On a recent sojourn, a Moonstone delegation consisting of Hjalmar Bekker, Director of Moonstone and Bobby Londt (pictured above left), Digital Strategist, visited prominent industry counterparts in the UK.
This was not the first time since the introduction of international regulatory intervention in the financial services industry, that Hjalmar Bekker had undertaken such forays with the intention of gaining first-hand experience of how the industry there experienced, in practical terms, such changes. He also conducted extensive discussions with the UK authorities to understand the rationale behind their thinking.
Australia and the United Kingdom embarked on the regulatory trail long before South Africa did. Whilst each country has its own unique characteristics, there are also many similarities, like the outcomes of the Treating Customers Fairly approach by the FSB which absolutely mirrors the UK version. The objective of these visits is to learn from others, and to foster collaboration so as to not re-invent the wheel.
The SimplyBiz Group played an important role in these developments from as early as 2004, as did ThreeSixty, more recently.
Typically, says Bobby, we would compare notes on where we are in terms of regulatory developments. From there the conversation would shift to synergies and experiences and the sharing of best practice ideas, including operational and commercial considerations. At the root of all these discussions was the intent to offer the adviser the best possible options to choose from in the current state of affairs.
For Bobby the experience at SimplyBiz (Huddersfield) was especially rewarding as this was the company he worked for as a start-up in 2003 and stayed with until 2011 when he returned to SA. The growth and solutions developed in the last 5 years literally snowballed, and contributed immensely to the company’s success. Joint Managing Director, Matt Timmins(pictured above right), played host to our visit and as always had us hooked on his thinking and philosophy regarding service excellence to their advisers.
ThreeSixty’s Managing Director, Phil Young, hosted us in Manchester for a couple of hours and his views on regulatory change and the environment was of particular interest.
We also met with a few industry personalities to which we hope to introduce you later – conversations with them was to gain their views and thoughts on matters of mutual interest.
Moonstone, in turn, also introduced Suitebox, and the reception of this new technology was extremely positive.
The introduction of SuiteBox to the South African market will commence in the coming weeks. We regard this as the future of financial advice, not only in South Africa, but in the world.
We hope to reciprocate the welcome hospitality experienced during our recent visit to influential players from the UK, Middle East and Australia. They all admit to having a weakness for Stellenbosch wines, and with the current exchange rate, coupled with the approaching summer, cannot wait to visit us.