to 5,000 pairs of shoes were donated to learners in nearly 30 schools. This initiative is symbolic of Liberty's commitment to improving education in South Africa. In 2018 Liberty invested R22.1 million in Maths, Science and English programmes. "At Liberty we are passionate about education because it's the bedrock of achieving a sustainable future for our country", says Tracey Unser, Divisional Executive: Corporate Citizenship. “With so many families not being able to afford shoes for their children, we're so proud that our staff h

Prescribed assets – should you be concerned?

Although prescribed assets is not a new concept in South Africa, the ANC’s 2019 election manifestomentioned reintroducing them. Should you be worried, and if so, how much? Andrew Davison, Head of Advice at Old Mutual Corporate Consultants, addresses these questions. What are prescribed assets? Prescribed assets are the percentage of retirement funds’ assets (and possibly of other institutional investors) that, by law, have to be allocated to certain government-approved instruments. The first time they were introduced in South Africa, was in 1956 when the Pension Funds Act was promulgated. Back then, the prescribed assets in question were government bonds. Over the next two decades, the level

China a strong opportunity for SA investors, despite trade tensions

Despite ongoing trade tensions with the US, Chinese government policies and proactive market evolution continue to ensure strong opportunities for investment. Around 60% of global equity investments are currently invested into America, yet China is set to become the world’s biggest economy by 2030. In contrast, Chinese equities are significantly underrepresented in global market indices. Shares listed on the Chinese mainland currently have negligible representation despite being the second largest stock market in the world. There were challenges with access for foreign investors in the past although they have largely diminished over recent years. Earlier this year, the National People’s Cong

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