One Measured Step at a Time

 

When one of the leading or at the very least better known economists writes openly,  as he did this month, that it is, “Time to send all of your money out of South Africa”, then many people will and did sit up and take notice.  It is, however, better to know all of the facts and thus always better to have at least a third, fourth or even a full hand of opinions, before you jump to such a total conclusion.

Balance and common sense are often far better traits than risk and impulse.  As we contemplate the position of the young democratic South Africa today we should also remain cognisant of perhaps how we ourselves grew up and how our own personality and attitudes changed as we passed through adolescence into our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and then, in my case at least, middle age.

I remember an earlier me, who as a younger businessman, was all wide eyed, mystified and excited about the endless possibilities of life and business.  I also remember a great friend and guide, for at least the last twenty five years, Mr. Rodney Reid allowing me to set off at a blistering pace to achieve a particular goal.  Just like the fabled hare I darted off and, in a frenzy of ambition and excitement, rushed around to achieve the long forgotten goal.  Only to arrive at that final point, all flushed and proud of myself, to see Rodney, the tortoise to my hare, awaiting my arrival.  His methodical, rational and calm approach had achieved exactly the same objective, but in far less time than my panting excitement and fervour had achieved.

There is no doubt that South Africa faces some fearsome challenges, but then so did many new nations at their birth and during adolescence, the Americans even declared war on themselves! Our nation’s finances may not be in such noble place today, but neither were they under PW, FW or PG.  Only a year ago Pravin was proclaimed a saviour, but he clearly also oversaw our decline to where we are today, the rand was at R14 last Christmas and we haven’t exactly ruined our entire economy or amazed our incredible debt burden just over the last six to nine months have we?

Mr Gigaba, our latest financial guru, in his recent ‘mini budget’ may have shocked a few people with the hard core numbers, but perhaps that budget may just be his and possibly also the ANC’s ‘Rubicon’ moment.  That budget may forever be the one remembered for when the cover was finally pulled back and the full reveal finally occurred.  We have needed a no holes barred, ‘Tell us like it is’, moment for the last five years and we certainly got one’.

I have always loved cars and driving, whether being driven by someone or on my own. I remember very fondly being in the car as a child, riding with my brothers and sister and us all shouting at our Dad, ‘Go faster Dad, go faster’ and, when any car passed us, my youngest brother would rather sweetly shout,  ‘Take him over Daddy take him over’.  My Dad would smile and always rather dryly say, ‘Don’t you worry he will be waiting for us at the next set of lights’.  Sure enough they were always there! Yet, like the vast majority of us mere mortals, I never really learnt much from such moments in my youth. No unfortunately it took many years of hard knocks and regular talks with the likes of Rodney to understand that slow, solid work will more likely get you where you want to be, than rushing around at a precipitous rate of knots.

So how does the above relate to South Africa? Well she is a young nation, an ‘immature adult of a nation’ and yet it is still an amazing country, full of amazing people.  It has a great future and we should not lose faith and doubt that, or worse choose a President based upon who is the ‘least corrupt’. No, we must rather choose and or make choices that give the future middle aged South Africa the best chance of success.

So finally, we should possibly be a little more patient, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water just yet and rather let’s keep everything in perspective. After all the middle aged nation known as American has a ‘Donald’ for its President, and as far as I am concerned that’s not really a result that anyone should fight a civil war over to achieve, is it?

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New look for a new Era!

We are delighted to reveal to you, for the first time, the new look of Warwick. This new design will be applied throughout Warwick internationally. It marks a new and exciting chapter in the Warwick story and it is simply our ‘New look for a new Era’.

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Giving Back

All four of our children have thoroughly enjoyed, or are still benefiting from, a school whose motto is simply, ‘We shall give back’.  At first, I must admit, I found the line a little obvious and cheesy, but I now think that, if nothing else, it has always reminded my wife and I that as parents we should ensure that our children are considerate to other people’s needs and grow up to be adults who will also be kind, as well as generous of spirit and their time, willing always to help anyone less fortunate than themselves.

It is an old and accepted adage that ‘Charity begins at home’, and yet at 55 years old I still have no idea what that means!  So, I have simply assumed it to be, ‘Ensure that your own family are safe, housed and fed.  After that look to others and do what you can to make their lives better.’  Rotary and Masonic Clubs also say, take care of your home and business and then deliver charity.  I assume that this all means the same thing, look after your loved ones, then your own source of security and then use that solid base to then do positive things.

Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and most other religions encourage their followers to do good deeds and there are thousands of examples, from all creeds, of followers putting others before themselves, however, no religion has a monopoly on doing good.  Today it’s often hard to ‘differentiate philanthropy from publicity’, then again perhaps it does not matter, as long as the end result is that the less fortunate garner some benefit that they otherwise would never have enjoyed.

I am personally a very lucky man, and regardless of what the future brings, I have always worked diligently and thus enjoyed a ‘fair’ degree of good fortune.  I knew very early on in my adult life that I had ‘to give back’.  More importantly my upbringing, in an English, working class, Anglican home meant I often saw and experienced both sides of what was needed.  Yet these needs were, and still remain, neglected by those who have the means, but not the sense of decency, understanding or desire to assist the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

I have now been in business paying my own way for 25 years.  I have lived more of my life in Africa than in Europe and I have seen more natural talent, humility and ability in African scholars than I have in many English private schools.

