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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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The fine line between the law and its application

The financial services sector was left dumbstruck at the end of 2017 when Steinhoff, one of the darlings of the JSE, capitulated following revelations that the company misrepresented its financial statements. Steinhoff has been under investigation ever since. On 5 September, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) revealed that it imposed a massive R1,5 billion administrative fine on the company. However, because of mitigating factors, Steinhoff will only have to pay R53 million. This will no doubt leave many unanswered questions. FAnews spoke to Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive for Investigations and Enforcements at the FSCA to find out more about the FSCA’s ruling and its implica

The A-Z of comparing Cancer Benefits

Many headlines have covered the huge cost of cancer treatments in South Africa. ‘Hidden costs’ can add up as well – for example, costs associated with lifestyle changes, employing a carer for you and your children and transport to treatment centres. That’s where a cancer benefit can play a big role in helping to ease financial distress. It is important to choose the right benefit for you. Comparing ‘apples with apples’ isn’t always easy, so consulting a trusted intermediary is the best starting point. Nonkululeko Zungu, Product Support Consultant for Sanlam Individual Life, explains that cancer benefits cover different types of cancers. The types of cancers covered differ between insurer

Are your Contract Employees covered?

A recent ruling by the Long Term Insurance Ombudsman has highlighted the need to understand the terms and conditions that apply to fixed-term contractors not covered by group disability income policies. In the case in point the employer had affected a group disability income policy of this nature which was intended to cover only permanent employees. However, unbeknown to the insurer, the employer paid over premiums under the policy in respect of fixed-term contractors as well. When one of the contractors became disabled the claim was declined by the insurer. Why? Because the policy specifically excluded contractors. Following a complaint from the contractor, the ombudsman upheld the insurer’

Times they are changing… but we don’t want to

Brokers in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, were asked at a recent Sanlam Broker Summit how future ready they felt regarding how new technology can help grow their business and its effect on the future of financial planning. More than 50% of intermediaries felt that they were likely to try new digital onboarding platforms with clients. When asked whether they were concerned about their futures in financial planning given the rise of digital developments, most said they were concerned, but hopeful. However, some indicated real concerns about the profession’s sustainability. The theme for the conference was ‘Business agility in a VUCA world’. Times are changing, rapidly, but it’s a natural

Meeting employees’ needs in data-driven world

We live in a world of rapid change. By next year, every single person on earth will create 1.7 MB per data every second of the day. We’ll conduct 40 000 online search queries every second, using the more than 50 billion smart devices in use around the world. Just in 2017, in fact, more data was collected by humankind than in the previous 5 000 years of civilisation. Technology is creating a revolution, before our eyes. Yet, the insurance industry is lagging behind. In a recent article, The Economist warned that the “future of life insurance is happening without insurance firms”; that the slow and plodding giants of the insurance industry are in danger of being overtaken by reinsurance firms

FSCA issues warning to public against Rivoltare

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public against doing any financial services business with with Rivoltare. Rivoltare is not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) to render any financial advice and intermediary services. The FSCA received information that Rivoltare, owned by Mr Sandile Shezi, promises members of the public that they can make money “without clicking a button” and trade on their behalf. Members of the public are required to pay $500 joining fee. Rivoltare is neither an authorised Financial Services Providers (FSP) nor a representative of an authorised FSP and there are no records of application to bec

FSCA warns the public against Palime Group (Pty) Ltd t/a MZP Markets

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public against doing any financial services business with Palime Group (Pty) Ltd trading as MZP Markets. MZP Markets is not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) to render any financial advice and intermediary services. The FSCA received information that MZP Markets is rendering financial advice and intermediary services to members of the public by offering short-term and long-term investments, as well as Forex. MZP Markets is conducting unregistered financial services business without the necessary authorisation. The FSCA again reminds consumers who wish to conduct financial servic

FSCA warns the public against Dare Markets

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public against doing any financial services business with Dare Markets. Dare Markets is not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) to render any financial advice and intermediary services. Dare Markets website, www.daremarkets.com, states that “Dare Markets (Pty) Ltd is authorised by the Financial Service Board (FSB) in South Africa as a Financial Service Provider (FSP) with authorisation number 17492”. This is incorrect as Dare Markets is neither an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP) nor a representative of an authorised FSP and there are no records of application to becom

SA needs drastic policy changes to reach climate targets

A number of policy recommendations such as moratoriums on new coal plants have been suggested to G20 countries, including South Africa, to ensure that they reach targets on lowering carbon emissions. Moratorium on the new coal mines, electrified public transport and stricter building laws recommended to help South Africa move from dirty economy The “ambition calls” from global partnership, Climate Transparency, are in line with United Nations Secretary-(UN) General Antonio Guterres that the Climate Action Summit translates into key deliverables that will see the globe moving towards carbon neutrality. South Africa falls in the top 20 countries with the highest greenhouse gas emissions. The p

Five key reasons not to DIY your investments

The rise of new technologies and fintech has made investing simpler, more transparent and cheaper than ever before, leading many to adopt a DIY-approach to their finances. So, in a world where investing is as easy as ordering take-out, what are the dangers of self-managing your investments, and why should you consider seeking professional financial advice? Citadel Director and Durban Regional Head Nic Horn notes that there are essentially five key reasons to think carefully before adopting a DIY approach to your investments: 1. Asset allocation Many people focus exclusively on starting costs as the measure of a good investment solution, which is a very poor approach to making investment deci

Barriers to achieving financial literacy in South Africa

South Africa’s people face unique financial challenges daily, including high unemployment, extreme poverty and anaemic economic growth. One challenge we can all overcome, is taking the first step to financial wellbeing by seeking to financially educate ourselves. Financial illiteracy is expensive Due to low levels of financial literacy and the complexity of financial products, South Africans need to educate themselves to avoid making poor financial decisions which result in high fees and service costs; investing in inappropriate financial products; losing out on benefits including tax deductions on retirement fund contributions or reduced interest payments on outstanding loans by paying more

SA Venture Capital Industry grows despite a tough economic climate

The emerging South African venture capital (VC) industry continued to experience robust growth in 2018, with 181 new VC deals reported – an increase of 13.8% from the 159 deals reported in 2017. This is according to the newly released SAVCA 2019 Venture Capital Industry Survey, which also shows a substantial increase in the overall value of all deals, up from the R1 billion invested in 2017 to just over R1.5 billion in 2018. The report, which provides valuable insights for fund managers, investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers about the South African VC landscape, was carried out in collaboration with research partner Venture Solutions, and features data gathered from 56 fund managers as

Prescient credited for its BEE and investment performance credentials

In our 21st anniversary year, we are delighted to achieve two significant milestones that confirm our commitment to delivering results for our clients seeking certainty in an uncertain world. During September, Prescient Investment Management was included in the industry-leading 2019 27four BEE Survey in recognition of our strong empowerment credentials and status as a large BEE investment manager in South Africa. This was not long after receiving industry recognition for the consistent performance of some of our funds, which have delivered favourable returns on behalf of our clients. We are delighted to be included in the 27four BEE Survey for the first time. It independently verifies our

Old Mutual Shari'Ah - Compliant fund wins international Islamic finance award

The Old Mutual Albaraka Balanced Fund has been awarded the Best Islamic Balanced Fund 2019 by the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) at the GIFA awards ceremony held in Cape Town on Monday, 16 September. The GIFA Awards has become a highly coveted, market-led recognition of excellence in Islamic banking across the world. Saliegh Salaam, Portfolio Manager at Old Mutual Investment Group, says that he and his team are honoured to receive the accolade from GIFA. “The GIFA awards is one of the most highly sought-after Islamic banking and finance accolades in the world, highlighting that the Old Mutual Albaraka Balanced Fund and Old Mutual’s Shari’ah compliant fund range are world-class investm

All for one and one for all?

A few weeks ago, we published a newsletter where the challenge of designing a retirement savings system that would benefit all South Africans was highlighted. The major challenge that came to the fore was the fact that South Africa is so culturally diverse that it is hard to establish a median, and therefore a system that would equally address the challenges of every sector of the population. At the recently held Alexander Forbes Hot Topics Seminar on the Alexander Forbes Risk Barometer, Anne Cabot-Alletzhauser, Head of the Alexander Forbes Research Institute, pointed out that the problem is more complicated than we think. Local demographics Unlike other countries in the world, which are bat

FS requires technology human-interplay

The use of technology is crucial for financial services organisations with ambitions of prevailing in a highly contested market. Sustainable productivity improvement in the industry requires technology and humans to work together in fundamentally new relationships – where machines assist humans to fulfil their roles better. To exploit this opportunity, financial services organisations must think about the required technology as well as the necessary talent, trust and human touch when dealing with customers – which makes it necessary for their employees to be digitally agile to keep learning new skills. The employees must understand incoming technology to enable them to judge how to use it to

What to consider before drafting your will

In South Africa we are fortunate to have freedom of testation, or simply put, if you are 16 years and older, you can choose whom the beneficiaries of your earthly possessions will be after your demise. As such, it is important that your Will is properly executed. Should you die without a Will, South African law stipulates whom the heirs to your estate will be. Before drafting your Will, one of the most important documents to be drawn up in one’s lifetime, the following should be kept in mind: Marital Status: Your marital regime plays a significant role as this will determine any legislative implications when leaving your assets to anyone other than your spouse. For example, if you are marr

Where technology meets real people – the Trustees’ dilemma

Retirement funds’ topmost purpose and intention is to ensure that their members’ needs are met during retirement. This is akin to summiting Mount Everest, the world’s highest and toughest peak. Given the ever-changing nature of the workforce, fund consultants must find innovate ways to offer fund members suitable advice to help them reach their retirement objectives. This advice must be adaptable to the needs of the evolving behaviours, trends and decision-making habits of the various generations that make up the current workforce. According to research we conducted in our Group, millennials currently make up 52% of the workforce. Over time, this number will grow. Generation Z is also enteri

What the ASISA Retirement Savings Cost (RSC) Disclosure Standard means for employers and trustees

The ASISA Retirement Savings Cost (RSC) Disclosure Standard came into effect on 1 March 2019. From 1 September 2019, ASISA members who sponsor commercial umbrella funds must present a comprehensive and standardised cost disclosure at the point of sale that illustrates all charges and costs over four investment timeframes. Further disclosure is required to illustrate the impact of all charges and costs on individual members, assuming different salaries and different retirement savings balances. The new disclosure standard aims to improve the disclosure of charges and costs and facilitate comparison of umbrella funds on a like-for-like basis, with all charges and costs expressed as a percenta

Alexander Forbes pushes for more emerging asset managers in South Africa

Alexander Forbes Investments aims to play a catalyst role in supporting the further growth of emerging asset managers. According to our research and surveys, emerging asset managers are managing only about 10% of the estimated R6 trillion of institutional retirement assets in South Africa. Head of Manager Research at Alexander Forbes Investments, Lebo Thubisi says the percentage of assets under emerging asset management is still stubbornly low based on recent research. This shows that BEE levels of asset managers – particularly on ownership – have been declining since the amended Financial Sector Charter BB-BEE codes were gazetted in December 2017. Thubisi says deeper conversations are neede

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