Warwick, who I am the CEO and Chairman of in Africa, deal with thousands of clients who live, as we would say in Lancashire, a ‘comfortable life’, and I am also delighted that they have always supported the company’s ‘community’ projects.

Spirit Education Foundation, was founded in memory of my sister Louise, during the month of our first free elections, back in April 1994 and over the last 23 years it has educated hundreds of scholars and funded thousands of years of education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Its largest sponsor has always been Warwick.  Warwick also support the ‘Big Issue’ in Cape Town, as well as the Spirit Wildlife Fund, established by my wife Jooles Kilbride an animal activist, it is dedicated to saving the lives of young rhinos.

Supported by four Warwick directors, I am the chairman of Lord’s Taverners SA (LTSA), the UK Patron being Prince Philip and the President Sir Michael Parkinson.  LTSA offers a ‘Sporting Chance’ to disabled and disadvantaged children in South Africa, it is an amazing organisation.

The ‘Spirit Foundation International’ (SPI), which I am also very proud to chair, supports disadvantaged children in the north west of England via, Everton in the Community (EITC) and the Everton Free School (EFS).  It also helps fund ‘Warwick University in Africa’, a scheme that sends Warwick University graduates to teach in township schools in Africa, predominantly South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania.

I would therefore like to take a moment to thank everyone, including the generous staff and clients of Warwick who assist Warwick, Spirit, LTSA, EITC, EFS, Warwick in Africa, the Big Issue and also the ‘Little Optimist’, a charity run by Greg Bertish, an amazing man committed to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

If I am ever asked, ‘So what can I do?’ I answer as I did to my friend Greg, ‘Just go out and do some good’, because that is all we can ever hope to achieve!

 

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A Hypocritical Oath

The bigger they are the harder they fall!  Good advice to any guy picking up a rugby ball for the first time, but until you make that first hard committed tackle you only half believe it.  Then that giant tumbles to the ground, like a felled tree and you realise that it didn’t even hurt, well not so much that you would ever tell anyone about it!

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Spirit Wildlife Fund

Spirit Wildlife Fund

A new and exciting website and I hope you enjoy it !

Our mission is to raise funds and awareness to ensure the safety, security and survival of this keystone species at the world’s largest rhino orphanage, Care for Wild in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.

Join the crash!

http://spiritwildlifefund.org/

 

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Warwick appoints Senior Wealth Specialists

Warwick Wealth’s CEO, Ian Kilbride and the General Manager of Asset Management, Adrian Meager took Warwick Private Clients new style Senior Wealth Specialists to lunch to celebrate their elevation to their new positions and its great benefits!

From left to right: Conrad Clifford (Warwick Durban), Adrian Meager (GM Asset Management), Ian Kilbride (CEO), Gareth Milford (Warwick Cape Town) and Natalie Wood (Warwick Johannesburg).

 

 

 

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Ian Kilbride

Home Truths!

I have known Mike Greeff for many years, in fact I was once his landlord at the Alphen Estate.  That was until Greeff outgrew the space that we, Warwick Wealth, had available as we too were expanding and requiring more square meters.

You could therefore say that our two businesses, Greeff Property and Warwick Wealth, grew up together, even sharing facilities and staff, both then and now.  The similarities between these two companies, despite being in totally different fields, can be distilled down to three simple factors.  Firstly, a clear vision, secondly the energy and drive of everyone involved in the company, from the CEO’s down and thirdly a total commitment to client service and the delivery of what clients require.

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Ian Kilbride

Political Lottery and Questions

I suppose, or I would at least like to venture, that you are probably as bored hearing about Donald Trump, Brexit, the set of European elections and the ‘always’ pending political changes in South Africa, as I am? The overarching question though is when and why did such seemingly huge and important political moves and machinations become so dull and repetitious?

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Warwick Wealth and the Little Optimist

Warwick Wealth are proud to be a part of the The Little Optimist’s incredible journey.

Greg and the Little Optimist’s journey began in Cape Hangklip across shark invested waters of False Bay around Cape Point and the Cape of Storms to Cape Town City via Robben Island and Dassen Island to Saldanha and then finally ending the journey in Langebaan Lagoon (the home of the Little Optimist).  The journey, over 200km in the open ocean along one of the wildest and most dangerous coastlines in the world, and they did it. ‘A little believer with a huge heart’.

All funds raised for the benefit of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

Please watch the documentary trailer below, full documentary to be released in February 2017

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The Spirit Foundation by Ian Kilbride

Looking back

I was born in Warrington in 1962 and moved to South Africa in 1990. I arrived here having driven for seven months from London but fell in love with the country and the people and decided to stay.

In 1994, I decided I wanted to do something as a memory to my sister Louise, who passed away at only 19 years old. I also wanted to give something back to South Africa, which I felt had been very kind to me. I therefore approached Tessa Smit who I knew was retiring as a school principal and asked her to help me form what is now the Spirit Foundation. When we started we even assisted pre-schoolers and over the years have slowly evolved to the point where we decided to focus entirely on high school scholars.

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